• Highlights
  • Appointments
  • Laurels
  • On Campus


UniSA has climbed to 35th place in the 2015 Times Higher Education (THE) international rankings of universities aged under 50 years old. The THE ‘top 100 under 50’ rankings highlight young universities making their mark on the international stage, with UniSA moving up 14 spots to 35th place, from 49th in 2014. UniSA is Australia’s youngest university to feature in the THE top 50 under 50 rankings.


Adelaide and Chinese scientists have made two important discoveries in their work to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. The research has been led by Professor Xin-Fu Zhou (pictured right) at UniSA and Professor Yan-jiang Wang at China’s Third Military Medical University. They discovered the drug Edaravone, used in some Asian countries for treatment of stroke, can alleviate progressive cognitive deficits, and also made a molecular discovery into one of the complex mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease.


UniSA and University College London (UCL) have signed a partnership agreement that will see the two institutions collaborating on a wide range of research and teaching designed to meet the needs of future industries. Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd travelled to London to sign the agreement, while Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Engineering, Professor Anthony Finkelstein visited Adelaide to sign the agreement with Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Tanya Monro.


UniSA and Basketball SA have formed a partnership to give the State an edge in developing elite athlete performance and research knowledge about elite sports training. The partnership provides an opportunity for UniSA staff and health science students to become an integral part of the basketball program, learning from the experience of interacting with athletes in high performance environments. 


UniSA has signed an agreement with Hong Kong’s Ocean Park Corporation and the SA Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to boost education and research into koalas. Ocean Park attracts more than seven million visitors to Hong Kong each year to explore its wildlife and other exhibits. The MOU develops a partnership that has seen three koalas – Dougie, Merinda and Yani – bred at Cleland Wildlife Park, find a new home at Ocean Park. 


A new partnership with Kobe University in Japan is set to expand UniSA’s research capacity in the fields of education and social sciences. UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd and Kobe University President Professor Takeda Hiroshi signed a Memorandum of Understanding to encourage academic exchange between the two universities. 


International specialist in responsible leadership, Professor Thomas Maak has been appointed to head UniSA’s School of Management. 

Most recently he was head of the Department of People Management and Organisation at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, which delivers one of the top-ranked MBA schools in the world. 

A graduate of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, he was later on the faculty there and also a visiting scholar at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and at INSEAD, France. 

Prof Maak’s research and teaching focuses on business ethics, corporate social responsibility, responsible leadership and organisational cognitive neuroscience.

He is a principal investigator in the ‘Neuroscience of Leadership’ project  and ran the first team neurodynamics-study with MBA students in 2012 in collaboration with researchers from Arizona State University and Advanced Brain Monitoring (Carlsbad, CA).


Former Principal of Edward John Eyre High School, Paul Havelberg has been appointed as the new manager of UniSA’s Whyalla campus. 

With a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Flinders University, Havelberg has had almost 30 years’ experience as an educator in the State’s rural and regional communities, starting with his first role as a teacher and coordinator at Orroroo Area School.

Proactive in developing important links between the school and training colleges, industry and tertiary institutions, Havelberg has been a strong advocate for regional tertiary education.

 “This new role will provide important opportunities to increase and enhance educational opportunities for students in the region – to take students to the next step and launch valuable careers,” he says.

“UniSA’s Whyalla campus is hugely significant in South Australia not only for what it offers students but for what it represents for regional communities in providing tertiary education opportunities on their home turf.”  


Dr Ross McLennan has become the new Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of South Australia. 

Hailing from the UK, Dr McLennan has considerable international experience in setting up successful teams and enterprises in broad fields of research – in particular, in bringing together the expertise and needs of academia, healthcare providers and funding partners.  

Dr McLennan was previously CEO of Scannexus/ Brains Unlimited in Maastricht, Netherlands. 

He also played a significant part in the development of the Scottish Academic Health Sciences Collaboration.  


Newly appointed as Director: International, Gabrielle Rolan will oversee the University’s international student recruitment and engagement strategies. A graduate in Business Communication from Queensland University of Technology, Rolan has forged a career in international student recruitment. She held senior international marketing positions at several Australian universities before leaving to establish her own consultancy. From 2014 she was acting Pro Vice Chancellor External Relations at the University of New England before joining UniSA. 

“UniSA’s rapid rise in the Times Higher Education Rankings for the Top 100 universities under 50 years old and its new research and education partnership with University College London underline its enterprising outlook,” Rolan says. “The future strength of universities in an increasingly globalised environment will lie in developing high-value partnerships with other universities, institutions and industries and I’m looking forward to contributing to that.” 


Acclaimed author, sociologist and expert in Islam and society Professor Riaz Hassan, AM has been appointed to lead the University of South Australia’s International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding in the Hawke Research Institute. 

Prof Hassan is visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies at Singapore’s National University and an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Flinders University.

His research career in sociology, Islam and Muslim societies, the sociology of housing and of suicide and suicide terrorism, spans 40 years and includes significant research appointments at leading universities in Abu Dhabi, Indonesia and the United States.

A Fulbright Scholar at Ohio State University, Prof Hassan completed his PhD there in Sociology and has since worked across the globe researching everything from the global rise in suicide bombings, to how Muslims conceive the separation between Islam and society.


The Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA) has recognised UniSA’s five-star MBA once again by presenting the University with a certificate acknowledging five years of five-star ratings. 

Presented at the GMAA’s national conference, it is one of only two awarded to Australian universities to mark the quality of the MBA degree.

While the commendation notes five years of consistent performance, UniSA has now earned the five-star rating for seven years and is one of the most consistently recognised quality MBA programs in the nation. 

Program Director for the MBA Dr Don Clifton said the significance of the achievement can’t be underestimated. 

“The GMAA has recently published a thorough analysis of its methodology, so for anyone taking a closer look at the ratings, they can see how stringent the assessment is,” Dr Clifton says. 

“What UniSA can take great pride in is the fact that the MBA program has consistently ranked in the top 10 MBAs in Australia. 

“That translates to a degree program that is evolving in-step with the demands of the business world and one in which the content is at the forefront of knowledge.” 


UniSA’s Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Tanya Monro has been made a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA), the leading professional association for the field of optics and photonics. 

Prof Monro accepted her accolade at the Optical Fibre Communication Conference in Los Angeles, where she also presented on new trends in fibre-based sensors.

The prestigious fellowship acknowledges Prof Monro’s scientific contributions of international significance to optical glass materials and fibres, photonics and optical physics, most notably in nanophotonics for nonlinear optics and sensing.


Acknowledged by the University of South Australia in 2014 with an honorary doctorate for his lifetime contribution to literature and society, Sir Terry Pratchett sadly passed away on March 12 this year. 

Originally working as a journalist, Sir Terry published his first book, The Colour of Magic, in 1983.  

This was the first in a masterful series of science fantasy – Discworld – that carried on to 40 more books. 

By the 1990s Sir Terry was the UK’s best-selling author, with sales of over 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages. 

In 2007 he was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease. 

He became a strong campaigner in the search for a cure and better treatment methods for Alzheimer’s and donated more than $1million to the UK’s Alzheimer’s Research Trust. 

He has been honoured by more than 20 universities for his achievements and won many prizes for his work as a writer – the Carnegie Medal and the British Science Fiction Award – and as a filmmaker – Best Documentary Emmy at the International Emmy Awards, for the television program Choosing to Die, which focused on the topic of assisted suicide.  

He was an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, with a role in postgraduate education in creative writing and popular literature. 

In his tribute to Sir Terry, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the world had lost one of its most creative fantasy writers. 

“With a great deal of dedication, passion and a razor-sharp mind, Sir Terry created some of the most imaginative, witty, insightful and accessible science fiction works of the 20th and 21st centuries,” Prof Lloyd said. 

“He always maintained it was better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness and he never let adversity – his disease – get in the way of doing what he loved most.”


In the midst of Adelaide’s high season for arts, music and entertainment, the University’s March graduations hit a high note when music legend and champion of peace and global cultures, Peter Gabriel was awarded an honorary doctorate.

Co-founder of WOMAD and a man dedicated to the advancement of world music and culture, Gabriel received the award in the UK but sent a video message to graduates.

“Follow your passions, find what you love and work hard at it. May your trails blaze,” Gabriel said.

At the graduation Vice Chancellor Prof David Lloyd explored how Gabriel has made his mark in many fields – music, business and the arts, human rights, conflict resolution and peace building. 

Through his own production company Real World Records, he has continued to bring production and publishing opportunities to artists from Africa, Latin America and Central Asia. 

Gabriel’s stellar career is punctuated with ground-breaking innovations in music video production and in recording and distribution. 

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of Genesis, the group he co-founded in 1967, but continued to create chart-topping hits and win MTV and Grammy Awards in his solo music career. 

His commitment to the global community extends beyond world music. He was a co-founder of WITNESS, a human rights organisation designed to encourage and support people to use video recordings to fight for human rights and celebrate human triumphs. 

He also helped in the creation of The Elders, a network of international leaders able to offer peacemaking and negotiating strategies and wisdom wherever there are global conflicts. 


Four UniSA researchers have been made Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS), in recognition of their outstanding leadership in the science of health and medicine. 

Professors Angel Lopez and Sharad Kumar, Co-Directors of the Centre for Cancer Biology (an alliance between SA Pathology and UniSA), Professor Alex Brown, Head of the Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and Professor Michael Roberts, Research Chair: Therapeutics and Pharmaceutical Science, are inaugural Fellows of
the AAHMS.

Prof Brown’s induction into the AAHMS recognises his extensive work in Indigenous health research in rural and remote communities.

Under the leadership of Profs Lopez and Kumar, the CCB is making breakthrough discoveries in the fundamental causes of cancer, as well as leading personalised cancer treatments based on DNA genome sequencing.

Prof Roberts’ research focuses on therapeutics and pharmaceutical sciences with an emphasis on the skin and related technologies. Current studies include drug delivery, non-invasive imaging and modelling, pharmacokinetics, toxicology and critical care medicine.


A UniSA environmental law expert and a PhD student investigating the connection between running strides and sports injury will travel to the United States to further their research as part of the prestigious Fulbright scholarships program.  

UniSA PhD student Joel Fuller is using his Fulbright South Australia Postgraduate Scholarship to visit the University of Massachusetts, while UniSA Adjunct Professor Rob Fowler is travelling to George Washington University on the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Climate Change and Clean Energy.

Physiotherapist Joel will further investigate a stride assessment technique he developed as a spin-off from his PhD project on footwear and running injuries.

Adjunct Prof Fowler will spend his time at George Washington University exploring how different levels of government collaborate to manage environmental challenges from a US perspective.

iconSydney Ball art unveil

A collection of works by renowned Australian artist Sydney Ball worth more than $1 million has been unveiled at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus. The collection, which comprises more than 30 works, was gifted to the University by Ball – who is also a UniSA alumnus – in 2013. The large-scale collection is now on permanent display at the Sir Eric Neal Library. Ball both studied and lectured at the South Australian School of Art, which is now part of UniSA.


Never one to disappoint, Professor Germaine Greer livened up the autumn speakers’ calendar in Adelaide when she presented an entertaining and thought-provoking public lecture about our troubled relationship with the planet as a guest of the Hawke Research Institute. Speaking in a packed Allan Scott auditorium, Greer explored how thinking about the earth differently at every point of the ecosystem may change the way we live and survive.


With building set to commence on the University’s new Health Innovation Building on North Terrace, the University has unveiled the breadth of its new capital plan in a new publication – Enterprising Spaces. The transformative plans for UniSA’s city campuses reflect its long-term strategic goals for developing global engagement, world-leading research and producing highly skilled graduates.
To see more visit unisa.edu.au/enterprisingspaces



National Reconciliation Week was celebrated through a huge range of events held across UniSA. AIME Mentor Marlon Motlop took part in a UniSA social media campaign, remembering when he experienced reconciliation at school. “I had the opportunity to take part in traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander song and dance, and performed that to my non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends. It gave me the chance to share my background with people I was close to, as well as a lot of people I didn’t know.”


From sustainable diets and creating outdoor play spaces, to waste reduction and the financial value of our environment, the 2015 WOMADelaide Planet Talks series brought together experts from around the world to discuss the future of our planet. The series, presented by UniSA as WOMADelaide’s official education partner, included six panel sessions and three workshops, with UniSA researchers Professor Chris Daniels, Dr Paul Sutton, Dr Robert Crocker, Dr Evangeline Mantzioris and lecturer Martin Freney presenting. 


UniSA and Santos celebrated a record-breaking ride during the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under, when the locally designed and built ‘world’s longest bike’ was pedalled into the Guinness Book of World Records. The huge bike, almost 42 metres in length and weighing 2.5 tonnes, travelled 100 metres along Rundle Road continuously and unassisted, smashing the previous record of 35.79 metres set in the Netherlands. Conceived and sponsored by Santos, the bike was a class activity for UniSA’s mechanical engineering students.