Professor Mark Hoffman, UNSW Dean of Engineering
As Dean of UNSW Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering, I would like to extend to you a warm welcome to Australia’s leading education institution in engineering.
More than ever, people choose engineering because they want to make the world a better place. It is our job at UNSW to ensure our young engineers are equipped with the best education, the best skills, the best experience and the best critical thinking abilities that will see them create solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges to build this better world.
To achieve this, I am leading a strategy focused on excellence in research and education for the purpose of creating social and economic impact at a global level, supported by a high-quality leadership team that is consistent with the UNSW 2025 Strategy.
Our research leads the world in renewable energy, water resources and infrastructure, with considerable strengths in biomedical engineering, data science and artificial intelligence, manufacturing and nature resource.
With more than 16,000 students enrolled and a further 800 staff, the Faculty is easily the largest in UNSW, not to mention the largest of its kind in Australia. The Faculty brings in an annual revenue of more than A$400m, and the 2018 Shanghai Rankings placed 14 engineering subjects from UNSW in the top 50 internationally, and three in the top 10 – a formidable result.
As Dean, I draw upon my own academic and professional experience in engineering and science to put together world leading teams of researchers who provide the highest teaching and learning standards to our local and international students. Prior to becoming Dean of Engineering in 2015, I was the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) and also held positions of Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science and Head of its School for Materials Science and Engineering for six years.
Throughout my career, I have maintained a high level of research productivity. I am recognised internationally as a leader in the field of structural integrity of materials, with a particular focus on cyclic fatigue. Over the past eight years I have focused on piezoelectric ceramics, and was recently awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to investigate lead-free alternatives.
I feel very privileged that my research and academic career has taken me around the globe to some of the world’s leading teaching institutions, including two years as a visiting scientist in the USA and Tokyo, time as a researcher in India and two stints in Germany as a Research Associate, and then Humboldt Fellow. My international experience led me to being appointed Director to the Board of the International Congress on Fracture, a premier international body for scientists and engineers involved with the mechanics and mechanisms of fracture, fatigue and strength of materials.
In 2014, I was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering after becoming a Fellow of the Institute Engineers Australia in 2011. Some of the awards that I was fortunate enough to win in my undergraduate days were while I was a mechanical engineering student at The University of Sydney. There I won the Phil Jones “all-round achievement” award and a Blue in Rowing. Since then I have received two UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Awards as well as an Australian Carrick Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning.
I hope what becomes clear from my academic history is my passion for top-quality teaching and learning in a partnership with the world’s best researchers and innovators. In fact, I am a firm believer that learning should be a lifelong process.
Speeches by Professor Mark Hoffman