Engineering professors to help tackle global challenges

The presidents of UNSW, King’s College London and Arizona State University launch the PLuS Alliance.

PLuS Alliance launch at Bush House in London

Three Faculty of Engineering professors have been named among the 20 UNSW Fellows of the new PLuS Alliance — a partnership that brings together UNSW, King’s College London and Arizona State University to address global challenges from health to sustainability and technology and innovation. 

The new alliance was announced by the presidents of the universities in London this week.

Welcoming guests to the event at Bush House in London, President and Principal of King’s, Professor Ed Byrne AC said: “King’s is committed to working with UNSW and ASU, to align our cultures and ambitions to make an impact on challenges the world faces today. We want to look at the big questions, understand what can be achieved and focus our attention on working collaboratively to make a difference."

Combining the cutting-edge research capabilities and innovative education approach of three universities in different parts of the world, the PLuS Alliance will undertake cross-border research collaborations to address significant issues related to health, social justice, sustainability and innovation. 

More than 60 inaugural PLuS Alliance Fellows from across the three universities were announced at the launch. UNSW Engineering PLuS Alliance Fellows are Professor Greg Leslie from Chemical Engineering, Scientia Professor Nigel Lovell from the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and Professor Darren Bagnall from Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

“Working in partnership, we have a combined body of over 15,000 staff, 150,000 students and over $1 billion research spends. With scale and expertise we are determined to bring about change,” said UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs. 

Dr Michael Crow, President of ASU, said universities need to think differently if they are to truly understand the needs of a world that will go from seven to 10 billion people in the next few decades. “The PLuS Alliance will deliver an exceptional international learning experience that creates impactful solutions for a sustainable future.”

The high-profile event saw former BBC World Affairs Correspondent Emily Buchanan chair discussions from a number of newly appointed PLuS Alliance Fellows, who announced plans for the first joint research initiatives, which will have four main areas of focus: Environmental sustainability; informed urbanisation; social and distributed justice; and global health and well-being.

One of UNSW’s PLuS Alliance Fellows, Professor Bill Randolph, Director of the City Futures Research Centre, said: “We will be drawing on expertise to address issues in a multi-disciplinary approach.”

Twenty programs will be available from September 2016 and degrees to be offered through PLuS Alliance universities will initially include:

• BA/BS in: Sustainability, Global health, Community Health, Whole Person Care, Business & Global Logistics Management 

• Masters in: Science of Healthcare Delivery, Infectious Diseases Intelligence & Sustainability Leadership

Visit PLuS Alliance for more information.
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