Arts, Business, Law and Education

The Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education (FABLE) was created on 1 January 2017 through a merger of five faculties – Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts (ALVA), the Faculty of Arts, the UWA Business School, the Graduate School of Education and the Law School. I am pleased to say that 2017 saw FABLE make excellent progress in all areas.

Throughout the year, the Faculty performed exceptionally well in the area of student experience. Seventy units were offered through our refreshed 2017/2018 UWA Summer School program that gave students the opportunity to complete units outside traditional teaching periods, giving them greater flexibility in when and how they study. A number of the overseas study programs offered in 2017 will be supported by successful bids for New Colombo Plan grants from the Federal Government. The UWA Business School's full-time MBA was ranked in the top five in Australia and in the top 20 in Asia.

Professor Matthew Tonts

Professor Matthew Tonts

Our students' interest in Work Integrated Learning (integrating theory taught with its practical application) is on the rise, as is the number of industry partnerships and placements we have available. More than 200 undergraduate and postgraduate students completed Work Integrated Learning units during 2017.

There have also been major improvements in infrastructure, with the Faculty's first one-button recording studio launched with great success, giving students access to cutting-edge technology that helps them produce creative videos to support their study and learning. In September the UWA Business School opened the Rosemarie Nathanson Financial Markets Trading Room, which provides a state-of-the-art facility for business education.

Our staff excelled during 2017. More than 750 nominations were received for Teaching and Service Awards from students who nominated academic and professional staff across every school. Two staff members were recognised through national awards for university teaching – Dr Bonnie Thomas (Humanities) and Associate Professor Natalie Skead (Law).

On the research front, our staff and students were part of an amazing array of projects and discoveries. UWA, along with an international team of archaeologists, found evidence from a remote cave in Australia's North West that pushes back known human occupation of Australia to around 50,000 years ago. The discovery is of international significance, providing one of the earliest age brackets for the settlement of Australia. Another highlight was our new project researching the wellbeing and mental health impact of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) arrangements on workers to better support the needs of the FIFO workforce. The Faculty also had a high rate of success in attracting Australian Research Council funding, for projects across a broad range of discipline areas.

Our Faculty was created in 2017 through a merger of five faculties – Architecture, Landscape and Visual Art s (ALVA), the Faculty of Arts, the UWA Business School, the Graduate School of Education and the Law School.
Professor Matthew Tonts Executive Dean Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education

To support research, the Faculty established the prestigious Dean's Excellence in FABLE PhD Scholarships valued at $33,000. These scholarships are awarded to PhD applicants with exceptional potential. In addition, we received more than 80 scholarships for domestic and international applicants.

A significant achievement of the Faculty was the establishment of a new dedicated community and engagement portfolio to increase engagement with future students, industry and the community. Broader community engagement included numerous scholarship and prize events, as well as public and industry lectures, exhibitions and performances. The Law School celebrated its 90th anniversary with an engagement initiative seeking input from graduates and industry. The School of Music (recently renamed the UWA Conservatorium of Music) engaged in an extensive program of concerts, outreach to schools and its enormously popular Junior Music School on Saturday mornings.

As we move towards a new year, I am confident the Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education will continue to play a pivotal role in student teaching and education, research and community engagement.

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Professor Matthew Tonts
Executive Dean
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education

Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

The Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences enjoyed a very successful year in 2017, with staff and students continuing to excel and have global impact in research and education.

Our students participated in international competitions, demonstrating skills and experience gained from their UWA studies. A theme of 2017 was recognition for innovation, with a team winning the Young Innovator Award at a mining hackathon, and student Nikhilesh Bappoo winning the Mimics Innovation Award at the International Society of Biomechanics conference.

Professor John Dell

Professor John Dell

Staff innovation was also recognised. Professor Yuxia Hu won the 2017 Start Something @ Woodside Oceanworks Entrepreneurship Prize, and UWA Senior Research Fellow Dr Brendan Kennedy and his team secured up to $6 million to commercialise a surgical tool that will assist surgeons who treat breast cancer.

Industry bodies continue to recognise our students, with Engineers Australia's Young Environmental Engineer of the Year awarded to Rebecca Dracup and the Australian Computer Society's prestigious 1962 Prize awarded to Mark Shelton. David Gozzard, a PhD candidate in the School of Physics and Astrophysics, was named ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year at the 2017 Premier's Science Awards.

The Faculty's continued strong industry links resulted in global technology company Siemens providing a $447 million software investment that will give UWA students and academics access to cutting-edge technology.

Associate Professor Cosimo Faiello was recognised in the Federal Government's 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching for influencing, motivating and inspiring postgraduate engineering students. A team led by Associate Professor Sally Male which included Professor Caroline Baillie, Dr Jeremy Leggoe and Associate Professor Cara MacNish from the Faculty and others from UWA, the University of Tasmania and RMIT, won the Australasian Association for Engineering Education Award for Engineering Education Research Design for an investigation of intensive mode teaching in engineering. Associate Professor Male also won the Engineers Australia Medal for 2017.

In the Faculty's annual 2017 Teaching and Learning Awards, Professor Tyrone Fernando won the Award for Teaching Excellence, while Professors Anas Ghadouani, Adam Wittek and Dr Chris McDonald received Commendations for Teaching Excellence. Associate Professor Adrian Keating received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

The Faculty was very successful in Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage Awards for 2018, attracting grants worth more than $5 million and receiving a $3.75 million State Government grant to establish a new Wave Energy Research Centre in Albany. Research in alternative sources of energy was recognised internationally. The UWA Centre for Energy, led by Professor Dongke Zhang, signed a collaborative research agreement with China's National Institute of Clean and Low Carbon Energy to research ammonia as a clean transport fuel.

The Faculty did well in several international subject rankings, including Mineral and Mining Engineering and Civil and Structural Engineering, which are in the top 50 subjects in the QS World University Rankings. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) subject rankings, we are ranked seventh in the world for Mining and Minerals Engineering, ninth for Ocean Engineering and 16th for Environmental Science and Engineering.

There were many research successes in 2017. In February, UWA's Zadko Telescope captured the explosive birth of a black hole 12 billion light years away. Later in the year it was announced that Professor David Blair and colleagues from UWA had contributed significantly to one of the most significant scientific discoveries of this century, the detection of gravitational waves.

The Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences enjoyed a very successful year, with staff and students continuing to excel and have global impact in research and education.
Professor John Dell Executive Dean Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Throughout 2017, community engagement remained a priority. Twelve student ambassadors travelled to the Kimberley, promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics to high school students. The Girls in Engineering program, a partnership with Rio Tinto, has continued to promote STEM subjects, engaging nearly 900 young women.

Construction of the first phase of EZONE UWA, a large student engineering hub that will become an exciting addition to our Perth campus, will begin in 2018 with completion expected in early 2020. The Faculty continues to receive generous philanthropic support for the project and I thank the individuals and companies investing in innovation and education for the future.

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Professor John Dell
Executive Dean
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Health and Medical Sciences

2017 was a significant year for the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, with the creation of our new identity and the reshaping of our structure from nine schools to five. Although our people and teaching programs remain the same, each school is now focused on a major area of teaching in line with the University's vision of enhancing the student experience.

Throughout the year we celebrated 60 years of the UWA Medical School. The milestone allowed us to highlight the extraordinary generosity of the people of Western Australia, who played such an important role in helping us create the State's first medical school. It also gave us the opportunity to share the broad impact of our achievements on health outcomes in Western Australia and globally.

Professor Wendy Erber

Professor Wendy Erber

In November, the UWA Medical and Dental Library was officially reopened and renamed the J. Robin Warren Library by WA Health Minister Roger Cook. The library is named in honour of Emeritus Professor J. Robin Warren AC, who in 2005, along with Professor Barry Marshall, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The Library, located on the UWA Health Campus, underwent a $7 million refurbishment which has transformed the traditional library into an innovative state-of-the-art, technology-rich space to enhance the student experience.

The first cohorts of our new postgraduate dental and medical professional degrees graduated in 2017 in the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) Doctor of Medicine (MD) programs. Teaching of the new Medical Sciences major commenced, with strong interest from aspiring dental, allied health and medical students. We also welcomed our largest intake ever of students from rural Western Australia into our medical program, and farewelled Medical School graduates Dr Malindi Haggett and Dr Richard O'Halloran to Oxford as 2017 Rhodes Scholars.

Our Faculty continues to deliver on its mission of advancing health through education and innovation to improve patient care and the wellbeing of people in the community. We had successes in research even in a tough funding environment. UWA was awarded the largest amount of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) research project grant funding and we improved our position in all four international ranking schemes.

The Western Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN), which brings together Western Australia's major hospitals, medical research institutes and five universities including UWA, was accredited as an NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre. The accreditation will deliver significant benefits, including improved access to national funding and networks. Its creation is testament to the strong collaboration between all partners.

Throughout the year we celebrated 60 years of the UWA Medical School. It gave us the opportunity to share the broad impact of our achievements on health outcomes in Western Australia and globally.
Professor Wendy Erber Executive Dean Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Our staff achieved many successes in 2017. In particular I congratulate Professor Peter Klinken AC, who was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2017 Queen's Birthday honours. Professor Carol Bower, Professor Karen Simmer and Professor Stephen Zubrick were recognised for their outstanding research contributions by being inducted as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Professor Andrew Whitehouse was awarded the 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science for 2017. This is the most prestigious award in the country for young researchers, and was awarded in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the area of autism.

Professor Graeme Hankey was included on the 2017 Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers list. Ranking in the top one per cent by citations for field and publication year in Web of Science, inclusion on this list represents the highest quality of researchers whose work is making a positive impact. Professor Christobel Saunders was named WA Scientist of the Year.

Looking into 2018, we aim to bring the highest calibre students to UWA, the brightest researchers and best teachers we can. We will continue to offer our students a high-quality education and student experience.

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Professor Wendy Erber
Executive Dean
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Science

Following the wider University renewal process, 2017 has been a time of significant change for the Faculty of Science as we have worked to establish new school and governance structures.

A reduction in the number of schools from 10 to six has meant that many staff members have moved into new school groupings with new support structures and new heads of school; some have even relocated. All of this has been a significant cultural challenge for staff, yet the Faculty continued to deliver on its commitment to change lives for the better through the power of science.

Professor Tony O'Donnell

Professor Tony O'Donnell

The Faculty continues to demonstrate its research strength across several disciplines and we are ranked among the world's top institutions in the higher education sector. Building upon our reputation for research that has a global impact, the 2017 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings rated the University's science research as either 'well above world standard' or 'above world standard'. In disciplinespecific world rankings, UWA ranks first in Australia in agriculture, biological sciences, environmental science and engineering, and third in ecology (Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017). The University also holds top 100 positions in a number of other subjects, including geography, anatomy and physiology, and earth and marine science. These results are a testament to the diversity and quality of our research output and to the esteem in which we are held by our colleagues nationally and internationally.

Importantly, while there have been many new research initiatives this year, they have been spread across the Faculty's newly formed schools. Some notable research achievements for members of the Faculty include:

  • Professor Harvey Millar winning the WA Premier's Science Award for Scientist of the Year
  • Professor Stephen Powles receiving the 2017 American Chemical Society International Award for Research in Agrochemicals
  • Professor Kadambot Siddique winning the 2017 Global Research Leadership in Agriculture Award from the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture
  • Associate Professor Amir Karton receiving the Le Fèvre Medal from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Professor Swaminathan Iyer receiving the Jacques Miller Medal from the Australian Academy of Science
  • Dr Josh Mylne securing a Fulbright Professional Scholarship and Hannah Etchells and Jessica Kretzmann being awarded Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarships.

Evidently, it has been an outstanding year for our new School of Molecular Sciences.

2017 has been a time of significant change for the Faculty of Science following the wider University renewal process as we have worked to establish new school and governance structures.
Professor Tony O’Donnell Executive Dean Faculty of Science

We continued to enjoy success with national funding rounds in 2017. Professor Peter Eastwood from the Centre for Sleep Science was successful in renewing his National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship. A new ARC Laureate Fellowship was awarded to Professor Colin MacLeod, and we secured a Cooperative Research Centre for the Developing Northern Australia project. We also launched the new Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products with a value to UWA of $5.2 million. The Faculty continues to be attractive to the resources industry with $3.6 million awarded by Rio Tinto to Professor EJ Holden for her work on data fusion.

As part of our ongoing internationalisation strategy, we continue to develop partnerships and collaborations to facilitate staff and student exchanges. Recently, we welcomed a cohort of 10 Argentinian students into Master of Science degrees in semester two. They joined a record number of students commencing postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Science. We have also made significant progress with research collaborations worldwide, including with the universities of Nagoya, Colorado State, Naresuan in Thailand, UBA in Argentina and ESALQ in Brazil.

The Faculty continued its investment in its Work Integrated Learning program in response to industry demand for work-ready graduates. WIL engages with industry, government and schools to help bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing opportunities for students to gain hands-on, practical experience and for employers to help shape the graduates of tomorrow.

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Professor Tony O'Donnell
Executive Dean
Faculty of Science