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Southern Cross University appoints new head of research


Brigid Veale
10 September 2007
Innovative research that is relevant to industry nationally and internationally is the focus of Southern Cross University’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Neal Ryan.

Professor Ryan, formerly the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, has been appointed following the retirement of Professor Peter Baverstock, who has steered the growth of research at Southern Cross University since 1988.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark welcomed the appointment of Professor Ryan, who took up the position this week.

“Professor Ryan is an active researcher and brings great strengths to the
role, as a program director in the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Rail, holder of several Australian Research Council linkage grants, and a former program director of the Construction Innovation CRC,” Professor Clark said.

“He is extremely enthusiastic about the role, and we are very fortunate to have a researcher of his calibre to lead the great work of the Graduate Research College.”

Professor Ryan said he was extremely pleased to be taking on the research role.

“Southern Cross University is already very strong in its scientific research, particularly in areas such as plant genetics,” Professor Ryan said.

“My vision for the future is to continue to grow our presence in national Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). We will continue to focus our attention on applied research that is relevant to industry both within our region and across Australia.

“While science-based research needs to be the major focus, I’m particularly interested and excited by the opportunities for cross-disciplinary research involving business, social sciences and the humanities.

“I’m also looking to find new ways of engaging with off-shore partners in research collaboration.”

Professor Ryan said the continued growth of research at Southern Cross University had important implications for the economic growth of the region.

“The University plays an important role in contributing to the economic development of northern NSW and, in the areas in which we have specialist knowledge, to the economic development in Australia,” he said.

Professor Ryan has worked in the university sector for 18 years in four different institutions and has been the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law with Southern Cross University since January this year.

Professor Ryan has a PhD (Public Policy), Master of Philosophy (Science and Technology Policy), Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Physical Mathematics, all from Griffith University.

He has published two books and over 70 refereed book chapters and journal articles and has been a chief investigator on successful national competitive grants worth over $8.5 million in the past 10 years, including being chief investigator in a national centre of excellence in creative industries.

Apart from his special interest in public policy, Professor Ryan has considerable experience in the area of business strategy, technology transfer, innovation and infrastructure policy as a result of his leadership positions in CRCs closely linked to national infrastructure.

Photo: Professor Neal Ryan is Southern Cross University’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research).