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Media Release

November 9 2011

Internationally respected surface chemist to take the reins at UniSA’s Ian Wark Research Institute

Professor Magnus Nyden appointed to lead the Ian Wark Research InstituteSwedish research leader Professor Magnus Nydén has just been appointed as the new Director of the University of South Australia’s Ian Wark Research Institute, replacing Laureate Professor John Ralston AO, who will retire in 2012.

Currently Professor in Surface Chemistry in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Prof Nydén was appointed from a very strong international field.

Prof Nydén holds a joint Master of Science from Umeå and Lund Universities and a PhD in physical chemistry from Lund University. He has published extensively in top-ranked international journals and has also written about science for the general public. 

In the past five years he has secured €12 million in public and private research funding.  In 1999 he was awarded the Akzo Nobel Award for the best young scientist in Scandinavia in the field of colloid and surface chemistry. He has an outstanding reputation for working with industry and has founded his own company, Capeco AB.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj says he is delighted to announce this significant appointment.

 “In Professor Nydén we have an energetic research leader with great drive and talent to fill this vital position at one of UniSA’s most consistently successful, world-class research institutions,” Prof Høj says.

“Prof Nydén will follow an outstanding Director at the Wark.  Laureate Professor John Ralston AO started what became the Wark at a relatively young age, growing the Institute with energy, drive, vision and daring, underpinned by enormous an intellectual depth.

“I am confident that Prof Nydén will bring the same qualities to the position and will be able to lead the Wark into the next phase of growth, consolidating its position as one of the premier international research concentrations in its field.”

The Ian Wark Research Institute has an international reputation and made a primary contribution to the university rating 5 (well above world standard) in the chemical sciences in the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia exercise – making UniSA as one of only two universities in Australia to be awarded a  5 in this field.

Independent auditors recently calculated The Wark’s contribution through research and innovation to minerals and minerals processing alone, to be more than $430 million in the past 10 years and the Institute continues to provide vital innovation support to the mining and minerals industry and to grow its capacity in nanotechnology and its applications across a range of industries.

Professor Høj said that with the appointment of Prof Nydén, other recent appointments at the Wark and the Mawson Institute and the announcement of an SA Government-funded Research Fellowship in minerals processing science, the University would launch and occupy its new $50 million Materials and Minerals Research facility (the M2 Building), at Mawson Lakes in a position of great strength.

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