From the Chancellery
Professor Peter Lee
Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Academic
It really is an honour to have joined the UniSA Management team. I have managed to displace Caroline McMillen as the new chum and like her before me, have enjoyed the warmth of the welcome, if not the weather, over the past two weeks.
I am already impressed by the sense of vibrancy and purpose at UniSA. The PVC Academic has a wide portfolio but essentially exists to enhance the learning experience of our students. This is clearly one of the core functions of any University. "Student-centred" is at the very heart of the UniSA experience – from classroom, to library, to "back-office" functions.
I came to UniSA via Curtin University of Technology, our ATN partner in the west where I was the Executive Dean for Engineering, Science and Computing. One of the fun parts of that position was patenting and spinning out a company to exploit some technology that I developed with a colleague.
Before Curtin, I was Principal of the Rockingham Campus of Murdoch University in what was a very low socio-economic area with low levels of participation in education and tertiary education in particular. I want to use that experience to contribute to UniSA’s social action in the northern suburbs.
Brisbane came before Perth, where I worked at the University of Queensland as head of the chemical engineering department. While we had a small undergraduate program at that time, we did have 120 PhD students which made for a very lively academic environment. My discipline background in chemical engineering was gained through studies at RMIT and Monash Universities, and a period working in industry. I still have two PhD students working with me in various aspects of process control.
The past month has seen my wife Janet and I uproot from Perth where we have lived for the past 10 years or more. It has been a whirl of packing, selling our house, farewells, and now trying to establish ourselves in Adelaide.
Having bought a house gives some direction to our personal lives and we have begun to explore Adelaide for all those elements that make up life – shops, doctors, dentists, vets, and soon a golf club. We are looking forward to moving into our new house and unpacking our goods and chattels and making "home" again.
At the same time I am very much looking forward to meeting more of the UniSA family in the coming months and becoming more and more a part of the UniSA community.