Achievements and Announcements


National teaching excellence award for UniSA lecturer

2016 UniSA Teaching Awards


New Executive Director: UniSA Online

Proteomics expert announced new strand leader at FII

Media educator and innovator to lead Communications, International studies and Languages


Joint network to drive innovation in defence


National teaching excellence award for UniSA lecturer

Dr Peter Balan is pictured with David Learmonth, Deputy Secretary, Department of Education and Training at the award ceremony in Canberra.Dr Peter Balan is pictured with David Learmonth, Deputy Secretary, Department of Education and Training at the award ceremony in Canberra.

The innovative approaches of UniSA academic, Dr Peter Balan OAM, have been recognised through a national award for teaching excellence.

Dr Balan, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Management at UniSA’s Business School, took home one of 18 awards at the Australian Awards for University Teaching in Canberra in December. He received the award for excellence in the category of Law, Economics, Business and Related Studies.

The awards celebrate those who make outstanding contributions to student learning and equipping students for the future.

Dr Balan – who has an extensive industry background and teaches entrepreneurship and innovation is no stranger to accolades and received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) “for service to tertiary education and to the community of South Australia” in 2016. His work has also been highlighted with several UniSA and national awards.

Of his many innovations, Dr Balan is most proud of the Team-Based Learning approach that he implemented in 2010. He was only the second person in the world to use this teaching method in entrepreneurship education, and educators worldwide are now using elements of his approach in their own courses.

He says the recent award presentation function in Canberra gave him the valuable opportunity to meet and network with all of the 2016 award winners.

“I am already in touch with a number of these educators and we are looking at exchanging teaching innovations, as well as setting up research projects into teaching engagement and effectiveness,” Dr Balan says.

“In addition, the financial award means that I am now able to organise visits to universities in the US and in Ireland that have asked me to deliver workshops and seminars on my teaching innovations, as well as to deliver workshops and papers at national and international teaching conferences.

“This means that I am able to continue to develop contacts with academics around the world who will test my innovations in their own fields of study and teaching contexts, and give me valuable feedback for continuous improvement, as well as data for research publication.”

2016 UniSA Teaching Awards

UniSA recently announced recipients of its 2016 Teaching Awards. Congratulations to the following staff on their success.

2016 UniSA Award for Teaching Excellence

Vivien Chanana, Teaching Innovation and Quality Leader, School of Marketing

Chanana has been lecturing in marketing for over 10 years and was acknowledged for her sustained and consistent commitment to enhance the experience for first-year marketing students, including the use of innovative teaching methods that has led to building a culture of excellence within the School of Marketing. This has led to great student outcomes through fostering a team teaching approach to implement well-designed and planned learning activities, with the use of digital aids and technology. Chanana constantly improves her teaching and discipline knowledge and skills through learning from local and international peers and experts.

2016 UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Digital Learning

Environmental and Geospatial Sciences Program Team: Dr Tom Raimondo, Dr Justin Payne, Associate Professor Delene Weber, Asociate Professor David Bruce and Ms Morgan Schebella – School of Natural and Built Environments

For transforming field-based teaching of Environmental and Geospatial Science and the attainment of critical field skills through immersive digital visualisations.

Location-based mobile learning project team: Dr Sukhbir Sandhu and Mr Roger Edmonds – School of Management and Teaching Innovation Unit

For expertise in the innovative design and implementation of location-based mobile learning games leading to enhanced student engagement and learning experiences.

2016 UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

Mr Philip Beaton – School of Commerce

For the ongoing implementation of a mentor scheme providing property students with greater learning motivation through authentic learning experiences and industry linkages.

Ms Gabriella Bisetto  – School of Art, Architecture and Design

For implementing a suite of learning experiences that enables students to graduate as successful glass artists commensurate with industry skills and professional knowledge.

Associate Professor Sandra Orgeig – School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

For a sustained commitment to leading the teaching-research nexus to motivate undergraduates to understand and value the research process and inspire a passion for research.

Dr Sally Plush – School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

For outstanding innovation towards teaching the value of rote memorising as a core skill in a science program.

Dr Garth Stahl, Miss Erica Sharplin and Dr Ben Kehrwald – School of Education and Teaching Innovation Unit

For using and researching innovative approaches to develop the proficiency of pre-service teachers.

Ms Jennifer Stokes – UniSA College

For sustained commitment to engaging, student-focused enabling pedagogy, which fosters the development of independent learners prepared for undergraduate study.

Team Budgets: Dr Bruce Wedding and Dr Diana Quinn – School of Engineering and Teaching Innovation Unit

For staff and student engagement through the innovative design and dissemination of Time Budgets, a succinct visual contract for enhanced communication of teaching and learning.

TIU Research Education Team: Dr Cassandra Loeser and Professor Alistair McCulloch – Teaching Innovation Unit

For a sustained and outstanding contribution to research degree supervisor development.


New Executive Director: UniSA Online

Tom Steer has been appointed to the new role of Executive Director: UniSA Online.

Steer joins the University from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and will be familiar to many UniSA staff through his leadership on the development of the joint UniSA HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre, and the highly successful Bachelor of Information Technology (Enterprise Business Solutions) program.

His most recent role was Chief of Staff for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Australia and New Zealand and he was a member of the HPE Country Management Team.

Steer previously led Hewlett Packard’s Higher Education business and has performed key management roles on some of the company’s largest Government Accounts in both London and Canberra.

As a UniSA Alumni, in 2003 Steer was awarded the most outstanding masters student for the Master of Business Information Systems.

Provost & Chief Academic Officer Professor Allan Evans says Steer will lead the growing UniSA Online team, working to implement its ambitious plans towards a 2018 launch.

“Steer will bring a great deal of business development, technical and organisational experience to the development of our new online operation,” Prof Evans says.

Steer will commence in the role on 1st February 2017.

Proteomics expert announced new strand leader at FII

Professor Peter HoffmannA renowned expert in the large scale study of proteins (Proteomics) and tissue imaging mass spectrometry, Professor Peter Hoffmann is the new strand leader in Biomaterials Engineering and Nanomedicine at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute (FII).

With more than 90 papers published and almost $10 million raised for research, Prof Hoffmann’s area of expertise is focussed on biomarker discovery in cancer, detection of protein phosphorylation and Tissue Imaging Mass Spectrometry.

Prof Hoffmann’s research team were the first to use and publish Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS) techniques in Australia, techniques that are used to investigate protein and peptide distributions in human tissue.

More recently Prof Hoffmann formed the spin out company Onco DX to commercialise patented biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian and gastric cancer.

He joins FII from the University of Adelaide where he was Deputy Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and Director of the Adelaide Proteomics Centre. Prof Hoffmann is also Director of the National NCRIS facility for Tissue Imaging Mass Spectrometry.

The new role appears to be a perfect fit for Prof Hoffmann.

“As an Institute with a strong reputation for innovative and collaborative research and for fostering industry partnerships, the FII is the ideal place to help translate my research into outcomes that can benefit wider society,” he says.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says Prof Hoffmann’s appointment will help to address one of the key health challenges of our times.

“Creating new knowledge that better identifies and builds understanding around conditions such as cancer requires dedication and research skills of an exceptionally high calibre, of the sort that Prof Hoffmann has demonstrated throughout his career,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We are delighted to now welcome Peter to the FII where that knowledge can be expanded further and applied in practical ways to have potentially society-wide benefits.”

Media educator and innovator to lead Communications, International studies and Languages

Professor Jason BainbridgeProfessor Jason Bainbridge has been appointed to head up UniSA’s School of Communication, International Studies and Languages.

Prof Bainbridge has been a key player at Swinburne University in Melbourne helping to transform and energise media and arts education – where he has been Chair of Media and Communication, and Acting Dean of the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

He has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queensland University where he also completed his Bachelor of Arts Honours and his Bachelor of Laws.

Pro Vice Chancellor of UniSA’s Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences Professor Denise Meredyth says she is delighted to welcome Prof Bainbridge to the leadership position.

“More than ever, arts and social sciences have to keep pace with rapid social and cultural change,” Prof Meredyth says.

“Prof Bainbridge has a strong commitment to leadership both across teaching and research and has shown a career concern for developing multidisciplinary approaches that ensure flexibility in how we respond to change.

“He is an accomplished scholar, a regular commentator in the media in areas of his expertise – the convergence of law and popular culture and media – and a natural mentor for post graduate researchers and academic staff.

“He has published widely on strategic communications, the media and journalism, popular culture and the law across multiple books, book chapters and over 30 refereed journal articles.”

Prof Bainbridge, who takes up the role on 18 April 2017, says he is excited to be joining UniSA and by the new challenges and opportunities the role will offer.

“Our greatest challenge as educators is to equip students with the skills to remain agile and mobile in their careers, whether that is in traditional communications and arts roles, or in building their own start-ups – and this School is uniquely positioned to provide students with these skill-sets, through the diversity of its programs and the options for combination with other areas of the university,” he says.

“I look forward to leading the School in developing impact-oriented, socially-engaged and highly visible projects that make the most of the topography of the Magill and city campuses, retaining a focus on local South Australian issues while maintaining a global outlook.”


Joint network to drive innovation in defence

UniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell with BAE Systems Australia Director for Strategy & Business Development Fran Murphy, and University of Adelaide Chancellor Rear Admiral the Hon Kevin Scarce. AC CSC RAN-RtdUniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell with BAE Systems Australia Director for Strategy & Business Development Fran Murphy, and University of Adelaide Chancellor Rear Admiral the Hon Kevin Scarce. AC CSC RAN-Rtd

UniSA has been selected as a foundation partner by BAE Systems Australia, alongside the University of Adelaide, for a nation-wide initiative to drive research, development and innovation of technologies that are critical to supporting the Australian Defence Force to maintain a superior capability.

The Joint Open Innovation Network (JOIN) is an open collaboration between industry and academia that aligns research and industry solutions to the strategic needs of Australia’s defence sector, and facilitates career pathways into the defence industry.

JOIN aims to grow Australian industry capability through technology development and nurturing the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators.

UniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell says the renewed investment in defence technologies, education and industries will support some of our leading researchers to develop their knowledge and discoveries and see them applied in areas that are crucial for innovation.

“This partnership ensures South Australia will be bringing its ‘best game’ to defence industry innovation and that means more local skills development and ultimately more local jobs and industry growth,” McDowell says.