Go back

Wellings hails ‘world-class’ Wollongong facilities

Paul Wellings, the incoming Wollongong vice-chancellor, says he plans to identify and exploit the university’s research assets.

Wellings, an entomologist who has worked at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and for the Australian government as head of the former science and innovation division of the department of industry, is leaving the University of Lancaster in the UK to join Wollongong.

“We’ll be looking at what the major research assets are. Some of the research infrastructure is very very good: [plans for] the health and medical precinct, innovation campus and the SMART facility are all new major investments that need to be fully exploited. Some, such as the SMART facility, are world class,” said Wellings in a 5 January statement.

The SMART facility can accommodate large-scale research teams, including 200 higher degree research students, and includes 30 specialist research and education laboratories.

“Then we need to ask what transformative projects we should be investing in,” said Wellings, who listed health, biomaterials and engineering in the broader sense as priorities.

Wellings supports government plans to promote regional higher education up-take in Australia.

“How do we make sure citizens in regional cities like Newcastle and Wollongong have the same skill sets as places like Sydney, to allow them to compete for the jobs of the future economy?” he asks.