Professor Archie Johnston
Dean, Engineering and Information Technologies
J12 - The School of Information Technologies
The University of Sydney
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Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies
As Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, Professor Archie Johnston's career has followed a natural progression from active researcher to academic leader, setting the agenda for engineering and technical education and policy at Australia's leading engineering faculty.
From 2004 to 2009 Professor Johnston was cited as one of Australia's 100 most influential engineers and in 2007, was honoured as the Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year and Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year of the Business and Higher Education Roundtable.
He is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Engineers Australia, the Institution of Civil Engineers (London) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As well as being Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, Archie is also Chair of Health Sciences Divisional Board at the University of Sydney.
In addition to being Chair of the Education Forum of ATSE, he is an Advisor to the Reliance Group of India, Advisory Professor to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Advisor to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, and, is past National Chair of the Centre for Leadership and Management (Engineers Australia).
Currently a director of the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, Smart Services CRC and CRC for Advanced Composite Structures, Archie is also an independent expert for the Cooperative Research Centres Selection Round (2011).
A former President of the Australian Council of Engineering, Archie has been Dean of Engineering at the University of Technology, Sydney and is an Emeritus Professor at that institution.
He has been Peer Reviewer for the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia, a member of the Judging Panel of 2010, 2011 and 2012 Prime Minister's Science Prizes and Chair of the Judging Panel for the 2009 Australian Construction Achievement Awards.
Building on a distinguished career as a civil engineer specialising in environmental fluid mechanics and water quality, Professor Johnston now guides the educational development of world-class graduates with both technical and interpersonal skills that are required by industry and prepares them for national and global leadership roles.
"My aim is to provide graduates of the University of Sydney with a globally competitive edge in innovation, research and leadership. This involves identifying and addressing the major issues facing contemporary engineering and technical education - particularly with respect to industry needs - and modifying our programs accordingly to develop the appropriate interpersonal and emotional intelligence characteristics of our graduate engineers and technologists. Through such research we believe we are now better preparing graduates for the local, national and global engineering and IT marketplaces.
"I've been an active researcher throughout my professional life, so it has well suited my career path to move from design applications within industry to addressing issues in a broader social, political and environmental context. My university-based research essentially still addresses a wide range of industry-related problems and their solutions.
"Being Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney has given me the opportunity to guide the development of world-class education and research programs with a unique group of talented staff and students. It has also allowed me to clearly communicate to the broader community both the benefits of a strong academic engineering profession and the value to Australia of having a premier world-leading engineering faculty."
Recent key achievements
Educational and research alliances for 2014 include:
- a $2M biomedical engineering alliance between the University of Sydney and Shanghai Jiao Tong University involving joint research, information exchange and academic mobility across engineering, IT and medicine.
- a $2M agreement with Tsinghua University to collaborate on transformation research and development of energy network projects involving energy service providers and resource companies in both Australia and China.
- joint collaboration with Texas A&M that includes the appointment of a former NASA astronaut to School of Aeronautical Engineering
- strategic partnership with Northrup Grumman which includes research projects and scholarships
- Appointed as Senior Evaluator and Board Member of 'Chilean New Engineering for 2030', an initiative of the Ministry of Economy of the Chilean Government, to review the strategic plans of their leading university engineering schools.
- A multi-million dollar relationship with British-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto, renewed in November 2014 for a further five years, aimed at increasing mining automation.
- A multi-million dollar chemical engineering project, expected to expand further into the areas of clean energy, smart (electrical power) grids, cyber security associated with infrastructure, and desalination plant related research.
- A research collaboration in combustion supported by the Qatar Foundation.
- Several research collaborations with Masda Research Centre in UAE.
- PhD Scholarships in both Jordan and Lebanon.
- Exchange staff and student collaboration with King Saud University.
Recent keynotes, invited talks and presentations
- Sustaining a Strong Curriculum Foundation in Engineering Faculties, Building a World Class Engineering Faculty Forum 2014, Kuala Lumpur, November 2014.
- Strengthening the University - Industry Partnership: An Indo-Australian Perspective, Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce, Chennai, November 2014.
- Engineering better health outcomes, The University of Sydney and Shanghai Jiao Tong University Research Biomedical Engineering Research Alliance, Shanghai, October, 2014.
- Collaborating to enable Innovative and Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Unlocking Resources for Regional Development, World Economic Forum, Istanbul, September, 2014.
- Energy, Water & Food Nexus, Policy Forum, Austrade, Commonwealth Government of Australia & Council of Australian Arab Relations, Riyadh, May 2014.