Kim Rasmussen awarded the Challis Professorship

29 September 2009

Kim Rasmussen
Kim Rasmussen

At its meeting on 21st September, the Chair Appointments Committee of Senate appointed Professor Kim Rasmussen, Head of the School of Civil Engineering, as Challis Professor of Civil Engineering.

The Challis Chair of Engineering has a long history commencing with Professor Warren's appointment on 29th July 1889. The Challis Chair is appointed on the basis of seniority and distinction. Professor Rasmussen, as the longest serving professor in the School, and with an outstanding academic record, admirably fulfils these criteria.

Professor Rasmussen first came to the University as an exchange student from Denmark in 1983. He stayed to complete a PhD entitled "The Behaviour of Thin-Walled Channel Section Columns" in 1989, and was appointed a Lecturer in Civil Engineering in February 1989. He was appointed as a professor at the beginning of 2005, the same time he took up the Head of School position.

Professor Rasmussen has become pre-eminent in the field of Stainless Steel Structures, especially thinwalled. He was recently made Chairman of the Stainless Steel Cold-Formed Steel Structures Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has also received the 2006 Raymond C. Reese prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers with his former student Dr Michael Bambach, and the 2007 Moisseiff Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers for 2 papers with his former student, Dr Maura Leece.

Kim is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Constructional Steel Research, Thin- Walled Structures, the International Journal for Advanced Steel Construction, Journal of Structural Engineering of the ASCE, and Steel and Composite Structures. He is also Chairman of the Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering in the University.

As Head of School, he has overseen the appointment of 15 new and younger academic staff, and promoted high research performance in the School including the promotion of interdisciplinary teams. During his time as Head, there has been a doubling in the number of students in the School, with the consequent pressures this has placed on the management of the School. He has also overseen a return to a budget surplus from a severe deficit when he commenced.

Kim has 3 delightful children Anna, Jasper and Thomas, with his partner Sally Taylor.

About the Challis Bequest

In 1880 the late John Henry Challis, Esq., formerly of Sydney, bequeathed residuary real and personal estate to the University, "to be applied for the benefit of that Institution in such manner as the governing body thereof shall direct".

From the income of the Fund a sum of £7,500 was applied for the payment of half the cost of the erection of a new Chemical Laboratory, and a further sum of £1,900 devoted to the erection of a marble statue of Mr Challis, which has been placed in the Great Hall, opposite to that of Mr W. C. Wentworth.

The following Challis appointments were created: Eight Challis Chairs in the subjects English Literature, Philosophy, History, Law, International Law and Jurisprudence, Anatomy, Zoology and Civil Engineering, a Challis Readership in Law and eight Challis Lectureships in Law.

Taken from The University of Sydney Calendar, 1957(?), p 312.