Gig Guide: UTS spaceman made fulltime Vice-Chancellor

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The University of Technology Sydney has ended its global search for a new vice-chancellor by sticking with acting leader Professor Andrew Parfitt.

An Australian space industry veteran, Professor Parfitt had been acting vice-chancellor since the departure of Attila Brungs earlier this year.

Professor Parfitt has served UTS as Provost and Senior Vice-President for almost half a decade, following senior roles at University of Newcastle, University of South Australia, being CSIRO’s space programs manager, and leading the Satellite Systems CRC.

New UTS vice chancellor and president Professor Andrew Parfitt is an Australian space industry pioneer. Image UTS

“He has an international reputation as a specialist in antenna and radio systems, with a focus on space science and technology, and more than 100 published papers in refereed conferences and journals,” said UTS chancellor Catherine Livingstone, who led a global search for a new vice chancellor.

“He has made significant contributions to major space and astronomy projects, including early work on technologies for Australia’s participation in the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

Professor Parfitt will commence as UTS’ fifth Vice-Chancellor and president on Monday.

Dr Kerry Schott has stood down from the Energy Security Board after four years. She had been part of the Board which was established in 2017 to reform national electricity market.

Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor will not replace Dr Schott or the outgoing deputy chair David Swift, reducing Board membership from five to three.

Anna Collyer, who is also Chair of the Australian Energy Market Commission, will become the new chair of the Energy Security Board.

Dr Jane Fitzpatrick has been appointed as the new CEO of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, and will oversee direction and oversight to the research infrastructure provider’s national network of 21 sites and 130 staff.

Former health department secretary Glenys Beauchamp will be the next chair of Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Ms Beauchamp has been acting in the role since September.

Leading Australian scholar and jurist Professor Hilary Charlesworth has been elected the International Court of Justice. Professor Charlesworth was elected earlier this month to fill the vacancy resulting from the passing of Australian Judge James Crawford.

Universities Australia has called in the cavalry at a crucial time for the strained sector, appointing of Jenny Clark as the peak body’s new executive director, strategic communications.

Ms Clark has led communications and government relations at the Business Council of Australia for the last four years and was a media advisor to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and press secretary to Treasurer Joe Hockey.

“Her extensive communications and advocacy experience will turbo charge our work to ensure the sector’s voice has maximum impact in the right places,” said Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson.

Australian buy now pay later company Zip has appointed of Ahu Chhapgar as its new global chief technology officer.

Software firm Freshworks has added former SAP executive Ben Pluznyk as its new ANZ director and country manager.

Fujitsu has made Branko Panich its executive general manager of consulting, Australia and New Zealand.

Simon Eid has left analytics company Splunk to join MongoDB in a newly created role of senior vice president of APAC. He will be based out of Melbourne.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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