Chancellor, I present Brendon Parker.
Brendon Parker’s vision and passion helped to build this University’s reputation as a leading centre for engineering research and education. As Dean of Engineering, his strategic insight and strength of conviction reshaped the Faculty and enriched its students and staff. His approach anticipated today’s educational and government thinking, both here and overseas.
Brendon Parker introduced a common teaching program for the first two years of the undergraduate program and established the Masters of Engineering Management which has had outstanding success in attracting domestic and international students alike. He transformed the Faculty’s research culture, overcoming resistance to change. In a quiet but elegant way, he forged alliances between researchers from different disciplines and expanded industry collaboration beyond the traditional linkages. He strongly supported the University’s drive towards excellence in research, through the formation of key research strengths.
In recognition of its quality, the University’s Faculty of Engineering was invited in 2001 to join the Dean’s meetings for the Schools of Engineering in Australia’s Group of Eight Research Universities. Brendon Parker himself was acknowledged by his peers in his election as President of the Australian Council of Engineering Deans for a two year term.
Throughout these challenges and achievements, Brendon led by example as an educator and researcher. He continued to carry out his own research into the processing of steel and to supervise PhD students. His foresight also ensured that the Faculty had the scientific equipment and engineering plant infrastructure for research and development activities of both national and international significance.
Brendon left Wollongong in early 2002 to become the Dean of Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He retired officially in 2007 but has since held a number of positions, including that of Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore.
Chancellor, today we honour an exceptional academic leader and researcher whose influence on this University and its Faculty of Engineering was transformative and lasting. It is my privilege and pleasure to present Brendon Parker for admission as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong.