Professor Joe Chicharo OM

Honorary Doctor of Science

Citation delivered by Professor Theo Farrell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Jose Fernando Chicharo as a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) and as an Emeritus Professor of the University on 31 October 2023.

Deputy Chancellor, I present Professor Joe Chicharo OM.

There are very few aspects of the University of Wollongong, and the higher education sector more broadly, that Joe has not enriched in his 36 years of dedicated service as a distinguished academic and leader.

Emigrating to Australia from Portugal with his family at age 13, Joe studied electrical engineering at UOW and began his career at BHP Port Kembla Steelworks.

Following his passion for the life-changing potential of education, he joined the University as a lecturer in 1985 and completed his PhD in 1990. In the ensuing years, he attracted significant competitive grants and industry research funding, published over 250 highly cited and influential papers, and was elected a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE).

In the two decades he spent teaching at UOW, Joe was also much-loved by his students whom he always encouraged to live up to their academic capabilities. Similarly, academic colleagues, Heads of School and Deans from across the University sought him out when faced with difficult challenges. He was a trusted source of inspiration and solid advice.

Throughout his career, Joe has variously served as Managing Director of the Institute for Telecommunications and IT Research, Research Director of the CRC for Smart Internet Technology, Head of the School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering, and Dean of the Faculty of Informatics. He joined the executive leadership team in 2008 as Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), subsequently serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor across the International, Global Strategy and Academic portfolios, and as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2019 until his retirement.

Among his countless achievements, Joe was instrumental in forging and enhancing UOW’s partnerships in South East Asia and the Middle East, and he expertly steered the University’s reaccreditation with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. He was a central figure in the development of many crucial strategies and initiatives, including major curriculum transformations and the integration of technological enhancements, and the establishment of a major UOW campus in Liverpool.

Joe’s impact on the wider higher education sector is similarly immense. He served as President of the Australian Council of Deans of Information and Communication Technology and on numerous industry and research boards and panels, including as a member of the Higher Education Standards Panel and Chair of the Australian Research Council’s Mathematics, Information and Communication Sciences Panel.

In 2007, he added an Order of Merit from the President of the Republic of Portugal to his many accolades. Deputy Chancellor, Professor Joe Chicharo has played a pivotal role in the University’s transformation into a global institution renowned for teaching, learning, and research excellence. His contributions have advanced communication technology and higher education globally.

It is a privilege to present Professor Joe Chicharo OM for a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, and to be admitted as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong.