Dr Dilan Thampapillai appointed as Dean of Law at UOW

Dr Dilan Thampapillai appointed as Dean of Law at UOW

Dr Thampapillai will foster academic excellence and bring global expertise to the university

The School of Law at the University of Wollongong (UOW) announces the appointment of Dr Dilan Thampapillai as the new Dean and Head of School, commencing in September 2023. Dr Thampapillai’s extensive experience and dedication to legal education make him an ideal fit for this key role at the University.

As a native of Wollongong, Dr Thampapillai is excited to return to his hometown and contribute to the city and region where he grew up. His deep-rooted connection with UOW is further enriched by the fact that both of his parents worked at the institution in the 1980s. His father, an esteemed academic, was affiliated with the University’s School of Economics, while his mother made significant contributions to the Sciences. Dr Thampapillai is eager to build upon his family's legacy and strengthen the University's ties with the Illawarra community.

Currently serving as the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Programs at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School, Dr Thampapillai brings a wealth of experience to his new position. Prior to his role as Associate Dean, he served as the Director of Education at the Centre for Social Impact in the UNSW Business School.

Dr Thampapillai has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Laws degree from Cornell University in the United States. His expertise extends beyond Australia, as he holds the esteemed position of Senior Research Associate with Jesus College in Cambridge. Additionally, he serves as the National Administrator of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Competition in Australia, demonstrating his dedication to fostering legal excellence and international engagement. His previous roles, such as co-chair of the International Economic Law Group of the Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) and Deputy Chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee of the Australian National University, showcase his leadership qualities and commitment to equity and diversity in the legal field.

Dr Thampapillai expressed his enthusiasm for the new role, saying: “I am delighted and honoured to join the School of Law at the University of Wollongong.

“Returning to my hometown and continuing the strong connection that this esteemed institution has with the Illawarra community is a tremendous privilege. I look forward to fostering academic excellence and equipping our students with the necessary skills to become future leaders in the legal profession.”

Throughout his career, Dr Thampapillai has been actively involved in ground-breaking research projects. His work on the capacity of the law to adapt and develop in response to technological change, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence, has been remarkable. With a keen interest in contracts, copyright law, and leadership, Dr Thampapillai’s teaching focuses on imparting practical knowledge and nurturing the next generation of legal professionals.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law Professor Colin Picker welcomed Dr Thampapillai as the new Dean and Head of School at the School of Law.

“Dr Thampapillai's appointment represents a significant milestone for the University and reinforces our commitment to academic excellence, community engagement, and making global impact,” Professor Picker said.

“His commitment to academic excellence and his focus on social impact will shape the future of the School of Law at UOW.”