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A message from the Chancellor

Published: 6th December 2021

I am delighted to advise Senate has today appointed Professor Andrew Deeks as Vice Chancellor and President of Murdoch University.

Prof Andrew J Deeks 300x420

Professor Deeks (pictured) is currently the President of University College Dublin.

Professor Deeks’ appointment was made by Senate following a unanimous recommendation from the selection committee established to consider the appropriate candidate to lead our University.

Professor Deeks has a strong connection with Perth, moving to Western Australia from the United Kingdom when he was six. He was educated at The University of Western Australia, where he received a first class honours degree in civil engineering, and after completing his Masters degree he worked in industry briefly, before returning to UWA to pursue his PhD and an academic career. He became Winthrop Professor, Civil and Resource Engineering, in 2004 and was Head of School from 2004 to 2009.

In 2009, Professor Deeks joined Durham University as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Science. In this role he led the development of the university's global presence strategy and extensive international partnerships, particularly in China and Brazil. On 1 January 2014, Professor Deeks moved to University College Dublin (UCD) to take up the role of President, becoming the first Australian to lead an Irish university. Under his leadership UCD has established itself as Ireland’s Global University, increasing the quality, quantity and impact of its research, the satisfaction of its students, and the number of spinout companies being produced. A focus has been local, national and global engagement.

Professor Deeks is a Fellow of the Australian Institution of Engineers, the Irish Academy of Engineering and the Irish Institution of Engineers, a Council member of the Irish Universities Association and the European Universities Association, a Board member of the International Association of Universities, and an Executive Committee member of Universitas 21 and the Worldwide Universities Network.

Professor Deek’s primary research focus is in computational mechanics; specifically in the scaled boundary finite element method, which is a semi-analytical approach for solving elastostatic, elastodynamic and allied problems in engineering. His other research interests include structural mechanics, structural dynamics and dynamic soil structure interaction.

I am delighted Andrew has accepted the position and will be leading Murdoch University at such a critical time for the higher education sector, and an exciting time for our University.

With his strong connections to Perth, academic and leadership experience, extensive global networks and a respect for the unique history and culture of Murdoch University, I am confident you will be pleased with the appointment of Andrew to the leadership of our University.

I am particularly looking forward to working with Andrew in building on our outstanding global reputation for the quality of our research, learning and teaching and preparing our graduates to deal with the significant global challenges we confront in the face of a growing population, food and water shortages and a changing climate.

Professor Deeks will be commencing in his role in April. In the meantime, I am pleased to advise Professor Jane den Hollander will continue in her role as Interim Vice Chancellor and we will advise staff of any further transitional arrangements as they become known.

Gary Smith
Chancellor