A combination of maths, the student experience and University business
Bill Hogarth is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Science and Information Technology, Professor of Applied Mathematics, Fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society and Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (UK).
A mathematician by training, he has an undergraduate degree from the University of New South Wales, and a PhD from the University of Newcastle (UoN). Bill came to Newcastle in 2002 from Griffith University, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences.
During his time as a senior executive with Newcastle University, Bill has managed a large and diverse Faculty and led the University improvements regarding overall student experience while simultaneously managing his research career. Bill has published over 30 papers during his time here and has contributed to a significant research base in excess of 115 journal publications and book chapters to date over his academic career, as well as research income in excess of $1.9 million.
As PVC (Academic) for the last three years, Bill has led the management team responsible for improving the student experience at the UoN. In this role Bill has encouraged cross-unit collaboration, overseen many University learning and teaching improvements across campuses including the implementation of wireless access, digital student communication initiatives, Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and social learning spaces. The results of this consolidated effort under Bill's leadership have been recognised in the Australian Graduate Survey where our graduates have now rated their Overall Satisfaction with UoN placing the UoN in the top half of the sector. Good Teaching at UoN rated in the top quarter of the sector and Generic Skills at almost the top of the sector, an outstanding result.
Bill believes research is a very important part of the University profile and as the head of the Faculty, it is imperative that he is an active researcher. Bill's research work lies in the mathematical modelling of wind erosion, and solute and water transport on the surface and sub-surface of soils. Most of his work in soil and wind erosion is predictive modelling using mathematics to help understand fundamental physical processes. For example, with wind erosion, physical data is presented in graphical form. This form is then simulated through the solution of a sequence of equations representing the fundamental physical processes. The wind erosion work takes data from 10 metre towers in outback Queensland and, using spatial modelling, the team predicts soil profiles. The idea of where the soil comes from and where it might finish up is also predicted.
When mathematical modelling is applied to the physical consequences of water impacting on soil, water infiltration into soil and predicting soil loss through erosion it can help us manage agricultural production and its environmental consequences. This type of mathematical modelling provides a context in which researchers can ascertain the current status of erosion and predict what might happen to the environment in the long term.
Bill collaborates with researchers from Griffith University, Cornell University in the United States, and colleagues in Switzerland to model physical systems in the first instance and then solve them mathematically.