Our people

Across Australia and internationally, the Faculty of Science employs over 650 committed and valued educators, researchers, technicians and practitioners. Our people are globally connected and world leaders in their fields of endeavour.

Our differences in discipline, expertise, passions and experience mean that we have many strengths and some of the planet’s brightest minds working together to overcome the challenges of our time.

Equity and Diversity Learn more about equity and diversity in the Faculty of Science

Pro Vice-Chancellor Unit

Professor Lee Smith

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Science

Joining the University of Newcastle from the University of Edinburgh in 2017, Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Lee Smith is responsible for the leadership and management of the Faculty of Science.

A strong advocate for the interdisciplinary nature of science, Professor Smith draws on his extensive experience in both international research and leadership positions to champion the strategic direction and success of the Faculty as a whole.

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Professor Juanita Todd

Deputy Head of Faculty Research, Innovation and Outreach

In her role as Deputy Head of Faculty Research, Innovation and Outreach, Professor Juanita Todd manages the Faculty’s world-class research portfolio, including extensive partnerships with industry, government and community organisations.

In addition to having secured over $5 million worth of funding for 50 different research projects of her own, Professor Todd is co-founder of HunterWiSE, a group dedicated to promoting and supporting girls and women in STEM.

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Professor Mike Bowyer

Deputy Head of Faculty Academic and Global Engagement

Based at the University's Central Coast campus, Professor Mike Bowyer has responsibility for academic leadership and the operational management of the Faculty’s suite of undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

In his role as Deputy Head of Faculty Academic and Global Engagement, Professor Bowyer is a passionate supporter of open access tertiary education for all students who aspire to succeed, irrespective of background or entry pathway. He is also an advocate of the use of modern technology to deliver improved student learning outcomes through increased flexibility and engagement.

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Debbie Delbridge

Associate Director Faculty Services

As the Associate Director of Faculty Services, Debbie provides strategic management and leadership to the Faculty of Science portfolio in the areas of teaching and learning, research and research training, and engagement on the international, industry and community levels.

With a particular interest in strategic policy advice and the development of operational plans, Debbie is a highly experienced leader who oversees the delivery of administrative support to the Faculty, Schools and Research Centres.

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Assistant Deans

Professor Jenny Bowman

Assistant Dean, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

In her role as Assistant Dean, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Jenny Bowman collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to remove systemic barriers which contribute to inequity, and to ensure diversity among staff and students is both valued and reflected in Faculty practice.

As a health psychologist and behavioural scientist, Professor Bowman has been leading the Physical Health in Mental Illness research team since 2010, which seeks to reduce the preventable burden of chronic physical disease experienced by people with a mental health condition.

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Associate Professor Alister Page

Assistant Dean, Research

As Assistant Dean, Research, Associate Professor Alister Page facilitates connections between Faculty researchers and relevant funding opportunities, industry opportunities and research partnerships, enabling growth and quality outcomes in research and innovation.

Professor Page also leads the University of Newcastle Computational Chemistry Group, whose research has targeted solutions in the development of nanoscale materials, sustainable energy solutions and drug delivery systems since 2013.

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Dr Andrew Kepert

Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning

Dr Andrew Kepert is Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning, who draws on his experience in positions such as Deputy Head of School, Head of Mathematics Discipline and Deputy Dean of Students, to implement active-learning pedagogies and authentic assessment across the Faculty.

Dr Kepert has been the lead Mathematician at the University’s Ourimbah campus for over 25 years, and has spent over a decade providing service to the Australian Mathematics Competition by overseeing the production of competition papers.

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Professor Frances Martin

Assistant Dean, Research Training

Alongside her role as Honours Coordinator for the School of Psychology, Professor Frances Martin is the Assistant Dean, Research Training, and oversees all matters related to graduate research training in the Faculty.

Having supervised over 30 higher degree research candidates to completion in the past 20 years, Professor Martin is committed to encouraging passionate supervisors and providing engaging, tailored experiences for candidates to create globally-recognised graduates.

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Professor Chris Scarlett

Assistant Dean, Global Engagement

In his role as Assistant Dean, Global Engagement, Professor Chris Scarlett is committed to providing international students the opportunity to undertake life-changing experiences within the Faculty, as well as facilitating opportunities for Faculty students to advance their careers by studying abroad.

Professor Scarlett also leads a research team investigating novel treatments for pancreatic cancer, and has contributed to the most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes to date, as part of his role in the international Pan-Cancer Project.

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Heads of School

Professor Thomas Nann

Head of School, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Professor Thomas Nann, Head of School, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, strives to empower people through value and outcome-focused strategic leadership, to maximise outcomes for both the School and the broader society.

With leadership experience across national and international universities, Professor Nann is passionate about responding to the demand for STEMM graduates to tackle complex problems. Professor Nann is also an active researcher, committed to finding innovative ways to harness – and safely store – renewable energy.

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Professor Kristen Pammer

Head of School, Psychology

As Head of School, Psychology, Professor Kristen Pammer is responsible for the leadership and management of the School of Psychology.

Overseeing one of the premier psychology schools in Australia, Professor Pammer draws on her qualifications in science, psychology and neuroanatomy to provide a highly valuable educational experience. Professor Pammer is particularly interested by applied cognitive psychology, and is also one of Australia’s inaugural Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

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Professor Sandy Steacy

Head of School, Environmental and Life Sciences

As Head of School, Environmental and Life Sciences, Professor Sandy Steacy draws on her leadership experience from Northern Ireland and South Australia to provide strategic and operational leadership to the School.

From animal conservation work to human reproduction research, Professor Steacy facilitates an exceptional teaching and learning experience that responds to global challenges. A geophysicist, Professor Steacy also undertakes research on earthquake hazard with national and international collaborators.

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Global Centre for Environmental Remediation

Professor Ravi Naidu

Global Innovation Chair and Founding Director

Professor Ravi Naidu is the Global Innovation Chair and Founding Director of the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER), and CEO and Managing Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE).

As the most highly cited environmental scientist in Australia, Professor Naidu is a strong believer in multidisciplinary applied research that encompasses diverse perspectives to deliver innovative solutions. He has raised more than $250 million in external grants to support both GCER and CRC CARE.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.