University of Newcastle’s Vice-Chancellor agrees to another five years

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, is to lead the institution for another five years, after agreeing to renew his contract until 2026.

Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO, is the University’s eighth Vice-Chancellor and has been in the role since November 2018, leading the development of its ‘Looking Ahead’ Strategic Plan 2020-2025.

University of Newcastle Chancellor, Mr. Paul Jeans, celebrated the news, saying the University was delighted to secure Professor Zelinsky’s services for another term.

“Alex has shown great leadership since joining our university and we are seeing great strides in our ‘Looking Ahead’ strategic plan to the benefit of our students, staff, our region and tertiary education generally," he said.

“The University of Newcastle’s motto is ‘I look ahead’ – and renewing Alex’s contract is key to ensuring the seamless delivery of our goals in sustainability, advancement of Indigenous education and the nurturing of community partnerships that are central to our region’s growth and prosperity.

“While we are a university of and for the Hunter, the University of Newcastle is also highly regarded globally and is ranked among the top 200 universities in the world.

“Under the leadership of Professor Alex Zelinsky, the institution has been named in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings as the world’s top university for partnering for a more sustainable future, has been heavily involved in efforts to position the Hunter as a leader in securing Australia’s clean energy future, and has been named as Australia’s leading university for Indigenous enrolments.”

“I am grateful to the University Council, our staff and our students for their continued support, and I am excited to lead the University of Newcastle into an even brighter future," Professor Zelinsky commented.

“As we emerge from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and its universal impacts, it is heartening to be part of a forward-looking organisation well-positioned to seize the opportunities that are emerging.

“I remain fully committed to delivering an outstanding experience for our students and to continue to serve a region blazing a trail in innovation, technological advancement and research commercialisation.

“I am proud of the work and role that we are playing in our nation’s and the Hunter’s transition to a low emission energy economy.

“The University of Newcastle is a leader in conducting research into tomorrow’s energy and resources technologies, addressing renewable energy generation, transmission and storage. Our researchers are working to advance projects in hydrogen production, storage, utilisation and R&D to support the emergence of a hydrogen industry in the Hunter.

“Batteries and solar technologies, pumped hydro, biofuels and waste to energy, are among the clean energy solutions the university is advancing through its research towards a less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy future.”

Prior to taking up his role at the university, the Vice-Chancellor was Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist and leader of Defence Science and Technology within the Department of Defence. He has also been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in recognition of his significant and ongoing contribution to the field of science and was named in Engineers Australia's list of the 100 most influential engineers from 2009-2017.


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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.