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Computer science education expert to lead ECMS faculty

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

The University of Adelaide has appointed a new leader for its Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS). 

Professor Katrina Falkner is an expert in computer science education and the faculty’s first female leader to take up the position of Executive Dean. 

The University of Adelaide’s Acting Provost, Professor John Williams said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Katrina Falkner as Executive Dean of the Faulty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. 

“Professor Falkner will lead a faculty which has schools that are ranked in the top 50 globally and which have an outstanding reputation for teaching, research and the quality of its graduates. 

“Through her passion for science and technology education she has made major contributions towards enhancing the career progression of women in STEM.” 

As a researcher with a strong international profile, Professor Falkner’s work is founded on the application of fundamental research to real-world, interdisciplinary problems with a strong focus on collaborative, industry partnerships  

Her research and has attracted more than $25 million in competitive grants, industry and government research funding, with relationships including DST Group, Data61, Google USA, Google Australia, Education Services Australia and the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training. 

Professor Falkner said, “I am immensely excited to be leading a community of researchers who are engaged in solving complex global problems and who contribute to national priorities. 

“I am passionate about leading a Faculty which is undertaking world class research in the diverse fields of cybersecurity, defence, medical technology, smart technology and renewable energy, among others. This gives us an amazing opportunity to address global needs in collaboration with industry, government and the broader community.  

“I am committed to equity and diversity and to giving our students the opportunity to become future leaders who will contribute to finding solutions to the challenges facing society.” 

Professor Falkner is a member of the University’s ALLY network of staff and students who support the University’s commitment to providing an inclusive and respectful environment for people from the LGBTIQ* community. She is also a volunteer mentor in the University’s Women’s Professional Development Network. 

She was Interim Executive Dean of ECMS from October 2019, and prior to that served as Deputy Dean (Learning and Teaching) from 2018. 

She was the Head of School for the University of Adelaide’s School of Computer Science from 2014-2018 during which she led the School and Faculty through significant growth and change, doubling both research and teaching revenue, leading strategic policy, budget and workload management. 

Professor Falkner has received numerous awards in recognition of leadership and expertise as an educator including an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation in 2008, the 2016 Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE) and Australian Computer Society (ACS) National Leader of the Year, and the 2017 CORE John Hughes Distinguished Service Award. 


Media Contact: 

Crispin Savage, Senior Communications and Media Officer, The University of Adelaide. Mobile: +61 (0)481 912 465, Email: crispin.savage@adelaide.edu.au