Western Sydney University announces new Deans for Schools of Built Environment, Science and Psychology

Western Sydney University is pleased to announce the appointment of three female senior leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and health disciplines to newly established Dean roles.

The three appointments are:

  • Professor Kerry London, Dean of School of Built Environment;
  • Professor Eileen McLaughlin, Dean of School of Science; and
  • Professor Tanya Meade, Dean of School of Psychology.

The appointment of these senior leaders means that 8 of the 14 Deans at Western Sydney University will be women from 2020 when the new Schools will be established and operational.  Two of the three recently announced Pro Vice-Chancellors for the University’s clusters are also women.  Further, more than half – 57 per cent – of our most senior leadership roles at the University will be held by women.

Acting Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, said the three new Deans all bring extensive leadership experience to the roles and, in their own unique ways, will make a significant impact on the University’s teaching and research in the STEM and psychology disciplines.

“These appointments are important to the implementation of our new academic structure. Kerry, Eileen and Tanya will provide academic leadership to staff and students, strengthen our curricula and academic programs, as well as consolidate and grow our research and partnerships,” said Professor Kirkpatrick.

“Critically, they will also lead vital disciplines that can help solve some of the most pressing challenges our nation faces. They will make a significant contribution to the economic success, environmental sustainability and social transformation of the Greater Western Sydney region, and the health and wellbeing of our local communities.

“On behalf of the University community, I extend a warm welcome to Kerry, Eileen and Tanya, and congratulate each of them on their appointments. I very much look forward to working with them.”

These appointments build on the University’s successes in addressing gender equality, including receiving the prestigious Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award – part of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative – in recognition of its sector-leading programs and initiatives to promote gender equity for staff, particularly in the STEM disciplines.

The University was also ranked number 1 in the world gender equality in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings earlier this year.

Professor Kerry London

Professor London brings extensive leadership experience to the role, having served at Western Sydney University as Deputy Dean School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics since 2017.

Prior to joining Western Sydney University, Professor London was Dean, Research Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences at University of South Australia and before that, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching with the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University. She also held a Discipline Leader role in Construction Management at Deakin University, where she was the first female appointed as a Chair in Construction Management in Australia.

Professor London is an international leader in research in supply chain theory and collaborative practice with applications to technology adoption, sustainable urban development, housing affordability, robotics and construction informatics.

Professor London graduated from University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1988, and was Registered as an Architect in NSW in 1990. She was awarded a Master of Building Research from University of Newcastle in 1997 and a PhD from University of Melbourne in 2005.

Professor London says she is proud to be appointed to the role of Dean of the School of Built Environment.

"I look forward to the School becoming an international leader and influential in solving some of the challenges of the built environment across the Greater Western Sydney and beyond through its staff, students, partnerships and innovative teaching and research programs," she said.

Professor London will commence her role on 1 January 2020, and will be based at the Parramatta South campus.

Professor Eileen McLaughlin

Professor McLaughlin is a reproductive and developmental biologist. Her research is multi-disciplinary, with applications ranging from male and female infertility, the development of biosecurity agents, and novel contraceptives for use in domesticated, feral and exotic animals.

She brings extensive leadership experience to the role, having served as Executive Dean, Science and Technology at University of Canberra and Director of the School of Biological Sciences at University of Auckland. Prior to that, she held leadership roles at the University of Newcastle.

Professor McLaughlin commenced her career at the University of Bristol, and has worked in government and the health sector.

A feature of her career has been the engagement of sciences to solving problems and realising opportunities faced by local community and industry, through applied research and education.

Professor McLaughlin says she is delighted to join the new School of Science at the University.

"I look forward to the School playing a major role in building a sustainable future Greater Western Sydney, one of the fastest-growing economies in Australia."

Professor McLaughlin will commence her role on 4 November 2019, and will be based at the Hawkesbury campus.

Professor Tanya Meade

Professor Meade specialises in the management of patients whose conditions involve both physical and psychological symptoms.

The appointment of Professor Meade as Dean follows on from her serving in several academic leadership roles in education and research at the University, including Interim Dean, Planning, and previously as Head of Discipline, Psychology and Director, Clinical and Health Psychology Research Initiative.

A committed educator and researcher, Professor Meade has published 70 papers and book chapters, and her contribution to teaching and curriculum has been recognised in teaching awards. She is also an honorary professor at Westmead Hospital.

Professor Meade maintains collaborative partnerships across universities, industry and community at national and international levels, and her work has received support in competitive grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and BeyondBlue.

She received her PhD in 2001 from the University of Sydney in the area of clinical health psychology.

Professor Meade says she is delighted to be leading the new School.

“I aspire for the School of Psychology to be a leading voice on the issues that matter in Western Sydney and beyond. I look forward to growing the School's reach and relevance by integrating our work in the laboratory, the classroom, and the clinic in novel and innovative ways," she said.

Professor Meade will commence her role on 1 January 2020, and will be based at the Parramatta South campus.


14 November 2019

Media Unit