While Margaret Sheil’s changes to QUT’s executive team were attracting attention, a new plan for research was in the works
The university will establish nine research centres that consolidate existing strengths, to focus on, “strong external engagement.” The nine are to cover, * future enterprise, * digital media, * “the digital child” * health outcomes, systems, services * biomed tech *data science * materials science * robotics, and * agriculture and bio-economy *
QUT’s VC set out her thinking on research planning last year, (CMM July 3 2018). While the centres will sit within faculties funding arrangements “are still being finalised.”
The new research model follows her substantial leadership changes – in her first 15 months all but one of her direct reports changed. She also moved to ensure QUT was its own institution, withdrawing from the Australian Technology Network and setting up its own digital programmes for external students.
Since taking over in February 2018, Professor Sheil has carefully built on the solid structure she inherited from predecessor Peter Coaldrake. “Most staff below professor don’t realise the full extent of the changes,” a Garden Point observer says. “She wants QUT to have the skills to support her ambitions.”