Photo of a stairwell at the University of Sydney

Our academic leaders

Faculties and University schools

Our deans bring expertise from both within and outside academia to their roles. They ensure the highest standards in teaching and research are maintained and lead their academic community’s external engagement.

Professor Lisa Adkins

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dean: Professor Lisa Adkins, BA (Hons) Sussex, PhD Lancaster

Biography: Professor Adkins is an internationally recognized sociologist whose research is in the areas of economic sociology, social theory, and feminist theory. Her current research programme explores the rise and dynamics of the asset economy, and especially the restructuring of social stratification with the growth of asset-based wealth.

Professor Adkins has previously held posts at Goldsmiths, University of London, the University of Manchester, and the Australian National University.

Read Professor Adkin’s academic profile.

Professor Willy Zwaenepoel

Faculty of Engineering

Dean: Professor Willy Zwaenepoel BS Ghent MS PhD Stanford

Biography: Professor Zwaenepoel is an established leader in experimental computer science research. He was previously Head of School at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for nine years. Before this he spent almost two decades on the faculty at Rice University, USA. Professor Zwaenepoel has been elected as a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Professor Zwaenepoel has worked in a variety of aspects of operating and distributed systems and is best known for his work on the TreadMarks distributed shared memory system, which was licensed to Intel and became the basis for Intel’s OpenMP cluster product. 

Read Professor Zwaenepoel's academic profile

Professor Simon Bronitt

The University of Sydney Law School

Head of School and Dean: Professor Simon Bronitt
LLB Bristol, LLM Cambridge

Biography: Professor Bronitt is a distinguished scholar whose research interests include terrorism law and human rights, comparative and criminal law, covert policing, family violence and mental health policing.

He joined the University in July 2019 from the University of Queensland, where he was Professor of Law and Deputy Head and Deputy Dean (Research) of the TC Beirne School of Law since 2014. He was previously Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security hosted by Griffith University, and before that spent 20 years at the Australian National University Law School, where he held a number of senior leadership roles.

Read Professor Bronnit's academic profile.

Professor Alan Pettigrew

Faculty of Medicine and Health

Executive Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Medicine and Health): Professor Robyn Ward AM FAHMS, MBBS (Hons) UNSW, PhD UNSW

Biography: Professor Ward is an academic leader, cancer researcher and medical oncologist. She is a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), chairs the Commonwealth Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), and serves on the Council and Executive of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Ward joins us from the University of Queensland, where she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Executive Dean (Acting) of the Faculty of Medicine. In 2013 she was made Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to medical research and patient care in the field of oncology.

Read Professor Ward's academic profile

Professor Marcel Dinger

Faculty of Science

Dean: Professor Marcel Dinger PhD,  Waikato FRCPA

Biography: Marcel Dinger is Professor of Genome Biology and Dean of Science at the University of Sydney. He has 22 years' experience in genomics as both an academic and entrepreneur.

In addition to his research career, Marcel is co-founder of four start-ups in biotechnology and IT. He is a board director of Pryzm Health, a digital health enterprise focused on optimising patient care by empowering physicians with AI-based clinical decision support technology, and GenieUs, a genomics and machine-learning technology start-up dedicated to finding new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. He is President and Executive Committee Chair of the Australasian Genomics Technologies Association (AGTA), the principal body for the promotion of genomics research and technologies in Australasia.

Marcel served as Head of School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at UNSW Sydney from 2019 to 2022 and is a former Director of the governance board of National Centre for Indigenous Genomics (NCIG), an ANU-based centre focused on using genomics to improve the health and well-being of Australia's First Peoples, and former Director of Scientia Clinical Research, a world-class clinical trials facility with a focus on early stage clinical research.

Professor Leisa Sargent

The University of Sydney Business School

Dean: Professor Leisa Sargent PhD, Toronto GAICD

Biography: With over 30 years of experience, Professor Sargent is a recognised strategic leader who is deeply committed to partnering with the leaders of today to address the urgent need for impact on the critical range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges facing business, from driving productivity through participation, innovation, and entrepreneurship to building healthier, fairer, and more sustainable organisations and industries.

A distinguished scholar in organisational behaviour, Leisa has been published widely in leading journals across the globe and has secured competitive government and industry grants in Australia and overseas.

Leisa previously held concurrent appointments at UNSW, Senior Deputy Dean, Business School and co-DVC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Professor Robyn Dowling

The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Head of School and Dean: Professor Robyn Dowling BEc (Hons) Sydney; MA, PhD BrCol 

Biography: Professor Dowling is a distinguished urban geographer and planner and is internationally known for her work on housing and home, and the implications of climate change and technological disruptions for cities. Current research on the partnerships and relationships through which contemporary cites are governed places her at the forefront of theoretical conceptions of smart cities. Her recent election to a Fellowship in the Academy of Social Sciences is recognition of her significant national and international standing in the field.

Read Professor Dowling's academic profile

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Head of School and Dean: Professor Anna Reid BMus (Perf) Sydney MA EdAdmin UNE PhD UTS

Biography: An alumna of the University of Sydney, Professor Anna Reid has been a tertiary educator her entire career. She undertakes research in musician identity, creativity theory and practice, cultural heritage and sustainability, and higher education. She is also a cellist and viola da gamba player.

Professor Reid’s academic profile.