Senior appointments to lead research infrastructure and training

29 November 2022
Professor Simon Ringer and Professor Louise Sharpe appointed to new research leadership roles 
The University of Sydney is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Simon Ringer Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure) and Professor Louise Sharpe to Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Researcher Training), two newly created senior leadership positions.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said she was thrilled, after a world-wide search, to have found the very best candidates at the University of Sydney.  

“I’m overjoyed that Simon and Louise will join our leadership team in these critical new roles that will support our 2032 Strategy. To support our world-class research and its translation into meaningful impact, addressing the key issues of our time, from climate change to chronic health conditions, we need to get the foundations right – the state-of-the-art infrastructure that enables research excellence, and the researcher training that ensures the best and brightest minds are supported at every stage of their career journey from PhD to leaders of Centres of Excellence."

"I’m confident that Simon and Louise will excel in these roles and contribute greatly to making our University a place that works better and a better place to work for our researchers and the teams who support them.” 

Professor Ringer is currently Director of Core Research Facilities at the University, while Professor Sharpe is currently the Director of Graduate Research.  

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure) 

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure), Professor Ringer will ensure the University’s research infrastructure is state-of-the-art, attracting world-class researchers and enabling impactful, cutting-edge research outputs. 

Professor Ringer will be responsible for strategy, policy and advice relating to research infrastructure, technology and services, including access to major national and international research facilities and leadership of the University’s Core Research Facilities.  

"Simon has been at the helm of the University’s Core Research Facilities since they were launched in 2014. He has championed numerous major research infrastructure projects and partnerships in that time, including our many National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) engagements. This has been critical for many of our most impactful fundamental research achievements, and they have played a key enabling role in many of our major industry partnerships, where access to excellent facilities establishes Sydney as the partner of choice” Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said. 

I’m delighted that Simon will lead us to new heights in the research infrastructure space so that our leading researchers and their partners have the tools and collaboration arrangements to deliver outstanding research that has a real impact on the lives of many.
Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston

Professor Ringer has worked at Uni SA, Monash University, UNSW and in Sweden, Japan and the USA. He has held various leadership roles at Sydney including as centre director of the Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis, as an inaugural Multi-Disciplinary Initiative Director with AINST (now Sydney Nano), and as Director of Core Research Facilities.  

He is an internationally renowned physical metallurgist, having led ground-breaking atomic-scale materials design for next-generation high-strength structural steels, semiconducting materials for nano-electronics, and new light-weight alloys that can dramatically offset our particulate and CO2 emissions. Several examples of his fundamental materials science research have been translated into industrial materials engineering practice.  

 "I'm excited to begin this new role in Professor Johnston’s leadership team. We are looking forward to helping to unleash our institution’s potential by creating a more integrated world-class research infrastructure across our physical labs, our digital domains and our strategic infrastructure partnerships.  In 2023, we will progress exciting new plans for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator, establish new research capacity in J03, G08 and begin a process to uplift our digital research infrastructure—including IRMA, amongst many other things”, said Professor Ringer, who will start in the role on 1 December.  

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Researcher Training) 

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Researcher Training), Professor Sharpe will play a pivotal role in supporting academics at the University during every stage of their careers, from Higher Degree Research candidates and postdoctoral researchers seeking to build their public profiles and attract their first grant funding to senior researchers seeking to establish new partnerships with industry and manage multi-million dollar budgets.  

Professor Sharpe will also be charged with establishing a graduate school, bringing together Higher Degree Research candidates and supervisors in a more cohesive way.  

Louise is a passionate advocate for and mentor of the next generation of researchers. Her expertise will ensure the University remains a destination of choice for outstanding research students and early career researchers in particular, as well as ensuring Australia retains and nurtures the best young minds to address skill shortages now and in the future.
Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston

Professor Sharpe is an esteemed psychology academic, whose research focuses on how people adjust to illnesses. Her research develops and evaluates psychological treatments to improve psychosocial outcomes and quality of life in a range of chronic physical conditions, like chronic pain and cancer.  

She is a University of Sydney alumnus, having completed both her undergraduate and master’s at the University. During her two-decade career at the University, she has held several leadership positions in research education roles, supervised more than 60 research students, and in 2020, was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Leadership and Mentoring.   

“I thank the University for this opportunity to extend my support for research students and early-career researchers. As I look forward to 2023 and beyond, I will endeavour to search for new and better ways to support our best and brightest, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to stay the course in academia,” said Professor Sharpe, who will start in the role on 20 January 2023.  

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