New VC set to take on top job
AN INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed researcher has been announced as the new vice-chancellor at James Cook University, as the current leader prepares for retirement.
Professor Simon Biggs, currently the senior Deputy Vice-chancellor at University of Western Australia, will step into the role in February next year.
Professor Biggs will succeed Professor Sandra Harding, who is retiring after almost 15 years of service.
JCU Chancellor Bill Tweddell said Professor Harding would leave a “remarkable legacy” after many years of leadership.
He welcomed Professor Biggs, who would bring a “very broad range of experience” to the university.
“Professor Biggs will provide strong leadership for JCU during a time of great opportunity and challenge for the university sector,” Mr Tweddell said.
Starting his studies in the UK, Professor Biggs went on to become an internationally recognised researcher in the field of colloid and particle technology.
Professor Biggs was previously the Royal Academy of Engineering/british Nuclear Fuels Limited chair in particle science and engineering at the University of Leeds from 2002 until 2014, after spending eight years at the Uni
versity of Newcastle, Australia. He said he was honoured to be appointed in the new role after three years in his current position in Western Australia.
“I am genuinely thrilled to have been selected for this role by James Cook University. JCU is an internationally renowned university ranked in the top 300 of the world’s universities, and I’m really excited about the opportunities to lead the university in its next phase of development,” Professor Biggs said.
“The role of universities in the communities they serve is especially vital at this time and I am looking forward to building on the strong reputation JCU already has in North and Far North Queensland and well beyond as a provider of world-class education and research from this beautiful part of the world.
“I am also motivated by the possibilities that JCU’S presence in Singapore provides to continue to have a significant impact across the tropics.”