Space industry pioneer announced as new UTS Vice-Chancellor

Australian space industry pioneer and respected higher education leader, Professor Andrew Parfitt, has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Technology Sydney.

Professor Andrew Parfitt

Chancellor of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Catherine Livingstone, has announced Australian space industry pioneer and respected higher education leader, Professor Andrew Parfitt, as the university’s fifth Vice-Chancellor and President. Professor Parfitt has served UTS as Provost and Senior Vice-President for almost five years, and is currently Acting Vice-Chancellor. 

“Andrew has the experience, skills and comprehensive understanding of UTS required to deliver our vision to be a leading public university of technology recognised for our global impact,” she said. “He will continue to grow and lead highly engaged partnerships with industry, government and the community at the whole-of-organisation level.” 

Livingstone, who oversaw the national and international search on behalf of the UTS Council, is one of Australia’s most experienced business leaders and current Chairman of the CBA. She said that the selection panel unanimously selected Professor Parfitt as the right leader for UTS, after considering a strong field of candidates from across Australia and around the world.

“Andrew has had a distinguished career in higher education leadership, with executive roles at the University of South Australia, University of Newcastle and at UTS, and was Director and Chair of the Universities Admissions Centre (NSW) from 2013 to 2019. 

“Professor Parfitt is also a highly credentialed academic and technology leader in his own right,” she said. “He has an international reputation as a specialist in antenna and radio systems, with a focus on space science and technology, and more than 100 published papers in refereed conferences and journals. He has made significant contributions to major space and astronomy projects, including early work on technologies for Australia’s participation in the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope. 

“He was previously CEO of CRC Satellite Systems, Senior Principal Research Scientist and General Manager of CSIRO Space Programs, and a member of the Australian Government’s Space Industry Innovation Council. 

“UTS has a well-deserved reputation as a university that partners to produce research with impact and for producing sought after graduates with the skills that industry needs,” Livingstone said. 

“UTS is well known for being highly engaged – with industry, with government and the community – it’s in our DNA.” 

Over the past four years Parfitt has led the academic activities of the University; shaped the development of the UTS 2027 Strategy and its execution; and led the university’s response to the global pandemic. 

“I am confident that Andrew will ensure that UTS continues its longstanding commitment to deliver positive social change through our teaching, research and engagement,” Livingstone said. 

Professor Parfitt, who will commence as UTS’ fifth Vice-Chancellor and President on November 15, 2021, said he looked forward to working collaboratively with staff, students and partners to help deliver on the university’s mission.

“It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be able to continue to serve the UTS community, a community I’ve been a part of since 2016, as we continue to deliver our vision of being a leading public university of technology recognised for our global impact,” he said.   

“Now more than ever, universities have a critical role to play in the economic and social cohesion Australia needs to thrive. UTS is in a strong position to deliver even greater impact through our research-inspired teaching, excellent research and our strong engagement with government, industry and the community.”