Business School a university for the real world


14 November 2019

QUT has appointed two new Deputy Vice-Chancellors to oversee the university’s future research directions and its education frameworks.

Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Materials Science in the QUT Science and Engineering Faculty, will become Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation), and Professor Robina Xavier, currently QUT Business School Executive Dean, will take on the new role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education).

QUT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Sheil said the appointments follow extensive external recruitment processes that attracted high-quality fields.

Professor Barner-Kowollik, an internationally renowned chemist, joined QUT in 2017 after a period as an Adjunct Professor and research collaborator.

His research focuses on complex polymer reactions and harnessing the power of light to control and program the shape of materials. He established the university’s Soft Matter Materials laboratory, which is recognised as one of the world’s premier macromolecular laboratories.

Professor Sheil said Professor Barner-Kowollik will continue his ARC Laureate research program, ensuring that his leadership is informed by his ongoing experience as an active QUT researcher.

“Christopher brings to the role the experience of a distinguished international research career which will be an asset in overseeing QUT’s future research directions and in providing guidance and support for QUT researchers at all levels,” she said.

Professor Barner-Kowollik will commence in the role next month.

Professor Robina Xavier, previously Head of the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, has been QUT Business School Executive Dean since 2012.

A QUT graduate, she worked as a consultant to both the private and public sectors, specialising in corporate and financial relations and issues management, before returning as an academic and then QUT leader.

She is a former QUT Teaching Fellow and recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Currently, she is a Director of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and Creative Enterprise Australia, and holds committee positions with international business associations in Europe, America and the United Kingdom.

Professor Sheil said as Executive Dean of the Business School, Professor Xavier had led growth in executive and customised education through the establishment of QUTeX, with the school and its programs achieving new levels of national and international recognition.

“Robina has long-standing experience with complex international accreditation systems which will translate well to leading within the university’s quality assurance framework to ensure continuous improvement and compliance of our courses and credentials, current and emerging,” Professor Sheil said.

Professor Xavier will commence her appointment in February next year.


Media contact:

Rod Chester, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449,



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