Institute for Future

IFE Advisory Committee

The industry, government and academic leaders on the IFE Advisory Committee provide advice to QUT on IFE’s strategic plan and research priorities; partnership, profiling and fundraising opportunities; infrastructure development; and transdisciplinary research culture and practice.

Committee members

Dr John PuttickDr John Puttick

Chair of the IFE Advisory Committee

Dr John Puttick has enjoyed a multi-faceted 40-year career in information technology, education and community service.

He is the founder of financial services technology company GBST and guided this innovative leader in IT for the financial services sector from embryonic idea through to its listing on the ASX in 2005.

John is Chair of recently listed Over the Wire Holdings and advisor to the Board of TandA, a fast-growing rostering platform.

Committed to student and industry mentorship, John serves as a member of Council of the Queensland University of Technology; the University of Queensland as Adjunct Professor in the School of IT&EE, and previously as Chair of the Business Council of the South Bank Institute of Technology.

His achievements and support of the IT industry in Queensland were acknowledged in 2006 with his election as Chairman of Software Queensland. In 2007, he was awarded Doctor of the University in recognition of his distinguished service to QUT and the community.

A long-standing community advocate, John was Founding Chair of the Royal Blind Foundation in Queensland. He is a Past-president of the Rotary Club of Brisbane and chaired the Host Committee for the Rotary International Convention in 2003, which attracted more than 17,000 delegates to the city.

John has participated in several international business development missions for the State of Queensland and served as a member of the Queensland Government ICT Ministerial Advisory Group.

His various contributions were recognised by Australia’s ICT peak body when he was inducted into the Pearcey Hall of Fame for distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the Information Technology Professions, Research and Industry.

Dr Christine WilliamsDr Christine Williams

Dr Christine Williams is acting in the role of Queensland Chief Scientist. In this role she is accountable for science policy, providing strategic guidance across a range of government departments, and is also involved with several reviews and enquiries.

Christine provides leadership in science policy development and implementation supported by the department, and high-level, strategic advice to the Queensland Government on the role of science, research and innovation in meeting Queensland’s economic challenges. She also advises on maximising opportunities from the Government’s investment in research and development.

Christine acts as an ambassador for Queensland science, fostering cooperation and collaboration among the government, research, industry and community sectors; raising Queensland's profile as a smart region characterised by world class research and investment opportunities; and engaging the community in better understanding the importance of science, research and innovation in the state's future economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

In her previous role as Assistant Director-General, Science, Christine has worked in close partnership with other state and federal government agencies, universities and research groups, as well as industry, a role she continues to perform and expand upon as Acting Chief Scientist. Christine also focuses on harnessing the opportunities provided by the Advance Queensland initiative to attract and retain world class research and scientific talent to Queensland and grow the jobs of the future.

Christine was previously an academic at Queensland University of Technology and The University of Queensland where she was responsible for teaching statistics and econometrics. Christine is an economist by training with a Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Queensland and a Master of Philosophy from Oxford University.

Dr Peter Isdale AMDr Peter Isdale AM (PhD, MAICD)

Dr Peter Isdale has made a contribution to science, first working with pioneers in the measurement of climate change, reading the history of weather in massive reef corals. Author or co-author of more than 50 papers in marine science, Peter helped to turn research discoveries into platforms upon which others could build enterprises.

He promoted biotechnology start-up companies, sought and managed investment, spent a decade in CEO roles and ended his formal executive career in the corporate suite of an ASX 150 company. Having served on more than 30 company boards, he’s now “retired” to a world of consulting, governance and advisory service to industry and researchers.

Peter is the Chairman of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, The Wetlands and Grasslands Foundation, and Deputy Chairman of Suncare Community Services Ltd.

He’s a Non-Executive Director of the Emergency Medicine Foundation Ltd and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Medical Engineering Research Facility, QUT. He’s an Adjunct Professor of QUT’s School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, and the Commercialisation Strategy Advisor to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Professor Molly JahnProfessor Molly Jahn

Molly Jahn is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA, holding appointments in the Department of Agronomy, the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, and the Global Health Institute.

From 2006-2011, she served as dean of the University of Wisconsin's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Director of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station. In 2009-10, she provided interim leadership as Deputy and Acting Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics at the US Department of Agriculture.

More recently her work focuses on implications of food system instability and failure for national and global security. She consults globally for business, government, philanthropic organisations and international multi-lateral institutions interested in agriculture, food security and risk in food systems, life sciences and environment.

Gavin SmithGavin Smith

Gavin Smith joined Bosch Australia in 1990 following 10 years in various Information Technology roles at well-known multinational companies.

Gavin held several senior leadership positions in the company’s Australian business, including Regional President of the Powertrain Division from 2003 and Regional President of the Vehicle Safety Systems Division from 2008. In 2011, Gavin was promoted to President and Chairman of the local subsidiary Robert Bosch Australia.

Gavin holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago and an MBA from Monash University.

In addition to several other board positions, Gavin is a member of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 taskforce and is the Chair of the Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IoTAA), the peak body for organisations with an interest in the adoption of IoT in Australia.

Professor Frank CarusoProfessor Frank Caruso

Frank Caruso is a professor and an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow at The University of Melbourne. He is also Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence on Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology.
He received his PhD degree in 1994 from The University of Melbourne, and from 1994-1997 was at the CSIRO Division of Chemicals and Polymers in Melbourne.

He was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow and group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Berlin, Germany) from 1997–2002. From 2003-2012 he was an ARC Federation Fellow at The University of Melbourne. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers.

He was on Thomson Reuters’ 2014 list of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds. He is an Executive Editor of Chemistry of Materials and on the Editorial Advisory Board of 10 other scientific journals. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2009.

Professor Bronwyn HarchProfessor Bronwyn Harch

Professor Bronwyn Harch (FTSE, GAICD, AStat) is an applied statistician with 21 years of experience leading and undertaking research focused at the nexus of agricultural and environmental systems. She is very passionate about making an impact by generating knowledge, technology and practices that make our world more sustainable, secure and resilient.

As Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments at QUT, Bronwyn leads transdisciplinary research efforts – where industry, government and the community co-develop with QUT researchers a range of initiatives to address global challenges. Bronwyn is also the establishment Research Director of the recently announced Australian Government Co-operative Research Centre on Food Agility – a transdisciplinary partnership with industry aimed at growing the agrifood sectors’ comparative advantage through digital transformation.

Before joining QUT in 2014, Bronwyn had worked for 18 years as a researcher and research strategist at the CSIRO.

Bronwyn’s own research has focused on the statistical design of landscape-scale sampling protocols and monitoring programs, as well as the statistical modelling of complex systems, particularly agri-environmental systems. She has developed transdisciplinary research, engagement and commercialisation strategies and partnerships with state and federal governments and their agencies, Australian and multinational companies and other research organisations.

Professor Arun SharmaProfessor Arun Sharma

Professor Arun Sharma is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) at QUT. Arun has played a significant leadership role in the development of Australian research capacity in information and communication technology over several decades.

Arun is a member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel. He also served as a member of the Queensland Premier’s Smart State Council (2004-11) and as a member of the Premier’s Business Roundtable (2010-12). He was awarded the 2010 Premier’s Special Award for contribution to building the export profile of Queensland.

He was educated in the United States and India, receiving his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (1985), PhD in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1990) and post-doctoral training in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990-91).

Professor Lutz HeuserProfessor Lutz Heuser

Professor Lutz Heuser is a highly experienced technology leader and strategist with more than 25 years experience in the ICT industry. As CEO of the [ui!] GROUP, he manages one of the most successful groups of start-up companies focusing on smart city solutions, with operations in Germany, USA, Hungary and Australia. In 2016, [ui!] was among the winners of the German Digital Leader Award for its innovative platform for urban traffic infrastructure.

Formerly, as Global Head of SAP Research, Lutz led some of the European Union’s most significant strategic ICT programs, which directly led to the germination of the Internet of Things concept and its application in the domain of smart cities.

Lutz’s deep technical knowledge in advanced ICT systems and significant track record working with leading industry partners and governments at all levels have allowed him to take on a leading role in the development of the smart cities concept across Europe.  He chairs the two leading standard groups of smart city technology in Germany, and is Chairman and Founder of the Smart City Forum, the largest network for digital transformation in cities in Germany. Lutz is also the Chairman of the Action Cluster “Sustainable Urban Mobility” of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.

Lutz is Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt and an adjunct professor at QUT. He holds an honorary doctoral degree from the Technical University of Dresden.