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.
Dr 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Distinguished Professor Arun Sharma
Distinguished 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 Kerrie Wilson
Professor Kerrie Wilson is the Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Before joining QUT in January 2019, Kerrie was the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland. She is also an Affiliated Professor in Conservation Science at The University of Copenhagen and the Australian Natural Sciences Commissioner for UNESCO, and has previously held leadership positions with NGOs, including Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy Australia.
Kerrie has two decades of experience leading and conducting research into the science, strategy and policy of conservation. She is particularly interested in applied resource allocation problems, such as how to invest limited resources to protect or restore biodiversity and what sociopolitical and institutional factors influence investment success in conservation.
Kerrie’s research has been published in high impact journals such as Nature and Science and involves collaborations with government agencies and NGOs at local, national and global levels. Kerrie has received numerous national awards, including the Prime Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, the Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science, two ARC Research Fellowships and an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher.
Kerrie holds a Bachelor in Environmental Science (First Class Honours, awarded in 1999) from UQ and a PhD from The University of Melbourne (2004), undertaken in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, based in Cambridge.
Professor Roger Hellens
Roger Hellens is a life scientist with 30 years’ experience leading and conducting industry-oriented research in molecular biology, bioinformatics, genetics and cell biology. Roger is currently a Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Deputy Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments (IFE) at QUT. Since joining QUT in 2014, Roger has worked as a researcher in the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities and held several leadership positions within IFE and the Science and Engineering Faculty.
From 2000 to 2014, Roger worked for the New Zealand government research institute Plant & Food Research (formerly HortResearch), where he held several senior roles, including leading the institute’s genomics research program and more recently its $10M p.a. kiwifruit breeding research program.
Roger’s research interests at Plant & Food Research included developing red-fleshed apple and kiwifruit varieties and exploiting Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques. He also maintained a keen interest in post-transcriptional gene regulation, which has become relevant in work to understand the regulation of vitamin C.
Before moving to New Zealand, Roger worked at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, where he developed the first genetic maps of peas (including his PhD on the molecular basis of Mendel’s white flower phenotype). He also developed the pGreen plant transformation vector and studied gene silencing (RNAi) in petunia.
Roger received a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of East Anglia in 1995 and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Liverpool in 1989.