Institute for Future Environments the university for the real world

Humans of IFE - Sach Jayasinghe

28th October 2019

Field of Expertise: Environmental Science and Management

Position: Director, Research Infrastructure

What are you working on at the moment?

Lots! We're looking at a New Research Initiative – building a business case for University investment to stimulate heightened and focused transdisciplinary research. We're also in active negotiation with a multinational ASX100 company for a research partnership. 

I'm overseeing recruitment of another seven plus positions for the portfolio, reflecting both capacity and new capability in the University’s research infrastructure, and overseeing the $1M plus capital project that will look to accommodate both the incoming Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer and the circa $5M Aberration-Corrected Transmission Electron Microscope.

Why is your work important?

All contemporary research, especially in medical, science and engineering disciplines, relies on foundational research infrastructure. These infrastructure capabilities are reflected in cutting-edge equipment, deep technical expertise of talented staff and fit-for-purpose physical spaces. Therefore, with the help of many colleagues, my work ensures QUT addresses all three components, informed by end-users, both internal and external partners. 

What excites or inspires you about your field?

What excites me is the rapid evolution of technology and the remarkable transformative changes it brings. This is paramount across many technology platforms, acutely seen in the genomics space. Whilst it is a challenge to stay abreast of these changes, QUT has been making great strides, with pleasing results in securing many new capabilities over the last 2 years.  

Without a doubt, inspiration is to be found within the passionate research infrastructure specialists, often the unsung heroes of any University’s research success. 

What are your hopes for the future?

Greater recognition and career support structures for research infrastructure specialists within the national research ecosystem. This recognition then should translate to dedicated fellowship schemes, and at the local level adjustment of Enterprise Agreements that call out these specialists where we move beyond the outdated ethos represented by the dichotomy of Professional and Academic staff. 

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