Australia’s oldest university, the University of Sydney, has appointed urban geographer and planner Robyn Dowling as head of school and dean of its School of Architecture, Design and Planning – the first woman to fill the role.
Dowling has been at the university since 2016, when she joined the school as an associate dean. Internationally known for her work on housing, as well as on the implications of climate change and technological disruptions for cities, she also brings with her experience in teaching and administration.
“We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Robyn from a pool of exceptional candidates,” said deputy vice-chancellor Stephen Garton.
“Robyn’s success is testament to her diverse strengths and reflects the University’s vision and commitment to continued growth. Her experience crosses multi-disciplinary platforms which will build on the School’s reputation for academic excellence and expand the emphasis on diversity, culture and creativity, offering new perspectives and a clear vision for the future.”
Dowling’s current research is focused on the partnerships and relationships through which contemporary cites are governed; she is “at the forefront of theoretical conceptions of smart cities.” She was recently awarded a Fellowship in the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of her significant national and international standing in the field.
“I am excited to be taking on the role of Head of School and Dean of Australia’s number-one ranked architecture and built environment school and to take it into its second century. This is an opportune moment to deepen the School’s research and teaching engagements with our professions of architecture, design and planning and to lead the development of multidisciplinary solutions to the challenges of living in an urban age.”
“The School of Architecture has a rich heritage, I hold a great deal of respect for the individuals that compose it, and I am equally excited about the opportunity to steer it to new strengths,” said Dowling.
Dowling will begin her tenure on 1 January 2019 when John Redmond’s term ends. Redmond has been dean since 2010.