Bill Scales AO awarded honorary doctorate

Tuesday 16 December 2014

The east side of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building captured during a sunset.

Former Swinburne University of Technology Chancellor, Bill Scales AO, has received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his commitment to leadership and lifelong learning. 

The award of Doctor of the University is the highest honour bestowed by Swinburne and was presented at a graduation ceremony at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 15 December.

For more than 50 years, Mr Scales has held a range of executive, governance and pro-bono positions in business, industry, government and the not for profit sectors. 

“Bill Scales exemplifies leadership for the greater good, contributing actively and courageously to education, business, policy development and community service. It is most fitting that we acknowledge his leadership and enormous contributions by awarding him an honorary doctorate,” said Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson.

Mr Scales’ time as Swinburne’s Chancellor was marked by many notable achievements, including:

  • the achievement of a place for Swinburne in the Top 400 universities in the world and one of the Top 75 in the field of Physics, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities
  • the establishment of Swinburne Online, Swinburne’s joint venture with Seek Limited
  • the transformation of the Hawthorn campus through the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre and the Advanced Technologies Centre, as well as significant improvements to both Wantirna and Croydon campuses
  • a strong continuing commitment to vocational and pathways education and life-long learning

Mr Scales is a qualified Fitter and Machinist, holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Monash University and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

In 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to industry and in 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for outstanding service to business and commerce.

Swinburne’s graduation ceremony will also include the awarding of the title and role of Emeritus Professor to Professor Richard Silberstein, who has had a distinguished career at Swinburne spanning forty years of service.

He has contributed to the university in four major areas – teaching, research, management and services to the scientific and broader community.

Professor Silberstein played a major role in the design and implementation of the first undergraduate teaching program in Australia that combined biomedical sciences with physical and engineering sciences in an integrated manner in each year of the course.

He also initiated another Australian first with the introduction of the Psychophysiology major to be taken in conjunction with a major study in Psychology. This was an Australian first in that it was the only program that integrated those components of human physiology relevant to psychology.