In Summary

Astrophysics Professor Sarah Maddison has been appointed as the new Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology.

Professor Maddison has been acting in the role since February 2015 and was the inaugural Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Swinburne.

She holds a PhD in computational astrophysics as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in applied mathematics from Monash University and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in the USA and France.

“Professor Maddison has a great passion for science as well as excellent communication and leadership skills,” Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Professor John Wilson, said. “She has done an excellent job acting in this role over the past six months.”

A passionate teacher and researcher, Professor Maddison’s principle research focus is the dusty discs that surround young stars in which planets form.

She sits on a number of national and international astronomy committees and is heavily involved in activities designed to raise the profile of women in astronomy and in science in general.

She is the founder and past chair of the women in astronomy chapter of the Astronomical Society of Australia and the International Astronomical Union's working group for women in astronomy, and is a member of the Women in Physics Committee of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Professor Maddison is passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and led her teaching team to win a Swinburne Vice Chancellor's Teaching Excellence award, a prestigious Office of Learning & Teaching Citation and an Open Universities of Australia NOVA award.

She feels strongly about the importance of training more inspirational science teachers who encourage school students to continue studying this subject in order to create a science-literate population that can take Australia forward in an increasingly technology-focussed world.

She is also involved in a range of outreach activities, including the 3D AstroTour program at Swinburne, the CSIRO Scientists In Schools program and projects to get young girls involved in STEM.

Earlier this year Professor Maddison was named one of Swinburne’s Significant Women.

Read more about Professor Sarah Maddison.

In this video, Professor Sarah Maddison talks about her life and career journey and shares her thoughts on current projects, being a female leader and following your dreams.