Inaugural Thinker in Residence

03 November 2011

Deakin welcomes Professor Simon de Leeuw

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Lee Astheimer, has welcomed Professor Simon de Leeuw as Deakin University’s inaugural Thinker in Residence.

Professor de Leeuw will be actively involved with students and research fellows at the Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) and specifically within the research group of Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Maria Forsyth.

Professor Forsyth received her laureate from the Australian Research Council earlier this year.

“The Thinker in Residence program we have instituted at Deakin is another initiative aimed at developing our research capabilities and particularly our Early Career Researchers,” Professor Astheimer said.

“Professor de Leeuw is one of the world’s most respected scientists. 

“His research activities include developments in the disciplines of computational science and simulation and the application of computer simulation to the study of structural, thermodynamical and dynamical behaviour of complex materials.

“He has already been assisting some of our young researchers with their projects.

“By having him here as a Thinker in Residence it will allow more regular interaction and in depth discussions in a variety of projects.” 

Professor de Leeuw, who is currently Visiting Professor at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry, University of Leiden in The Netherlands was an early mentor to Professor Forsyth.

“I first worked with Maria in Chicago,” Professor de Leeuw said.

“It is special to me that I have been asked to come to Deakin to help develop the young researchers in Maria’s area.

“I feel it is an honour to be able to put it on my CV – the inaugural Thinker in Residence at Deakin.”

Professor de Leeuw says he wants to help the young researchers better understand the modelling which is a core part of their research.

“Once they understand that, they will be able to proceed in their research careers far more smoothly,” Professor de Leeuw said. 

A second Thinker in Residence, Professor Robert Jeffery from the University of Minnesota will take up his position this month.

He will work with Professor David Crawford and his team at the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (CPAN).

Professor Jeffery is regarded internationally as a leading authority in behavioural health research, particularly in relation to obesity. 

His work has been at the forefront of the field for the past 25 years.  Professor Jeffery has established a successful research centre and built capacity in his field, he has published over 300 peer reviewed papers in high ranking international journals, he has been invited to provide high level advice to health authorities in the US and internationally and he has attracted over US$25 million in grant funding in the past decade.

Professor Maria Forsyth Researchers in Professor Maria Forsyth's group will benefit from Professor Simon de Leeuw's mentoring.

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