Welcome message

Welcome message
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field.
Professor Les Field
Professor Les Field

Inside this special edition of Research@UNSW you will read about 10 innovations that have changed our world and about the people who made them happen.

Some of the examples are more obvious than others, such as our world-leading research in the area of silicon solar cells and photovoltaic energy, the impact of which spans across an entire global industry. Or our important work on the development of new antiretroviral therapies and treatment programs for people with HIV/AIDS.

Others are less well known, but their impact has been far-reaching. For example, a UNSW project that initiated the first national census of China’s orphans, resulting in greater financial support and social assistance for more than half a million vulnerable children.

Each story has flourished from the hard work and dedication of academics, researchers and students at UNSW, and, in many cases, from partner organisations and companies that have seen value in funding and collaborating on this work. Each story, in its own way, is important to the world we live in today and the world we envision for our future.

As you may know, the institution that would become UNSW was founded in 1949 – the only research-intensive university in Australia established with a scientific, technological and professional focus. Over more than six decades, innovation has been a pillar of our success.

The 10 innovations highlighted here cross nearly every faculty, including Science, Engineering, Law, Arts and Social Sciences, Medicine and Business.

Like many of our industry and government partners, we continue to value pioneering research that will benefit the long-term health and prosperity of Australia. We remain at the forefront of many exciting disciplines including quantum computing, nanomedicine and cancer research, implantable bionics, refugee law and renewable energy. The research we are doing in these areas today will change the world of tomorrow.

It is our hope that by reading these stories you will gain a better understanding of our rich history of innovation at UNSW and the dynamic research strengths we possess.

We value our partners and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about this edition, the innovations we have documented here, or current research projects at UNSW.

For now, please enjoy the latest in our Research@UNSW series: 10 Innovations that changed our world.


Professor Les Field AM
Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
UNSW Australia

"Each of these stories, in their own way, is important to the world we live in today and the world we envision for our future. It is our hope that by reading them, you will gain a better understanding of our rich history of innovation at UNSW and the dynamic research strengths we possess."
Professor Les Field