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QCIF’s Board of Directors

Professor Ian Smith

Chairperson — Monash

Ian is Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure) at Monash University, playing a university-wide leadership role, with responsibilities for research strategy, infrastructure and alliances. He has a background in both industry and research and is a leader in his field of medical research. He is a board director and chair of a number of national and international senior government and non-government advisory boards and committees, many with a strong industry focus. He also serves on a number of international editorial boards and holds or has held office-bearing positions in national and international societies, helping organise numerous national and international scientific meetings. Ian’s unique background in business and research drives his passion to get entrepreneurs and industry collaborating and using university research capabilities to innovate.

Adjunct Professor Linda O’Brien

Independent non-executive director — Griffith

Linda has returned to the QCIF board — she was previously its longest-serving member. She stepped down in 2017 following her Griffith University promotion to Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the Logan Campus, a role she left in early 2020. She has previously held executive information and technology (CIO) roles across a number of universities and is currently an Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at the Griffith Business School. Linda is committed to strengthening community partnerships to advance research and translate research into practise, and to positioning Queensland as an innovative and resilient region. She is engaged in a number of international and national initiatives aimed at leveraging innovative information technologies to make data, in all its forms, and research outputs FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). She is currently Chair of the ORCID board and Deputy Chair elect of Infoxchange. She was formerly on the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing board, a member of the NCRIS eResearch Advisory Committee, the Australasian Open Access Advisory Committee executive and chair of the Open Data Institute Australia.

Paul Bonnington
Professor Paul Bonnington


Paul joined The University of Queensland in 2022 as Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Infrastructure). He has decades of experience within research infrastructure in the tertiary sector. Prior to joining UQ, Paul was Director of eResearch at Monash University. Under Paul’s direction, the Monash eResearch Centre hosted federally-funded national eResearch infrastructure worth more than $27 million, for specialised high-performance computing, research cloud services and data storage and data management, underpinning the data-centric research of more than 4,000 researchers. He also led numerous state and national research infrastructure initiatives while at Monash. At the University of Auckland, Paul established New Zealand’s first eResearch program. 
Paul has also served on numerous state and national boards in the research and research infrastructure areas, including the current Australian Earth-System Simulator National Research Infrastructure (ACCESS-NRI) Board. His major research interests lie in graph-theory, medical AI, and developing advanced computational solutions to combinatorial problems.

Professor Stephen Blanksby
Professor Stephen Blanksby


Stephen holds a PhD in chemistry (1999, University of Adelaide) and has postdoctoral research experience in Europe and the USA. He held a teaching and research position at the University of Wollongong (2002–2013) before becoming Professor of Chemistry at Queensland University of Technology (2014–present) where he has served as Director of the Central Analytical Research Facility and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research Infrastructure. Stephen’s research is focused on advances in mass spectrometry to empower molecular discovery in chemistry and biology with a particular focus on overcoming the challenges in structural lipidomics. He has published 200 peer-reviewed articles, serves as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and is currently secretary of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation.

Professor Paulo de Souza
Professor Paulo De Souza


Paulo is the Dean (Research) for the Sciences Group at Griffith University and was previously the Head of the School of Information and Communication Technology at Griffith. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. He serves as editorial board member of several interdisciplinary and ICT journals and is a reviewer of several research funding programs in Australia and abroad. He has extensive international hands-on experience in industrial research, consultancy, government agencies, and academia. He is co-author of several books and international patents, and of more than 200 peer-review publications including several articles in the prestigious journals Science and Nature. He is co-author of a series of articles identified as the “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science Magazine and received several international awards for his service to science particularly in the ICT sector. He is an experienced science communicator having his research covered by major media including CNN, Al Jazeera, Time Magazine, Forbes, The Guardian and BBC. He completed his PhD in Natural Sciences at Johannes Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, Germany and his undergraduate and MSc (Eng.) studies at UFES in Brazil. His research interests lie in the area of micro-sensing and he explores applications of his instruments across different fields of science and in industry, including mining, space and ICT. He contributed to the design, production, deployment and operation of a sensor used by NASA onboard two rovers on Mars. He is passionate for the development of a sovereign space capability in Australia.

Professor Andrew Krockenberger


Andrew is Dean of Research at James Cook University, with responsibilities in development of JCU’s research environment, excellence and relevance. He has particular responsibility for strategic direction and operational performance of core research infrastructure. He graduated with a PhD in Zoology from University of Sydney in 1994, receiving an Eleanor Sophia Wood Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and has worked in research and teaching at UNSW, University of Washington and JCU, with extensive experience in ecophysiology in laboratory and field. Appointed Dean of Research at JCU in 2013, he has been strongly involved in development of JCU’s analytical and experimental facilities and field stations, particularly the Daintree Rainforest Observatory, completed in 2014. Andrew is a Director of QCIF and serves on the Advisory Board for the Terrestrial Environmental Research Network (TERN).

Professor John Bell


John is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of Southern Queensland. His responsibilities include the implementation of the USQ Research Plan, managing research programs, partnerships and investments, driving research performance and supporting research staff and students to achieve excellence. John joined USQ in August 2019 following 25 years at QUT as Head of the School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering (2012–2019), and as Assistant Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering (2001–2011). John has a long history of association with Cooperative Research Centres, having been a program leader in both the Australian CRC for Renewable Energy (1996–2001), and in the CRC for Construction Innovation (2002–2004), and a Director of the CRC for Railway Innovation (2008–2010) and the CRC for Integrated Engineering Asset Management (2012–2013). His research career covers nanotechnology and new materials development, materials for energy efficiency, conversion and storage.

Mr Roy Pidgeon


Roy is Chief Information and Digital Officer at CQUniversity. His responsibilities include delivering real business and technical solutions for the whole of the university’s activities in learning, teaching, research and corporate functions. He focuses on establishing innovation culture through effective partnerships with stakeholders and improving customer engagement, service delivery, governance and management of technology applications and solutions. Roy first joined CQUniversity in 2008 as Associate Director of Infrastructure Services and Support. Prior to that he was IT Director at Charles Darwin University from 2003–2008.

Professor Ross Young
Professor Ross Young


Ross was appointed to USC in August 2021 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation). Prior to joining USC, he held a number of executive academic roles in clinical and academic health and in medical research. This includes Chair of Trauma Rehabilitation at the Jamieson Trauma Institute, Metro North Health; Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is committed to social justice and maximising health outcomes for all people, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities and to the use of novel digital and technological solutions to important health and societal challenges. Commercial collaboration and patent activity have included licensing gene chip technology. Ross also has Board representation in the academic, community and health sectors. He has contributed to health leadership development through mentoring and strategy development in large health and research entities.