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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.

Neal Menzies
Professor Neal Menzies


Neal is the Pro Vice Chancellor (Sciences) and Professor of Soil and Environmental Science at Griffith University. His main research interests are plant mineral nutrition, bio-toxicity of trace metals, and the development of sustainable but highly productive tropical farming systems. Following his PhD at the University of Queensland, Neal worked at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Cameroon, and then as an academic at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, before returning to Australia to take a position at the University of Queensland. He was Dean of Agriculture in The University of Queensland from 2011 to 2022. He moved to the role of Pro Vice Chancellor (Sciences) at Griffith University in 2022. He has undertaken many leadership roles in his discipline area of soil science and in agriculture more generally. He is a Past President of the Australian Society of Soil Science, Past Vice-President of the International Union of Soil Science, and Past President of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture. He currently serves on the National Research and Innovation Committee, and the New South Wales Planning Commission as Chair of the Minerals and Petroleum Gateway Panel.

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).

Brad Carter
Professor Brad Carter


Brad is a Professor of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland, and Director of its Centre for Astrophysics within UniSQ’s Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences. He is also Discipline Team Leader for the Physics & Astronomy teaching discipline. In his career he has combined observational and computational studies to advance understanding of the physics of stellar atmospheres and activity, contributed to the discovery of dozens of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, and helped establish Australia’s ongoing involvement in international research detailing stellar surfaces, magnetic fields, and winds. He has won awards and other recognition for his teaching, research, and leadership, and served as a panellist for the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts. At UniSQ he has led the development of astronomical and space sciences into a research program rated by the Australian Research Council in the top available band. For some years he also led the development of UniSQ’s Mt Kent Observatory into a facility whose observations now support international collaborations with leading research organisations, and which receives funding from the NASA-NSF EXPLORE program and the DLR. As the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship he travelled to the USA in 2022 for a project entitled Advancing Bilateral Cooperation in Space using Astronomy. In January 2024 he was appointed to the role of Dean (Research Infrastructure) to deliver strategic leadership and management of research facilities across the University of Southern Queensland.

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 the University of the Sunshine Coast in August 2021 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation). Prior to joining UniSC, 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.