Sydney University has appointed a woman as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. Professor Judy Raper, head of Chemical Engineering at University of NSW takes over her new job in July 1997. "Engineering is about solving problems, about the environment and about changing society for the better", she remarked in the SMH, 13.2.97.
It might be hoped, too, that her appointment will change attitudes to engineering and help to encourage more women into this male dominated profession.
Professor Raper is one of Australia's outstanding chemical engineers. Her international standing in her field is demonstrated not only by her publications in prestigious journals and presentations at conferences but by an impressive range of other activities. These include membership at the International Standards Association Committee for Particle Size Analysis, member of editorial boards of three important journals, and membership on the organising committee for the World Congress on Particle Technology to be held in Sydney in 2002. Professor Raper has received a number of prestigious awards (including the Sheddon Pacific Award for the most outstanding young chemical engineer in Australia in 1992) and is a member of the ARC Engineering and Earth Sciences Panel. She was responsible for the establishment of the Centre for Particle & Catalyst Technologies at the University of New South Wales, where she has been Director since 1991.
Professor Raper is also a very good, effective and dedicated teacher. It is a duty she takes seriously, and one of the outstanding examples of her innovative approach has been the introduction of Business Skills programs to the final year undergraduate course. She has also continually monitored and reviewed the chemical engineering course to meet the increasing demands of accreditation, incoming students and industry.
Professor Raper did her postdoctoral research at Cambridge University, working at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. She has taught at both the University of Newcastle and the University of New South Wales. She is currently involved in the newly established ARC Special Research Centre for Multiphase Processes at the University of Newcastle.