Deputy VC prepares for new venture in Singapore 

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and International, Professor Bob Wasson is set to take up the role of Professorial Fellow at the National University of Singapore

Colleagues and friends have farewelled Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and International, Professor Bob Wasson, as he prepares to take up the role of Professorial Fellow at the National University of Singapore.

One of the driving forces behind putting Charles Darwin University on the research map, Professor Wasson has been integral in strengthening research and policy.

“When I arrived at CDU over seven years ago the university was brand new and there was an opportunity to build on what was already here,” Professor Wasson said.

“A small regional university that is familiar with local problems, that is in direct contact with the community has the opportunity to conduct quality research of relevance to its community and region. Our performance in the Federal Government’s recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative confirmed the quality of our research.

Professor Wasson said he counted the recent ranking of CDU at the highest possible score of five stars for research intensivity by the Australia's Good Universities Guide 2011 as truly gratifying.

During his time at CDU, Professor Wasson has forged strong research links within the South-east Asian region and built relationships with East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hainan in China.

His dedication to research in the NT has helped to shape the new research model at CDU, which is structured around research institutes and centres.

Professor Wasson will remain an Adjunct Professorial Research Fellow with CDU and has accepted a Professorial Fellowship in graduate teaching and research at the National University of Singapore.

His change of pace will also allow him to fulfill his real passion that began with the gift of a book called Geomorphology at the age of 16.

“As an undergraduate at Sydney University, I found myself in the thrall of research papers in the earth sciences,” he said. “I knew that research was for me.”

Professor Wasson began reconstructing the past environments of rivers and desert dunes, and past climates. A joint geomorphologic paper authored by him and Dr Robert Hyde was recently declared a “classic” by the journal Progress in Physical Geography, being used in text books around the world.

“I am pleased that I will be able to finish my book ‘Catchment Concepts’, that I hope will assist Third World countries without access to the scientific literature to further management of their natural resources,” he said.

Professor Wasson was honoured at a dinner attended by friends and colleagues in The Chancellery on Casuarina campus.

He thanked staff, students, collaborators and friends, saying CDU has a bright future, and research was one of the stars in its constellation.