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Professor Vernon Ireland
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After completing his engineering degree Professor Vernon Ireland practised as a structural engineer for seven years while completing an arts degree in English literature, psychology, philosophy and sociology and also completed a Master of Engineering Science degree and a Ph.D. in Project Management later.
He rose to the position of Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney and occupied this position from 1987-1991. While at UTS he used some tools from his PhD research to compare the performance of Australia’s construction industry with that of the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and New Zealand, surveying over 20 projects in each country. This work was eventually fed into the results of a Royal Commission on Productivity in the Building Industry of New South Wales. In this period he was also Chairman of the Building Services Corporation, the licensing authority for domestic building, and Electrical and plumbing work in New South Wales.
He then spent the next 12 years in the commercial sector as Corporate Development Director of Fletcher Challenge Construction, working mainly in the USA. He then became chief executive of the Australian Graduate School of Engineering Innovation. Finally he was appointed Professor and Director of Project Management at the University of Adelaide with the task of establishing the Master of Project Management, which has directed since 2003. He introduce complex systems into ECIC which has both contributed to the Master of Applied Project Management and created a bridge with the innovation and entrepreneurship in both teaching and research. He publishes in recognised journals.
He has received three medals: the Silver Magnolia medal from the Shanghai government for contributions to Chinese overseas relationships; the rotary gold medal for contribution to vocational education and the engineer’s Australia medal for contribution to engineering.
He was President of the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia in 2004 and initiated the Centre of Engineering Leadership and Management. He supervises a number of Ph.D. students who are researching the role of complex systems in various diverse areas including disaster preparation and management, dispute resolution between warring nations, a complex adaptive systems and security management of events.
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