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Media opportunity: quick Q&A and images
Date: Wednesday 13 April 2016
Time: 10.45am-11.00am
Venue: SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong (Building 6) Note to media: Media are welcome to attend this event. 

Media contact: Victoria Black, SMART Strategic Marketing Manager, on +61 2 4221 3433 or

SMART Advisory Council Chair Dr Ian Watt AO welcomes new Council members and tours Facility

Dr Ian Watt, AO, the former head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, is the new Advisory Council Chair of UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility.

Dr Ian Watt, AO, the new Advisory Council Chair of the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility has this week toured the Facility and announced two new Council Members.

Dr Watt served as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Head of the Public Service from 2011 to 2014.

Dr Ian WattUniversity of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE, welcomed Dr Watt’s appointment in March and believes his experience as the country’s most senior public servant will prove an invaluable asset to SMART and the University as a whole.

“Following his distinguished career at the highest level of public administration in this country, Dr Watt’s appointment as SMART Advisory Council Chair, is a coup for the University and we welcome his decision to join the SMART Infrastructure Facility and share his skills and best practice public policy experience,” Professor Wellings said.

In Wollongong to tour the Facility and meet with SMART Executive and staff, Dr Watt, announced the appointment of two more industry leaders to the Advisory Council ranks. Brendan Lyon, Chief Executive of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) and Catherine Caruana-McManus, founder of Giant Ideas, have joined the Council as part of a refresh which aims to further establish SMART as a trusted scientific powerhouse on infrastructure research in Australia and beyond.

IPA is the peak infrastructure policy partnership between Australia’s Commonwealth and state governments and the business sector. Brendan’s role with the IPA means he brings a wealth of knowledge regarding both the public and private sectors’ perspective towards Australian infrastructure to his role at SMART.

Along with her role with Giant Ideas, a digital transformation firm for smart cities and IoT, Catherine also holds to position of non-Executive Director of Meshed, an IoT integration company, and is the former Director of IBM’s Smarter Cities business for ANZ. Her vast experience in this environment has led to Catherine being regarded as one of Australia’s leading thinkers and innovators in big data.

Dr Watt stated: “I am very pleased to join some of Australia’s most influential infrastructure leaders from industry and government on the SMART Advisory Council. SMART has already contributed greatly to the sector and I look forward to building on these strong foundations to further the Facility in the future.”

SMART Director, Professor Pascal Perez, said after an initial period of successful growth, SMART aims over the next five-year period to further establish itself as a trusted scientific powerhouse on infrastructure research in Australia and beyond. 

“The Council advises and guides the SMART Infrastructure Facility in its vision to deliver integrated infrastructure planning solutions for Australia and internationally,” he said. “Dr Watt’s acceptance of the role of Chair and the addition of industry experts Brendan and Catherine, further demonstrates a clear acknowledgement of the important contribution the Facility makes in the infrastructure space both in Australia and overseas,” he added.