Honorary Professor Nick Birbilis is presently the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University. Nick was previously the Interim Dean and Deputy Dean of the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science. Professor Birbilis was appointed Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), within the Australian National University, in October 2021 and was appointed Honorary Professor of the ANU in August 2022 when he took up his current appointment at Deakin University.
Nick previously served as Deputy Dean (and acting Associate Dean Research) with CECS from November 2018 – leading the College through an unprecedented investment to reimagine engineering, computing and technology for the 21st century.
Nick co-led the development and implementation of this strategic vision for the college, focusing on non-traditional and innovative research, multi-dimensional inclusive education and state of the art infrastructure. Nick went on to lead the refresh of this strategy in order to support an education led recovery for the ANU, mid-way through the COVID-19 pandemic, after a period of immense change.
As an academic, Nick is a world-renowned materials engineer recognised for contributions in microstructure-corrosion relationships, including in the area of light alloys and additively manufactured alloys as well as 3D printing, with >20 associated patents. His research is highly interdisciplinary, including ground-breaking demonstration on a number of stainless alloys and development of highly ductile magnesium, right through to detailed electrochemical analysis that has unravelled many microstructure-corrosion relationships (across all the engineering materials). As part of his dedication to the field of materials engineering, Nick founded the ‘Birbilis Family Corrosion Award’ at Monash University, with an eye to creating more opportunities for engineering students from diverse backgrounds.
Over the past decade, Nick has maintained a focus on transformational leadership, empowering and enabling others, whilst also creating systems and infrastructure to allow world leading research and impact. He has a strong passion for engagement and enterprise – which are critical to the function of modern universities and their role.
Nick believes that engineering, computing and the use of technology will play a critical role in society as we head towards Industry 4.0. He is a passionate educator and strong advocate for diversity in STEM, who enjoys working on projects of social relevance and impact.