Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Greenfield to head ANSTO board

Professor Paul Greenfield AO has been appointed to head the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) board. Announcing the appointment, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said Greenfield's experience on the board since 2007 and his skills in science and senior management made him an outstanding candidate for the position.The ANSTO chair was vacated on December 31 when Dr Ziggy Switkowski's term finished. Switkowski elected not to seek a further term. Greenfield, is vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland and chairman of the Group of Eight.

Source: Campus Review


Professor Greenfield was appointed Vice-Chancellor from 1 January 2008 and was Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2002 to 31 December 2007. Previously he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2001), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (1997-2000), Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Physical Sciences and Engineering).

After graduating Bachelor of Engineering, first-class honours in chemical engineering, from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Professor Greenfield worked in the private sector before completing a PhD at UNSW. He worked at CSIRO before winning a three-year fellowship to the U.S. In 1975, he joined UQ as a lecturer in chemical engineering and a decade later became Head of Department.

In January 2006 Professor Greenfield was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to science and engineering, particularly through research in the areas of chemical engineering, biotechnology, wastewater and environmental management, and to the tertiary education sector.

Professor Greenfield has extensive experience as a Board Director and is currently a Director on a number of company boards. He has also consulted and worked widely with industry on a range of projects spanning biochemical engineering, wastewater treatment and waste and environmental management, as well as economic evaluation of projects (particularly in the biotechnology and environmental fields). His interests lie in biotechnology, environmental management and R & D management and commercialisation.

Professor Greenfield chairs the Group of Eight, a network of research-intensive Australian universities, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

He is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group of the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership, which involves the Queensland Government, local councils, community groups, research institutions and industry.

As well, he serves as chair of the following groups: the Expert Panel on Purified Recycled Water, which independently advises the Queensland Government; the Riversymposium Strategic Planning Committee; the Thiess International Riverprize Committee; and the International Water Centre. He is a member of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation Advisory Board, representing the academic and research community.

Source: University of Queensland


  1. So.. Is this positive for nuclear energy in Australia or not?

    But seriously.. I'm all for nuclear energy in Australia, and a carbon tax will tend to tilt things that direction, but depending on 'climate change' as an argument for it is a recipe for failure.

    In terms of the most discredited science fields around, climate science sits somewhere between economics and astrology.

    Sure, its nice to take advantage of peoples gullibility, but it's a bit rich presenting it as something that should influence policy.

  2. I can't say. I don't know him. He's an academic and based on my own experiences, my preferences are for someone who brings a bit more practical experience (speaking only from the support of a nuclear energy industry in the future). He seems to have relevant scientific related experience.

    If the need for low emissions does not bring nuclear energy to Australia, I very much doubt anything will. For what reason do you believe we should consider it?

    We'll have to agree to disagree on Climate Science. I am no scientist, but have a technical background (science degree in engineering). Based on my understanding of data from paleoclimate records (not models); my confidence lies with the majority of scientists held in high regard in the scientific community; that there is cause for SERIOUS concern.

    I strongly support aggressive action to achieve reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in the very near future.

  3. He's an engineer, which has to be a good thing. (Bias alert: I'm also an engineer).

    I find that an interesting viewpoint from a paleoclimate perspective - the data shows that it has been both higher and lower temperature than it is now across recorded history. History shows there is a range that temperature bounces around between, (mostly deeply cooler than it is now) and life goes on.

    The way I see it you can either believe that catastrophic global warming is possible , or believe in life over a period of billions of years. The two can't coexist. Either the system is stable or it isn't. And given we aren't even approaching being outside the historical temperature limits, we remain in a stable regime with decreasing effect of increasing CO2.

    Nuclear energy should be considered for a number of reasons. Reducing pollution (not CO2), diversification of supply, and cost benefits being the main ones.

    I'm mostly interested in mobile uses at this stage, but also believe nuclear power would be a good addition to the mix in general.

  4. I think they can coexist... if the system is re-engineeered. The key difference now being the rate at which human activity is dumping carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. Normal mechanisms that could mitigate this will not have the time necessary to come into play.

    I agree in your other reasons for supporting nuclear energy. I just doubt their combined justification would be enough to overcome the massive economic incentive to simply stick with coal and gas until both have been completely exhausted.

  5. Well the good Professor will be doing us all a favour if he can at least try to get rid of the supercilious superannuated public service jerk offs at Lucas Heights who continue to produce, as recently as January 2011, this kind of BULLSHIT:


    in the context of this extract from yesterday's Guardian:

    The fires at Fukushima have also triggered serious criticism of the plant's design. The decision to place storage tanks close to reactors has been pinpointed as a key design error. When those reactors caught fire, they quickly triggered reactions in the storage tanks which themselves caught fire, and so the fires spread.

    In addition, the failure to build defences that could withstand the huge tsunami that struck Japan has also been attacked. "The geological evidence in Japan indicates a history of giant tsunamis over the past several thousand years," said Professor Rolf Aalto, an Exeter University expert on tsunamis. "Unfortunately, an engineering and political decision was made to design protection and plan cities around a hypothesised five-metre tsunami – about the size of those experienced in Japan over the last century. However, it was not a surprise to geologists that a tsunami two to three times larger appeared. Both the earthquake and tsunami were exceptional, but were both well within the realm of what can occur within that tectonic setting."

  6. Thanks for the censorship. That writes your little blog off.

  7. I understand a study was completed in 2010 that took into consideration just this subject - probably motivated by the impact an earthquake had on the Kashiwazaki Kariwa reactors. And that Japanese plants - particularly the older units - had been targeted for significant upgrades.

    Of course this is now irrelevant for Daiichi units 1 through 4.

  8. I am all for considering nuclear power in Australia provided that the isotope used is Thorium due to the fact that Thorium is more abundant than Uranium, it is harder to make bomb out of and liquid fluoride Thorium reators are safer (LFTR Oak Ridge National Laboratories).

  9. I support the development of Thorium. But it will be some time before Thorium based reactors become commercially available. The question we have to answer (and I think we should work hard to answer it thoroughly and correctly), is can we afford to wait?