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Louise McWhinnie

Dean: Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, University of Technology Sydney

Professor Louise McWhinnie is the inaugural Dean of the new Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation.

Over the last three decades Louise has lived and worked as a designer and academic in three continents (Australia, Europe and Asia), with in the last decade her research conducted within a fourth (America).

As Associate Dean for nine years in the UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building she provided creative leadership in the development and implementation of innovative university teaching and learning, as well as educational quality assurance. Her role as Dean builds upon this work, her contribution to the development of UTS's first transdisciplinary degree program the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) and her concurrent role as Head of the Department for Creative Intelligence and Innovation. In late 2016 the BCII was presented by Louise at The Wharton Reimagine Education Awards in the USA, where it was awarded the bronze award for Presence Learning. Referred to as the 'oscars of education' the Wharton Awards attract over 500 applications from the world's leading educational institutions.

Louise’s primary research examines the role of 20th century vernacular typography, with a particular focus upon the formation of the commercial corridors of urban and sub-urban America. Her documentation plays an important role in the development of a new typographic timeline recording America’s design, social, cultural, commercial and economic development.

Her research also focuses upon education; how creative, cultural and linguistic diversity shapes international educational practice, the role of the studio, and the development of internships and internship-like experiences within the creative arts. Her research and its integration into teaching have resulted in an Australian Teaching & Learning Council citation and a UTS Learning and Teaching Award, as well as being ‘highly commended’ in the Vice Chancellor’s Research Awards for integration of research into teaching.

Over recent years Louise has delivered presentations, papers, master classes and professional workshops within Australia, London, Cyprus, Istanbul, Greece and the USA (Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinatti, New Orleans and San Antonio). She has worked closely with Creative Intelligence and Innovation staff and students in transdisciplinary teams working with industry and government (Visa, Government House NSW) on a series of wicked problems. Louise also writes articles for The Conversation, and has undertaken radio and TV interviews in Australia and overseas.


  • –present
    Dean, UTS


    PhD, UNSW