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Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation & Change), Professor of Astrophysics, Swinburne University of Technology

Sarah Maddison is Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Innovation & Change) and a professor of astrophysics at Swinburne University of Technology. She has a BSc(Hons) in applied mathematics and a PhD in computational astrophysics, both from Monash University. Her main area of research is planet formation, which she studies both observationally and numerically via computer simulations. Sarah has worked in the USA and in France before taking up a position at Swinburne in late 1999. She leads the Swinburne planets group and is involved in a number of projects to explore the first dust grains that formed in our solar system and surveys of the dust content of planet-forming disks in the solar neighbourhood. Sarah uses a range of numerical codes and telescopes, including the Australia Telescope Compact Array, to study the formation and evolution of protoplanetary disks and the dust in these disks, as well as planetary dynamics and planet-disk interactions.

She serves on numerous national & international astronomy committees, including the Square Kilometre Array 'Cradle of Life' Science Working Group and is a member of the ARC College of Experts. Sarah was the founder and past chair of the women in astronomy chapter of the Astronomical Society of Australia and the International Astronomical Union working group for women in astronomy.

Sarah is a passionate advocate for STEM and particularly women in STEM. She is involved in a range of outreach activities, including the 3D AstroTour program at Swinburne and the CSIRO Scientists In Schools program.

Sarah is a member of the Australian Institute of Physics, the International Astronomical Union and is a Fellow of the Astronomical Society of Australia.


  • 1998 
    Monash, PhD

Research Areas

  • Stellar Astronomy And Planetary Systems (020110)