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Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)


Professor John Bell 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Professor John Bell

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) leads the Research and Innovation Division at the University of Southern Queensland.

Professor Bell works to enhance the University’s research profile, its research performance and its culture of research excellence and quality research training. He oversees a coordinated focus on fostering collaborations and partnerships with government, industry and the research community, within Australia and around the world to deliver applied research outcomes that have global impact.

His key responsibilities include the implementation of the USQ Research Plan, managing research programs, partnerships and investments, driving research performance and supporting research staff and students to achieve excellence.

The Division comprises the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Research School, Office of Research, and the University's three Research Institutes and nine Research Centres.


Prior to joining UniSQ, Professor Bell was the Head of the School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering at the Queensland University of Technology. Prior to that time he held a range of senior positions at QUT including Assistant Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering from 2001-2011, and Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Engineering Research from 2003-2004. 

John has had a significant research development and mentoring role in the School, attracting 23 ARC fellowships (34 in total), including two Laureate fellows; doubling his School’s external income during his tenure as Head to $18.2 million in 2018; and increasing research quality in the School with 10 publications in Nature or Science in 2018.

As an outstanding researcher in his area of materials engineering and energy, Professor Bell has led projects in the development of energy efficient smart windows, dye-sensitised solar cell development, and carbonaceous materials.  He also has expertise in the area of energy efficiency and occupant comfort in buildings,  and has carried out extensive research with industry.  Professor Bell has received over $25 million in research funding during his 30-year career as a researcher.  Professor Bell brings to UniSQ a wealth of experience and impressive track record in the development of research capacity in terms of research income and HDR completions, as well as national and international research leadership, including the ARC College of Experts and Laureate panels. 

Memberships and Affiliations

Professor Bell is a Director of the Australian Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering and is currently a member of the following groups:

  • Fellow of Engineers Australia
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Physics
  • Member of the American Physical Society (US)
  • Member of the American Chemical Society (US)
  • Member of the Materials Research Society (US)
  • Member of Materials Australia Smart Energy Council

Contact details

Phone: +61 7 3470 4457
Senior Executive Officers:
Sarah Hunt and Anne Ritchie
Executive Assistant:
Kirsty Ingram