Dr Mary Kelly

Executive Director for Biological Sciences and Biotechnology

Phone: +61 2 6287 6600

Dr Mary Kelly joined the ARC in February 2020 as Executive Director for Biological Sciences and Biotechnology. 

Prior to this, Dr Kelly has served as an Adjunct Executive Director for the ARC. In 2019 Dr Kelly was inaugural Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology, a joint initiative of the Australian National University and the CSIRO, and from 2015 to 2018 Dr Kelly was Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Development and Industry at Charles Sturt University. 

Dr Kelly’s research background is grounded in biochemistry and microbiology with a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Georgia where she was a Fulbright Scholar, followed by a Conway Research Fellowship and Health Research Board Research Fellowship at University College Dublin. Over the last two decades Dr Kelly has established her career in research, research management and senior executive management both in Ireland and Australia.

Driven by a constant desire to contribute to an ecosystem that can maximise the potential for research impact, the return on research investment and the establishment of high-achieving research career pathways, Dr Kelly has worked in multiple sectors: within the Higher Education sector in both research and innovation roles; within the Not-For-Profit sector at the Australian-American Fulbright Commission; and, within the Australian Public Service while at the ARC from 2009 to 2014. 

Mentorship, collaboration and diversity of roles has underpinned Dr Kelly’s career to date. Experience gained on international assessment panels, with Boards, as a Graduate of the AICD, with start-ups and regional communities, and within Australia’s food and agriculture ecosystem, are just some of the perspectives which she now brings to the role of Executive Director.  

Dr Robert Mun

Executive Director, Engineering and Information Sciences

Phone: +61 2 6287 6600

Dr Robert Mun joined the ARC in May 2018 as Executive Director for Engineering and Information Sciences.

Dr Mun has a strong technical background as a researcher, and has had an extensive career in the Australian Government. Prior to joining the ARC, Dr Mun was Branch Head at the Defence Science and Technology Group with the Australian Department of Defence, and previously was Scientific Advisor to Navy and to the Defence Material Organisation, and Senior Scientist leading systems engineering research, also with the Department of Defence. With research expertise commencing in the area of fluid mechanics, through his subsequent Australian Government roles, his experience has extended to complex systems integration, focusing on the integration and networking of multiple Defence systems. His research team’s specialty was including the human element within the engineering solution.

Throughout his career, Dr Mun has been involved in working with a wide range of national and international research specialists, incorporating multiple technologies into emerging solutions. This work has included managing Defence capability demonstrator grant programs.

Dr Mun has authored numerous Australian Government reports, and has contributed to a wide range of policy and capability outcomes. Prior to joining the Australian Government, he published numerous journal and book articles on fluid mechanics.

Professor Bronwen Neil

Executive Director of Humanities and Creative Arts

Phone: +61 2 6287 6600

Professor Bronwen Neil joined the Australian Research Council in June 2020 as Executive Director of Humanities and Creative Arts. She is seconded from Macquarie University where she is Professor of Byzantine History in the Department of Ancient History. She joined Macquarie in 2017 while an ARC Future Fellow and in 2019 became the inaugural director of the university-funded research Centre for Ancient Cultural Heritage & Environment (CACHE). 

Professor Neil is the author, co-author, or editor of some twenty books, including several critical editions and translations of medieval Greek and Latin texts. She undertook a Master of Arts at Durham University in 1998 with a Commonwealth Scholarship and was awarded a doctorate from the Australian Catholic University in 2000. Since then, her interdisciplinary research on the religious and political history of the first millennium CE has been supported by several ARC Discovery Projects, a Von Humboldt Stiftung Fellowship for Established Scholars (Bonn, 2008-9), and a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Durham University in the UK (2020).

As past president of the Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies and current vice president of the Association Internationale d'Études Patristiques, she has fostered Australia's links with international scholars in the humanities, especially in the UK, Asia, Latin America, eastern Europe, and South Africa. She is an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in the Classics, History, and Religion sections, and currently serves on its council.

She brings to her role at the ARC a passion for understanding the ancient past and the importance of the humanities and creative arts for effecting positive change within Australian culture and society in the future.

Professor Craig Simmons FTSE

Executive Director for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Phone: +61 2 6287 6600

Professor Craig Simmons will join the ARC in July 2020 as Executive Director for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences. 

Professor Simmons is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Hydrogeology and Inaugural Schultz Chair in the Environment at Flinders University. Prior to commencing at the ARC, Professor Simmons was Foundation Director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, founded as an ARC Centre of Excellence. He was also Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Research Projects) at Flinders University. He is an Honorary Professor at The Australian National University (ANU). 

Professor Simmons is an internationally renowned Earth Scientist who has made significant discoveries about groundwater using theory, experiment and computational simulation. His work is answering critical questions about our environment, food and water security, coal seam gas and fracking, mining, energy and nuclear waste disposal.  Professor Simmons has an honours degree in engineering, in addition to a degree in theoretical and experimental physics. He holds a PhD in hydrology, with an emphasis on mathematical modelling. 

Professor Simmons is recognised for major national and international contributions to groundwater science, science leadership, education and policy reform. He is Chair of the Australian Government’s Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee (ARRTC), which provides the Commonwealth Government with advice on Ranger Uranium Mine in world-heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. He is a member of the Australian Government’s Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC). 

Professor Simmons is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. His work has been recognised by numerous national and international research and teaching awards including the Anton Hales Medal for outstanding contributions to research in the Earth Sciences by the Australian Academy of Science and an Australian Award for University Teaching. He was named the 2015 South Australian Scientist of the Year and the 2017 Australian Water Professional of the Year. He is a 2017 Convocation Medallist of Flinders University and a 2017 Biennial Medallist of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand.