Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt takes the reins at ANU

1 January 2016

Our students can be confident knowing they will interact with the best minds in Australia and around the world.

Distinguished scientist and Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt AC has become the 12th Vice-Chancellor of ANU with a promise to build on the University's achievements and global excellence in research and education.

Professor Schmidt praised the work of outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO, who has stepped down after five years leading ANU.

Professor Schmidt said Professor Young had left ANU in a strong position as one of the world's great universities, ranked in the world's top 20 and among an elite group of the world's top 10 research universities.

"It is an enormous privilege to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of this great University and to follow in the footsteps of Professor Young, who has done a magnificent job to build on the University's reputation as a centre for world-class research and education," Professor Schmidt said.

Professor Schmidt is a renowned astrophysicist who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for work he did at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where he has worked for the past 20 years.

A graduate of the University of Arizona and Harvard, Professor Schmidt was appointed Vice-Chancellor after a global search.

ANU Chancellor Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC said Professor Schmidt was an inspirational leader.

"Brian's vision, vitality, global stature and communication skills will take our national university to places it has never been before," Professor Evans said.

Professor Schmidt said under his leadership, he wanted to make sure ANU focused on excellence in research and education.

 "ANU is a place that does amazing things that are exciting for Australia and the world," he said.

"The goal is to be great at what we do."

In education, Professor Schmidt said he hoped to build on the University's global reputation as a provider of an education worthy of the best universities in the world and equal to those on offer from Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy League Universities in the United States.

He said he wanted ANU to continue to fulfill its role as a great resource for the nation, with deeper collaboration with the government, industry and NGO sectors.

Professor Schmidt said he also hoped to promote more international student exchanges and more international research collaboration.

"An ANU education is the opportunity of a lifetime, and our students can be confident knowing they will interact with the best minds in Australia and around the world," he said.

Members of the ANU community will have a chance to meet Professor Schmidt when he visits their areas early in his term as Vice-Chancellor.