We welcome Adelle Coster as next Head of School

Date: 

Wednesday, 9th December 2020


We are delighted to announce Professor Adelle Coster as the next Head of School of UNSW Mathematics and Statistics.

Professor Adelle Coster is succeeding Professor Bruce Henry, who is retiring in late December after almost nine years in the role. She will be the first woman to lead as Head of School in the 70-year history of UNSW Mathematics and Statistics. 

Adelle obtained her PhD from UNSW in 1998, after earlier receiving First Class Honours and a University Medal. Following a postdoctoral position at the prestigious Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Adelle returned to UNSW in 2000 as a VC Postdoctoral Fellow in Electrical Engineering before joining the School in 2003 as Lecturer.

Adelle, who was recently promoted to Professor, has contributed invaluably to the School, the university and the broader community over the past 17 years.

As a former member of the UNSW Academic Board and as Chair of the School Academic Committee for the past decade, Adelle has helped navigate us through many challenges including the new university calendar, and major restructures of the Honours program and second-year core courses.

Adelle’s leadership attributes have been highly regarded during her term as Deputy Head of School (Academic), and stints as Acting Deputy Head of School and Acting Head of the Department of Applied Maths.

We have particularly appreciated Adelle’s caring and attentive leadership this year, which was instrumental to our School smoothly and successfully transitioning to fully online learning for our courses. Her heroic efforts enabled this to happen in record time. 

Adelle has an outstanding reputation in biomathematics research and has been awarded several ARC DP grants focusing on mathematical modelling, particularly of biomedicine and biology. Adelle is a Past President of the Australian Society for Biophysics and is currently an Editorial Board Member of Mathematical Biosciences.

A champion of high school outreach, Adelle was one of the co-founders of our long-running Girls Do the Maths workshop and has been an Associate Editor of Parabola - our School’s journal aimed at inspiring secondary school students with maths - for more than 15 years.

Adelle also has a prolific record in teaching and research supervision, with experience lecturing a wide range of maths courses and providing supervision to over 15 Honours and PhD students.

“I'm looking forward to supporting and working with our vibrant, talented, and collegial community”, Adelle said.

In an announcement to staff, Professor Bruce Henry said, “I am sure that Adelle will be an inspirational leader for you, and with your continued support, she will help the School to build further on its outstanding achievements in research, education and engagement”.

“Her leadership contributions… have been invaluable to our School and to the university more broadly”. 

We agree wholeheartedly, and warmly welcome Professor Adelle Coster into her new role as Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW Sydney.