UTS pays tribute to leading finance and economics scholar

Emeritus Professor Carl Chiarella, picture by Joanne Saad

Emeritus Professor Carl Chiarella, picture by Joanne Saad

In summary: 
  • UTS's Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the UTS Business School have paid tribute to Emeritus Professor Carl Chiarella who has died after a long illness
  • Professor Chiarella had an eminent career working in the fields of quantitative finance, financial economics and macroeconomic dynamics

Emeritus Professor Carl Chiarella, a highly regarded scholar and mentor who was internationally renowned for his work in finance and economics, has passed away after a long illness.

"Professor Chiarella was a fine scholar, esteemed colleague and cherished friend," says Professor Roy Green, Dean of UTS Business School, where Professor Chiarella was based from 1989 until his retirement in July last year.

Professor Chiarella had an eminent career working in the fields of quantitative finance, financial economics and macroeconomic dynamics.

"Professor Chiarella was a beacon for staff, students and the wider international research community," UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs says.

"He leaves a legacy not only through his own work but also through his mentorship of younger researchers, many of whom have become influential academics and researchers themselves."

Professor Chiarella made major contributions in his fields, in particular with developments in term structure modelling, derivative security pricing and financial markets modelling, Professor Green says. "These contributions influenced thinking in the fields and inspired a generation of researchers who followed in his footsteps."

At UTS Business School, his leadership role in the Quantitative Finance Research Centre and Financial Integrity Research Network helped put UTS at the forefront of research in quantitative finance.

UTS awarded Professor Chiarella its highest honour, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, two years ago. He had been made an Emeritus Professor of UTS in 2004.

Illustrating the high regard in which he was held, in 2014 colleagues wrote a collection of essays published in the book Nonlinear economic dynamics and financial modelling: Essays in Honour of Carl Chiarella to mark his 70th birthday.

In an interview for the book, Professor Chiarella spoke about how, in his teenage years, he developed an interest in trying to understand the origins of economic cycles.

"I often wondered about their causes. This interest was probably driven by the fact that both my grandfathers had emigrated to Australia from Italy in the mid-1920s, in good economic times that soon turned into the great depression.

"They experienced quite a deal of hardship during this period, experiences that were shared by both my parents who arrived in Australia as teenagers in the 1930s."

Born in Sydney, Professor Chiarella completed his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 1965 and Master of Science in 1967 at the University of Sydney – both courses in applied mathematics.

Working as a Teaching Fellow in Mathematics at the Wollongong University College, then part of UNSW, Carl completed his first PhD in nuclear reactor physics in 1969.

He spent the next two years in France working as a Research Fellow at the Université de Nancy, developing an interest in languages that continued throughout his life.

Back in Australia, he joined the School of Mathematical Sciences at UTS as a lecturer, completing a Master of Commerce (Honours) in 1977.

He joined the School of Banking and Finance at UNSW in 1986 as a senior lecturer and was appointed Associate Professor in 1988. In that period he completed his second PhD, in Economics.

Soon after, he took up the position of Professor of Finance at the University of Technology Sydney.

Professor Chiarella authored more than 190 research articles in national and international journals and was the author or co-author of 19 books.

He served on the board of several journals, including the European Journal of Finance and Computational Economics, and in editorial roles on journals such as the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the prestigious A* Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. He was also active in a number of professional associations and on committees.

His many national research grants were further evidence of his reputation. 

Internationally, he held visiting appointments at universities in Japan, including the University of Kyoto, Hitotsubashi University and Tokyo Metropolitan University; at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; in the University of Bielefeld in Germany and the University of Urbino in Italy.

He also maintained strong connections with the University of Wollongong, which last year admitted him as an honorary Doctor of Science.

"Our deep condolences go to Carl's wife, Lyn, and family for their loss, and ours," Professor Green says. "Carl will be greatly missed."