Disruption, e-commerce, innovation – these now-ubiquitous terms have become synonymous with success for many of the world’s biggest companies in the past decade. But before they became buzzwords, Professor Stephen Burdon from the Faculty of Engineering and IT was living, breathing and teaching technological innovation and helping companies embrace and adapt to a rapidly changing communications environment.
Professor Burdon’s outstanding contribution to Australian society in education, the arts, IT and Australia-Asia cultural relations has been recognised in this year's Australia Day Honours, with his appointment as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
Throughout his decades-long career, Professor Burdon has always been ahead of the curve. Drawing on his experience as the head of Telstra and other major international telcos, he challenges both students and corporate audiences to embrace the opportunities that technological disruption can bring.
Since he began lecturing here in the early 1980s (when UTS was still the NSW Institute of Technology), he has played a significant role in shaping and strengthening the university’s culture. In the late 1990s, he masterminded a collaborative research centre between the company he headed (British Telecom Asia Pacific) and the university and created a progressive cross-faculty e-business course, which quickly became one of the most popular master’s courses available at UTS.
Professor Burdon’s focus on cross-disciplinary research, his innovative approaches to solving complex problems and close connections with industry have been a perfect match for UTS throughout his academic and professional career.
And as Australia faces down a second tsunami of change in the digital age, he’s committed to helping the next generation of leaders ride atop that technological wave.
In addition to Professor Burdon, 11 UTS alumni were among the exceptional Australians recognised for their contribution to education, health, justice and public policy reform. See the full list on UTS: Alumni.