Monday, 1 January, 2018
Professor Will Rifkin was appointed in May 2017 as the HRF Centre's inaugural Chair in Applied Regional Economics. He joins the Centre from the University of Queensland (UQ), where he remains an ‘industry affiliate’ of the Sustainable Minerals Institute.
For the past five years, Prof. Rifkin has led development of the UQ Boomtown Toolkit and socioeconomic indicators effort, which publishes the Annual Report on Queensland’s Gasfields Communities. He oversaw the $5-million social science research portfolio in UQ’s Centre for Coal Seam Gas, which addressed impacts of natural gas development on agriculture, health, business and trust. These efforts involved extensive interaction with businesses, the oil and gas industry, local, state and Commonwealth governments, and community organisations.
Prof. Rifkin has completed industry consultancies, received over $2.7 million in grants and produced more than 100 academic publications. He holds degrees from MIT (physics), the University of California-Berkeley (energy and resources) and Stanford University (sociotechnical studies).
He has worked to improve communication between technical and nontechnical people for more than 20 years. Prof. Rifkin describes his specialty as decision-making and creating or navigating change in organisations, arenas, and regions.
Professor Rifkin promises to bring business, government and community into closer alignment about the status and potential of the Hunter by building on the HRF Centre’s partnerships.