Monday, 1 January, 2018
Emeritus Professor Will Rifkin held the position of Chair in Applied Regional Economics at the University of Newcastle until December 2019. He previously was the HRF Centre Director for three years from May 2017.
Professor Rifkin previously led a $5-million portfolio of industry-funded social science research that led to creation of the UQ Boomtown Indicators. Generating a small set of indicators of change at the town-level has illustrated the flow on effects across communities from the upturns and downturns in mining and other natural resource development.
Professor Rifkin is an engineer-turned-social scientist. He worked on hybrid cars twenty years before they came to market. He has degrees from MIT in physics, the University of California-Berkeley in energy and resources, and Stanford University in sociotechnical studies. He has had academic appointments at the University of Queensland, University of Sydney, UNSW, University of Wollongong, and George Mason University.
His areas of focus are communication and decision-making among experts and relative non-experts – engineers, scientists, medical specialists, lawyers, teachers, politicians, landholders, local residents, pub patrons, etc.