Dr Peter Lee’s distinguished career as a chemical engineer and a university executive has spanned nearly 30 years, with leadership roles at the University of South Australia, where he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), The University of Queensland, Murdoch University and Curtin University of Technology. He recently retired as the fourth Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University, a position he held from 2009 to 2016.
Dr Lee began his academic career at the University of Queensland where he was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. In 1993, he was awarded the Shedden Pacific Prize and Medal for Excellence in Chemical Engineering. Two years later, he began working as a professor at Murdoch University, where he established new programs in Instrumentation and Control Engineering, Engineering Chemistry, Renewable Energy Engineering and Software Engineering.
He has advanced the standing of regional universities through his time as Chair of the Regional Universities Network from 2013 to 2015. Dr Lee was also instrumental in the establishment of the engineering program at Southern Cross University, which admitted its first students in 2012.
He has managed his own consulting company, providing services to government and non-government agencies, including the United Nations Development Organisation.
Dr Lee holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a PhD from Monash. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK); a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia; a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; and a Chartered Professional Engineer. Dr Lee is a past president of the Western Australian Division of the Institution of Engineers Australia.
Every year since 2004, he has been named in the 100 most influential engineers by Engineers Australia. He was the recipient of the Australian Government Centenary Medal in 2003, the WA Engineering Excellence Award in 1998 and the Shedden Pacific Prize and Medal for Excellence in Chemical Engineering in 1993.
He is the author of four books and more than 270 journal papers, and has won in excess of $4.7 million in competitive research grants for universities.