Professor Sally McArthur named new Director of Institute for Frontier Materials

Sally McArthur

Incoming IFM Director Professor Sally McArthur.


Deakin University has announced biomanufacturing expert Professor Sally McArthur as the new Director of the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM).

Professor McArthur will join Deakin on 8 August from Swinburne University, where she was Director of the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute. She was previously a CSIRO Research+ Science Leader in Biomedical Manufacturing from 2017 to 2021.

Deakin’s IFM is a diverse and vibrant research institute working with industry to address material challenges in the energy, mining, environment, health, transport, textiles and manufacturing sectors. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Alfred Deakin Professor Julie Owens welcomed Professor McArthur to Deakin and IFM.

“We look forward to working with Sally, knowing that under her direction IFM will be at the forefront in leading the transition from a linear to a circular economy,” Professor Owens said.

“Sally has the right skills and experience to help us address specific industry needs, as demonstrated by her work in surface engineering, bioengineering and, most recently, hydrogen and zero-carbon energy sources.

“Deakin prides itself on the innovative translation of our ideas and research into new services, products, policies and capabilities. Sally is commercially-orientated and globally connected. She excels at applying fundamental research to the design of innovative new products.”

Professor McArthur said she was excited to join IFM, where she will oversee more than 200 staff.

“IFM has always been an exemplar for how research organisations can build and lead a culture of impact and industry collaboration within a university and a region,” she said.

“I am excited to bring my diverse range of experience and skills to Deakin and lead IFM into the future. I am joining a team of talented scientists at IFM who are transforming material design, creating novel, renewable materials and by-products.

“I am especially passionate about collaborating with early-career researchers to ensure they have the skills to work in industry and academia globally, and creating degree programs that provide industry with a well prepared and skilled workforce.”

More about Professor Sally McArthur

Professor McArthur’s research uses engineering principles to improve human wellbeing.

Professor McArthur was the Director of Manufacturing Futures Research Institute and its forerunner the Industrial Research Institute Swinburne (IRIS) at Swinburne University. She was previously the Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne.

In 2021, she was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering for her work in industry-academic research collaborations. Professor McArthur is a recipient of the BioMelbourne Network Most Valuable Woman in Leadership Award.

Professor McArthur established the MedTechVic hub and played a key role in the establishment of the Australian National Fabrication Facility Victoria (ANFF-Vic) Biointerface Engineering Hub, an open access facility for academic and industry researchers to gain expert support to connect biology with technology.

She has developed and led major grants worth over $35 million, including from the Australian Research Council, the Victorian Government and the US Air Force, as well as projects funded directly by industry.

Professor McArthur has also held positions at Sheffield University, the University of Washington and other research facilities in the United Kingdom, after completing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at UNSW with CSIRO and the CRC for Eye Research and Technology. 

Media contact:

Elise Snashall-Woodhams

Lead, Communications

Deakin University

M: 0455 789 961


T: @DeakinMedia