Prof Chris Ryan

Professor Chris Ryan, Director of the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (VEIL) at the University of Melbourne, has worked for over 30 years across various areas of science, technology, environmental policy and design, and in projects that span the community sector, academia, government and international agencies and business.

His community sector work includes the creation of a number of networks of ‘alternative’ and ‘radical’ technology in the UK in the 1970′s. He brought this work brought back to Australia for the creation of several community technology programs and, in 1978, a community plan for environmental and socially-useful work that became the Centre for Research into Environmental Strategies (CERES), still existing today in the Melbourne Suburb of Brunswick.

In academic work he helped found the first multi-disciplinary undergraduate socio-environmental degree program at RMIT University that spanned two faculties (Social Science and Architecture and Design). That program ran from 1984 to 1997. He was foundation professor of Design and Sustainability at RMIT from 1990, and Director of the National (Key) Centre for Environmental Design from 1989-98. In this position he directed the National EcoReDesign program, and ARC Linkage and ERDC project, working with 20 Australian companies to develop a new eco-design methodology and bring new greener products into the market.

He joined the University of Melbourne in 2006 as Professor and Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Science Innovation and society and as Director of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (based on the Eco-Sense program). That program is funded from a Victorian Sustainability Fund grant. He is now Professor and Director of VEIL as a research unit within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. He was theme leader Sustainable Cities for the Melbourne Sustainable Societies Institute until April 2010.

From Hoddle to Bolte, Hamer to Cain, vision has defined Melbourne's story. Why does the view look so bleak today? Carolyn Whitzman and Chris Ryan explore the challenges for the next State Government.