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UTS crosses the gamut in list of 100 most influential Sydneysiders

In summary:

  • A UTS dean, marine ecologist and current business student have all rated among Sydney's 100 most influential people for 2011
  • The fifth annual edition of the list, published in the Sydney Morning Herald's the(sydney)magazine was selected by 37 pannelists including senior Fairfax writers in science and technology, the arts and education

Two UTS academics and one entrepreneurial business student have been given an early Christmas present – being named among Sydney's top 100 influential people for 2011 by the Sydney Morning Herald's the(sydney)magazine.

From diverse areas, Dr Peter Macreadie, Professor Roy Green and student Nikki Durkin have all made a significant difference to Sydney this year, in one way or another.

The fifth annual edition of the list had 37 panelists select candidates in 10 different categories. Dr Macreadie and Ms Durkin appear in the "Green Machines" category, with Professor Green featuring in "Bright Ideas".

The magazine defined the Green Machines as "creative thinkers who have pushed the boundaries in order to put the planet first" – Dr Macreadie for his work as a marine ecologist, and Ms Durkin for her self-described success as a "female tech entrepreneur".

Dr Macreadie's work in seagrass ecosystems has uncovered that they capture and store carbon at a rate 30 times faster than a tropical rainforest. His continued success and application throughout 2011 saw him elected as a finalist for the Eureka Awards People's Choice, as well as receiving two fellowships from the Dow Corporation and the Banksia Environment Foundation.

In another sphere of sustainable creative thinking altogether, Ms Durkin is still completing her business degree at UTS and has just secured a place in the highly sought after Y Combinator Program in the United States. Founder of 99dresses.com, an exchange fashion website, she is encouraging a change in consumer thinking regarding trading, not disposal, of textile items.

For Professor Roy Green, Dean of the UTS Business School, his contribution to the City of Sydney is in the realm of design thinking, a new concept he is introducing to teaching and learning within UTS.

Commissioning the development of the first Australian building to be designed by international architect Frank Gehry, he believes the Dr Chau Chak Wing building will become the second most recognisable in Sydney after its planned completion in 2014. 2011 also saw him appointed to the new Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.

Read more about the 2011 list of Sydney's most influential people on the Herald website.

Kirsten Low

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