Founded in 1890, the University of Tasmania is the fourth oldest university in Australia and has a rich and proud history that will be celebrated in 2015 as it reaches its 125th anniversary. The University of Tasmania has a student population of over 26,000, and has been ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, reflecting the University’s commitment to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Additionally, in 2013 the Australian Research Council's 'Excellence in Research for Australia' (ERA) initiative awarded the University of Tasmania world-standard or better in 16 broad discipline areas. The University offers a wider range of undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of disciplines, and has over 20 specialist research institutes, cooperative research centres and faculty based research centres; many of which are regarded as nationally and internationally competitive leaders.
Statement in support of the application:
Dr Chris White is a Lecturer in the School of Engineering and ICT at the University of Tasmania. His research interests centre on understanding and predicting extreme weather events on both the extended-range forecasting timescale (e.g. the subseasonal-to-seasonal, or ‘S2S’ lead times) and on the climate timescale (e.g. up to the end of the century). Prior to re-joining the University of Tasmania in early 2014, Dr White worked for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, assessing the skill of their dynamical seasonal prediction system ‘POAMA’ for forecasting extremes events across Australia on longer-range timescales.
Dr White was recently awarded a Churchill Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, which provided funding for a six–week overseas research trip that was undertaken between April and June 2014. He gathered information about the progress international research institutions are making in the development of long–range forecasts of extreme events, and explored potential applications for a range of end–users and sectors. Dr White visited nearly twenty research centres and projects in four countries, including the UK Met Office and SMHI where he was introduced to members of the EUPORIAS project. The Churchill Fellowship resulted in a comprehensive report (see: https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/fellows/detail/3869/Christopher+White).
Dr White is now building on his recent Fellowship by creating national and international alliances through collaborative research, publications and successful external grants applications. These activities are providing the basis of a research group within the School of Engineering and ICT that aims to make information on climate, weather and natural hazards science more usable though the exploration of improved applications, communication and promotion of appropriate risk information for emergency management and disaster risk reduction activities.