Former Monash VC knighted in UK’s Queen's Birthday Honours

Former Monash Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Edward Byrne

Former Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Edward Byrne has been awarded a Knight Bachelor in the UK’s 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Now known as Sir Edward Byrne, he was Vice-Chancellor of Monash University from 2009 to 2014, and is currently Vice-Chancellor and Principal of King’s College London.

A neuroscientist, Sir Edward was knighted for services to higher education, with a career spanning more than four decades.

He holds a Bachelor of Medical Science, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (First-Class Honours), as well as Doctor of Medicine from the University of Tasmania, Master of Business Administration (University of Queensland), Diploma in Clinical Science (University of Adelaide), and Doctor of Science (University of Melbourne).

Sir Edward is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and London, as well as being a Senior Fellow of the American Neurological Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

Throughout his career he has worked across Australia and the UK. He was Dean of Monash’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences between 2003 and 2007, after having held positions at St Vincent’s Hospital, the Melbourne Neuromuscular Research Unit, and the University of Melbourne.  He then went to the UK as Vice-Provost (Health) of University College London before returning to Australia as Vice-Chancellor of Monash University.

Monash President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC commended Sir Edward on his many achievements, and said she was delighted to learn he had been awarded this prestigious honour in the UK, recognising his career and leadership of King’s College London to greater international eminence in research and education.

“Sir Edward has had a lifetime of significant achievements, and contributed to ground-breaking and life-changing research. While at Monash, he undertook a restructuring of the University’s management and administration to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. He also advocated for an increased research output from our overseas campuses, and led the establishment of the Monash campus in Suzhou, China, as well as the global alliance between Monash and Warwick University.

“In his tenure as VC at Monash, the University developed its position as a top-100 research university. To this day, the impact he made continues,” Professor Gardner said.

Sir Edward was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for service to neurology as a clinician and academic, as well as advances in medical research. In 2014, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to tertiary education, particularly through his leadership and governance roles with Monash, as well as his contributions to biomedical teaching and research.