Elaine's Passing

It is with great sadness that I must communicate to you the passing of Associate Professor Elaine Lawrence.


It is hard to find the right words that do justice to such a fantastic person as Elaine Lawrence. Elaine was very much loved, admired and respected throughout the whole faculty. Elaine’s drive, passion and leadership have seen her contribute so much to UTS. Elaine worked tirelessly to the benefit of the faculty as well as forming many close friendships and mentoring students and staff. We will all fondly remember Elaine’s ready smile, easy laugh, her strength, and endless ability. Elaine was a true champion and a tireless advocate to the benefit of her staff, School and the Faculty.


Our friend and colleague Elaine Lawrence has been with UTS since 1990 when she was appointed a lecturer with the then School of Computing Science. In her academic career, she progressed to senior lecturer (2000) and associate professor (2006) and then Head of the newly formed School of Computing and Communications in 2008. She held this position until the beginning of 2011. Prior to working in academe, Elaine had been a consultant for Queensland Industry Development Corporation, an instructor and network administrator with the Ithaca College of TAFE in Brisbane, and she had carried out work in England, the Netherlands, Jamaica, and the West Indies on engineering worksites with her husband, John. She held bachelor, diploma, master and doctoral qualifications.


It is impossible to do justice to the unnumbered professional achievements of Elaine. She has been the herald, champion and leader of embedded professional certifications in information technology degrees. Elaine believed that professional certifications were of great value for the professional careers of our graduates. Unlike University degrees, professional certifications are automatically recognised world-wide and accompany our graduates as they move to work in different countries. As natural extension of her action, Elaine also championed UTS:IT Short Courses, our outreach to the broader society for the benefit of everyone in the community. Her dedication often saw her work teaching short courses at the weekends.


Elaine’s research activity had first addressed the areas of eCommerce, mobile commerce, eBusiness and, in general, eEnterprise Technology. In these areas, she has been the lead author of three widely-adopted tertiary books (lnternet Commerce: Digital Models for Business (1998, 2002, 2003), lnternet Commerce: Digital Models (2003), Technology of Internet Business (2002)) all published with the prestigious publisher John Wiley and Sons, and many scientific articles. However, in more recent years, Elaine’s research had remarkedly focused on the development of mobile health technologies. Notably, she addressed elderly care, treatment of depression, healthcare monitoring technologies, health sensors, use of the grid for distributed healthcare, portable e-nursing devices, management of hospital information systems, up to covering security, privacy and legal issues in eHealth monitoring systems. She was the Program Director of the mHealth research program of UTS: iNEXT since its inception.


Elaine shone in her role as Head of the School of Computing and Communications, formed from the merging of two pre-existing academic units. Elaine projected charisma, gravitas, authoritativeness, compassion, tolerance and genuine affection for all her staff, academic and non academic. Her personality and leadership allowed the merged School to succeed, overcoming reservations and defusing parochialism, empowering a culture of unity and mutual support. It is thanks to Elaine that the School is such a success today.



Prof Hung Nguyen

Dean - Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology