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Tim Roberts

Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts AM

Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts AM

Tim has had a lifelong commitment and passion for science and science communication.
Member of the Order of Australia from January 2022
Patron Hunter Region Botanic Gardens from February 2022
Founding Director of InnovAAte Pty Ltd, a spinoff biotechnology company based on patented ground-breaking research at the University of Newcastle. In 2014, Hugh Dunstan, Tim Roberts and Margaret Macdonald had a significant breakthrough when they were able to quantify the potential losses of amino acids quantities in the sweat of athletes. The following four years of research continued focusing on understanding the nature of amino acid losses in sweat from humans and horses, and opened up a completely new understanding of protein turnover and amino acid metabolism in humans and horses. This ground-breaking research is the underlying foundation of InnovAAte’s next generation of Amino Acid Biotechnology products. With a far greater understanding of these important aspects of human biology, InnovAAte products are set to assist many people, no matter where they are in their life journey.
Originally from South Australia, he has traveled extensively since completing his B Sc at the University of Adelaide and his PhD at Flinders University, coming to the University of Newcastle in 1974 and moving to Singapore in July 2006 to set up the University of Newcastle campus in Singapore. Tim Roberts was Director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment at the University of Newcastle from 2010 until 2018. He continues to be active in research in the laboratory of his long-time collaborator Associate Professor Hugh Dunstan at the University of Newcastle. He has published some 150 papers.
Tim Roberts is an acknowledged expert in the area of chronic pain and fatigue and autism. His group has made significant progress leading to the understanding that these conditions have a common underlying biochemical pathology which relates to the metabolism of the sufferer being in a chronic catabolic state. These findings have reoriented the field to now focus on chronic infection as the primary underlying cause of chronic pain and fatigue; this chronic catabolic state being the host response to this chronic infection. In a study of free-ranging dogs associated with an outback community in the Northern Territory, his group has found this first incidence of Ehrlichia infection (Anaplasma platys) in Australia. .
STEM to the Community: Supernova hands-on-science centre at the Newcastle Museum was inititated by Tim in 1982 and continues to attract and enthrall to this day.
Tim Roberts has been President of HISH since 2018. HISH unites Hunter Region organisations to collaboratively deliver world-leading events, activities and competitions engaging school students and the community with Science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) throughout the year. Our vision is to grow an inquisitive and future-enabled Hunter community. HISH is a registered charity and welcomes industry support & partnership. Our website provides a one-stop-shop for STEAM events, competitions and resources within the Hunter.
In 2023, thanks to a $325,000 Commonwealth Government Department of Education “Emerging Priorities Program” grant, HISH will deliver a free online national initiative available to ALL primary and secondary school educators and students in Australia, Focussed on Statistics, Sustainability, Systems thinking and STEM
Also in 2023 HISH will deliver the Fire-Ed Up program with funding of $200,000 as part of the Bushfire STEM in Schools Program funded by the NSW Government through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer within the NSW Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade. The Fire-Ed Up program offers an engaging and relevant platform for students to focus on developing computational thinking skills and knowledge about digital systems principles. Focusing on the pressing, real-world challenges of bushfires in NSW, students are given the opportunity to delve into the application of digital technologies in areas such as fire detection, prediction, management, and rehabilitation, as well as understand the important role of Indigenous ecological wisdom in bushfire management. In line with the NSW Technology Mandatory syllabus, Fire-Ed Up program inspires students to employ digital technologies for pioneering solutions to bushfire-related problems. This initiative not only bolsters their technical skills, but also cultivates critical thinking and awareness of technology’s role in building resilient, safe communities.
Since 2018 Tim regularly leads New Colombo Plan student excursions to Indonesian Borneo and Sulawesi.

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The NSW Regional Science Hub initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government

Inspiring Australia
Bunnings Warehouse
Forsythes Advisors

A network of initiatives enhancing community engagement with S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) in the Hunter.



02 4921 5071
0418 205 664
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