Project Team Biographies Chief Investigators

Project Lead Investigator – Wesley Imms


Wesley Imms is an Associate Professor in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, is that Schools Head of Visual Art Education, and its Research Higher Degree Coordinator for Curriculum and Teaching. He is the lead Chief Investigator of the ARC Linkage Project Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change which will run from 2016-2019, and also led the Evaluating 21st Century Learning Environments ARC Linkage Project (2013-2017). He has been involved in a range of solo and collaborative projects since 2000 involving approximately $11 million of external funding, has published over 70 peer reviewed articles, chapters, conference papers and books, numerous reports and invited lectures here and overseas. He is an experienced educator and is involved teaching subjects spanning visual art curriculum and studio practice, innovative learning spaces, and Masters-level learning spaces capstone and teacher/practitioner subjects, in addition to supervising 19 Doctoral, Master of Education/Philosophy and Master of Teaching honours theses.

John Hattie


John Hattie is Professor and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne and a Chief Investigator for the Science of Learning Research Centre. He is the author of over 800 publications and papers, including the influential books Visible Learning and Visible Learning for Teachers.  He has been involved in numerous national and international research groups and has directed over $57 million in research grants.  Professor Hattie has held numerous senior appointments and consultative roles including advisor to New Zealand Ministers of Education, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the US, chief moderator of the NZ Performance Based Research Fund, past-president of the International Test Commission and is a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and the American Psychological Association. He has held senior roles at The University of Western Australia, University of North Carolina, University of Western Australia and The University of Auckland. He was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, received a Gold medal for contributions to the study of educational administration and leadership by Australian Council for Educational Leaders in 2011, the Hedley Beare Award for Writing in Education by the Australian Council for Educational Leadership in 2010, and a Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Auckland in 2010.

David Clarke

DClarkeBioSadly Professor David Clarke passed away in January 2020. 

David Clarke was a Professor in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Director of the International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR). Over the last twenty years, his research activity has centred on capturing the complexity of classroom practice through a program of international video-based classroom research and has involved national and international research collaborations. He has also researched in the areas of teacher professional learning, metacognition, problem-based learning, mathematics education and assessment (particularly the use of open-ended tasks for assessment and instruction in mathematics). Professor Clarke has written books on assessment and on classroom research and has published his research work in over 150 book chapters, journal articles and conference proceedings papers. He has been a chief investigator on 11 ARC Linkage and Discovery projects, as well as other national and international grant schemes and established an active international network of classroom researchers.

Thomas Kvan

TKvanBioThomas Kvan is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Campus and Global Development) at the University of Melbourne, a Professor of Architecture and former Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. He is internationally recognised for his work in the management of design practice and development of digital applications in design. During his academic career he has worked at the Universities of Melbourne, Hong Kong and Sydney and is an active researcher and author in design, digital environments and design management. He is currently founding Director of the University of Melbourne based networks, the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), and was founding Director of the Australian Urban Research Information Network (AURIN). Tom has practiced in architecture in Africa, Europe, Hong Kong and the USA in practices small to large, was director of software development in an IT start-up in California and a management consultant to architects and engineers. He has been a member of the Board of Directors in digital design and facility management associations worldwide and serves on the boards of several journals and professional organisations. Author of over 140 publications, his latest co-authored book, The Making of Hong Kong (Routledge), explores the volumetric city as a sustainable urban form.

Kenn Fisher

Kenn_ProfileKenn Fisher is an Associate Professor in Learning Environments in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at The University of Melbourne (half time), having been involved for the past seven years in almost $2 million worth of ARC Linkage and Office of Learning and Teaching research projects in the planning, design and use of new generation learning environments. Kenn is recognised internationally as a leading education planning specialist who has applied his multi-disciplinary skills across all education sectors as a teacher, academic, structural engineer, strategic planner, project manager and education researcher. He is Director of Knowledge Environments at Woods Bagot, acting as a space planner involved in master planning, learning environment planning, brief writing and change management strategies across the company’s 15 studios in Australasia, China, the Middle East, the UK and the USA. He has also consulted widely on university campus planning and teaching and learning projects in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand having been engaged by over 40 universities, many schools and vocational education institutions worldwide.

 Clare Newton

CNewtonBioClare Newton is an Associate Professor in Learning Environments in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Clare is an architect and teaches and researches in the fields of design, sustainability and construction. She was first-named Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council Linkage Projects funding three PhD students and multi-disciplinary research teams. The first, called Smart Green Schools, looked at the links between pedagogy, sustainability and space. The second, called Future Proofing Schools, considered prefabricated learning environments and incorporated an ideas competition at the heart of the research process. The research led directly to the instigation of PrefabAUS, Australia’s first peak body for prefabrication. Her expertise is in multi-disciplinary research collaborations between academics and industry. She is also currently teaching and researching on the topics of design for ageing and age-friendly neighbourhoods.

Ben Cleveland

Ben Cleveland_Headshot

Ben Cleveland is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Since completing his PhD in 2011 – Engaging spaces: Innovative learning environments, pedagogies and student engagement in the middle years of school – Ben has worked with the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), where he is responsible for coordinating the group’s research activity and distilling project findings into publishable outcomes. Ben also lectures in the masters subjects ‘Innovative Spaces and Pedagogy’ and ‘Physical Learning Spaces: Effecting Pedagogic Change in Schools’, supervises a number of PhD and Masters students, and is Research Manager for the ARC Linkage project, Evaluating 21st Century Learning Environments (E21LE). He has published 15 peer-reviewed journal articles/book chapters/conference papers and six influential research reports to government and Catholic education agencies. He also consults privately in learning environments and has been involved in significant schools projects in Victoria, including in 2015-16 with the Learning Communities Victoria consortium supporting the design of 15 new schools for the State of Victoria. Ben is Chair of the Victorian Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments Australasia (formerly CEFPI) and was Co-Chair of the 2016 Australasia Region Conference held in Melbourne.

Lisa Grocott


Lisa Grocott is Head of Department and Professor of Design at Monash University. She was formerly the Dean of Academic Initiatives at Parsons School of Design in New York and Director of THRVNG a co-design research lab. Earlier in her career Lisa was a Creative Director at Studio Anybody a communication design consultancy whose work was published in the UK, Europe, Asia and North America. Lisa publishes articles, chapters, reports, conference papers and invited lectures on practice-led design research and the project-based Ph.D. As a practitioner/researcher her internationally recognised scholarship is driven by projects that enact the affordances of the speculative, solution-seeking and human-centered practice of design research. Currently Lisa applies this expertise to the practice of translational research in the field of education and learning. In founding THRVNG Lisa forged a co-design lab for collaborating with leading psychologists and behavioral scientists to design research experiments that would amplify the social impact of their research interventions in the classroom. Her applied research now takes a transdisciplinary approach to transforming behavior as it applies to teacher change, academic mindsets and learning organizations. Returning to Australia Lisa is a chief investigator of the ARC Linkage Project Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change.