Researcher biography

Dr Ray Maher is Research Fellow and Director of Research at the Centre for Policy Futures and Lecturer at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at The University of Queensland.

Ray collaborates broadly across institutions while leading research and capacity-building projects with government and industry. His work focuses on sustainable development strategy, urban development and design, Sustainable Development Goals, decision-support tools, circular economy, and addressing ‘wicked’ problems using systems, design, and futures thinking. Ray’s research is engagement-focused, interdisciplinary and applied, which builds the capacity of stakeholders.

Ray is Lead Chief Investigator on research funding totalling over $1m, and a Chief Investigator on research funding totalling over $5m. He has 31 traditional and non-traditional research outputs with state, national, and regional impact.

Ray’s interdisciplinary research applies systems and design approaches to support high-impact outcomes through partnerships with government, industry, and non-government organisations. Research impacts and partnerships include leadership, authorship or substantial contributions to:

• Leading a 15-person interdisciplinary team to develop the Sustainability Framework for SM Bay City, a 360HA development in Manila, Philippines for 300,000 people.

• Research informing The University of Queensland’s Pacific Engagement Strategy.

• Facilitating the Queensland Health Prevention Thinktank to inform the organisation’s 10-year reform strategy.

• Research lead on Making Prevention a Health System Priority project to embed preventative health throughout Queensland Health and its 100,000 workforce.

• Leading the Systems and Design thinking module for the Internet Society’s mid-career fellowship.

• Lead CI of Circular Economy for Disaster Reconstruction, Development Minerals Program, in collaboration with the Pacific Community, The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and two Fiji Government Ministries.

• Working with the Pacific Community (SPC) to co-develop their Transition Plan 2021, a COVID response strategic plan.

• Contributing to the Pacific Community's (SPC)10-year Strategic Plan 2021+.

• Foresight research which informed the 2050 Regional Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, a long-term regional strategy by the Pacific Island Forum’s 18 member nations.

• Lead authoring An Adaptation Plan for the Energy, Mining, and Manufacturing Sectors – part of the Queensland Government’s Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q‐CAS).

• Co-leading the foundational project on climate change to inform the strategy and research priorities of the $130M CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (TiME).

• Designing the Circular Economy 4 Business pilot program for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s ecoBiz program.

• The Integrated Bioeconomy Project and the Controlled Biosphere ARC Linkage project to inform policy and regulatory settings for sustainable food production.

• Contributing to the policy and regulation component of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Programme (RRAP).

• Authoring the Australian National Rail Station Design Guidelines, endorsed by all state rail operators.