Professor Tim Wess - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Tim Wess

Professor Tim Wess

BSc. Newc., Ph.D. Physics, Edin., GradCert (Wiradjuri Language and First Nation Building) C.Sturt, FRSA, PFHEA, FRSB, FRSB

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
+61 7 5459 4465
Office location
The Chancellery, Level 1, Building C
Sunshine Coast
Professor Tim Wess


Appointed to the University in 2018, taking up the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). Responsible for USC's six Schools and University Research Centres that comprise the Academic Endeavour of the University. The Leadership group comprises the Directors of Information Services, SIAU, the Academy of Learning and the General Manager of Academic Support. Chair of Academic Board, Co-chair of the University Sustainability Forum, Chair of the Clinical Board and Chair of the University Athena Swan Gender equity committee.


As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Tim holds the Chair of Academic Board, overseeing the academic functions of USC and related support areas such as Schools, Research Centres, Information Services, Strategic Information and Analysis Unit, the Academy of Learning and the Academic Support Unit. Co-chair of the University Sustainability Forum, Chair of the Clinical Board and Chair of the University Athena Swan Gender equity committee.

  • Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Society New South Wales
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Tim's background is in biophysics where he developed expertise in the characterisation of non-crystalline biological materials, allowing him to make significant contributions to the understanding of important structural biomolecules such as collagen, cellulose, chitin, fibrillin and elastin – all of which provide the scaffolding of all multicellular organisms.

The further study of these biomolecules in historical and archaeological contexts means Tim has been able to work on some of the most important objects and artefacts produced by humans, including the Domesday Book and Dead Sea Scrolls.

Research areas

  • Biophysics

Over 120 publications with a h-index of 49.

Notable publications:

JPRO Orgel, TC Irving, A Miller, TJ Wess (2006) "Microfibrillar structure of type I collagen in situ" 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (24), 9001-9005, 820 Citations.

MJ Collins, CM Nielsen–Marsh, J Hiller, CI Smith, JP Roberts, RV Prigodich, T J Wess, J Csapo, AR Millard, G Turner–Walker (2002) "The survival of organic matter in bone" Archaeometry 44 (3), 383-394, 533 Citations

A Sionkowska, M Wisniewski, J Skopinska, CJ Kennedy, TJ Wess (2004) "Molecular interactions in collagen and chitosan blends"
Biomaterials 25 (5), 795-801, 448 Citations

DJ Hulmes, TJ Wess, DJ Prockop, P Fratzl (1995) "Radial packing, order, and disorder in collagen fibrils" Biophysical journal 68 (5), 1661-1670,  347 Citations

JPRO Orgel, A Miller, TC Irving, RF Fischetti, AP Hammersley, TJ Wess (2001) "The in situ supermolecular structure of type I collagen" Structure 9 (11), 1061-1069, 333 Citations.

LH Thomas, VT Forsyth, A Šturcová, CJ Kennedy, RP May, CM Altaner, David C Apperley, T J Wess, MC Jarvis (2013) "Structure of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls from collenchyma" Plant physiology 161 (1), 465-476, 262 Citations.