Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 09:00
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences building

The Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences is proud to announce the promotion to professor of two academic staff members.

Associate Professors Winnifred Louis and Mark Horswill from the UQ School of Psychology will assume their professorships on 1 January 2018.

Faculty Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said the appointments were testament to the exemplary nature of their work.

“The rank of professor is reserved for individuals with outstanding performance, which is something reflected in the both the research and teaching of these two remarkable academics,” Professor Abernethy said.

Winnifred LouisProfessor Winnifred Louis is Deputy Head (Research) in the UQ School of Psychology.

She received a UQ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2011 and a UQ Research Higher Degree Supervision Excellence Award in 2016.

Intergroup relations and conflict are at the heart of her studies, while her broader research areas are identity and decision making, including environmental behaviour and group behaviour.

A native of Canada, Professor Louis obtained her PhD at McGill University and came to The University of Queensland as a postdoctoral fellow 17 years ago.

“UQ’s School of Psychology is extraordinary, the people here are world leaders and it’s exciting to be in this group,” she said.

“To be recognised as a professor means being recognised as someone who is contributing to scholarship internationally and contributing as someone who is taking UQ forward. It’s really wonderful.”

Mark HorswillProfessor Mark Horswill received a UQ Innovation Excellence Award in 2008.

His current research includes hazard perception in driving, human factors in patient chart design, and skill and training in surgery.

Prior to joining UQ, he obtained his PhD at the University of Reading.

Professor Horswill developed a video-based hazard perception test for Queensland Transport, which became part of the new driver licensing procedure in 2008.

More than 44,000 people take the test each year when applying for their driver’s license in Queensland.

An earlier incarnation of the hazard perception test in the UK has been credited with reducing crashes among young people by 11 per cent, saving millions of dollars and lives.

Professor Horswill’s research in human factors work in health care resulted in the development of a new patient observation chart, which is now in widespread use in hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.

By applying psychological principles about how the human mind processes information and stores items in memory, the chart was redesigned to make it easier to spot when a patient requires immediate medical attention.

The redesigned chart has resulted in a decrease in cardiac arrests of 46 per cent in one New Zealand hospital. Similarly, in Nambour Hospital overall mortality has deceased by 11 per cent since the introduction of the chart.

“Thousands of people are alive today simply by changing the format of a piece of paper,” Professor Horswill said.

Media: Dani Nash, UQ Communications,, +61 7 3346 3035