Researcher biography

Dr Ray Maher is Director of Research and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Futures at the University of Queensland where he leads research, consulting, 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 $4m. He has 21 traditional and non-traditional research outputs with state, national, and regional impact.

Research Impacts

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 13-person interdisciplinary team to develop the Sustainability Framework for SM Bay City, a 400HA 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.


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