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Senior Management

Billy Blue College of Design
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Helmut Lueckenhausen|Executive Dean, Faculty of Design

Helmut Lueckenhausen, PhD, FDIA, FRSA, has many years’ experience in the academic aspects of design, from a lecturer in 3D Design to Dean, Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology.

Helmut led the Faculty (previously the National School of Design) into becoming a significant international force in the field of design, including increasing onshore international student numbers eightfold as well setting up programs in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Successful programs were similarly set up with Billy Blue in Sydney. Helmut led the establishment of the National Institute for Design Research, and the development of new policies and programs for design practice-led research and re-introduced the Swinburne School of Film and Television.

Most recently, Helmut was Pro Vice Chancellor Internationalisation at Swinburne, providing senior academic leadership and advocacy including curriculum developments, staff capability, graduate attributes, and the research endeavour. Previous to this role, Helmut was Pro Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak. Helmut is a leading exponent in the field of studio furniture and design for wood, having maintained a regular national and international lecture program, including forum, conference and workshop presentations.

Mieke Leppens|HEAD OF ACADEMIC STUDIES, BRANDED FASHION

Dr Mieke Leppens has 25 years’ experience in the international design arena having worked mainly in the fields of fashion design, fashion marketing and design education. Her professional design career spans across all levels of the industry from haute couture in Paris to design original in Belgium and fast fashion and brand fashion labels in Australia. Mieke has extensive design teaching expertise right across the board - in private colleges, universities, design studios, with theory and research subjects, and in writing and implementing new design programs. She was awarded a PhD at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Mieke actively participates in the furthering of the Australian fashion design industry by writing, winning and implementing Federal Government grants allocated to Australian fashion companies for creative improvements of their businesses culture. She was the external consultant in the development of the Bachelor of Design (Branded Fashion) course at Billy Blue College of Design.

Qualifications

  • PhD: Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology

Scott Skipworth|HEAD OF ACADEMIC STUDIES, BRANDED ENVIRONMENT, COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL INTERIOR

Scott Skipworth is passionate about the transforming capabilities of spatial design, having been involved in many projects that improved the lives of people at home, at school, at work, and at play within local and international communities.

Scott likens Billy Blue’s “applied design” pedagogic orientation of connecting students with industry in a cross-disciplinary setting to the Bauhaus approach of his alma mater Illinois Institute of Technology (started by Bauhaus’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Moholy Nagy). Following graduation from IIT, Scott worked with Gwathmey Siegel in New York City for ten years. Clients included Guggenheim Museum, Sony, Pepsico, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, W Hotel and private residential clients. As an Associate at Ike Kligerman Barkley in New York City, Scott led residential projects for celebrity clients in Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York and Michigan. In Sydney, Scott led an innovative house project in Palm Beach with fjmt Studio. Scott has his own studio, SPS Architecture, having designed interior projects in Darling Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rose Bay and Bellevue Hill.

Scott is particularly interested in ways remotely located interiors and digital/virtual environments are merged through technology to constitute a unified spatial experience challenging the biological limits of human embodiment, the physical boundaries of interiors and the definition of place. He has coordinated Billy Blue College of Design subjects in which students investigate augmenting environments with links to remote physical locations and 3D website prototypes.

Qualifications

  • Master of Architecture: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
  • Bachelor of Arts, Art History: Hope College, Michigan

Bernie Thompson|PROGRAM MANAGER INTERIOR DESIGN AND DECORATION

Like many people in education, Bernie has a varied professional background. In his previous roles, he was Qld Manager for Non-Resident Investment, Interest and Royalties for the ATO. He has worked as a cook in an aged home, for a solicitor in Knightsbridge in London and he was a Business Training Consultant for MLC in Melbourne.

Bernie’s design experience includes designing rugs, drafting for architectural firms, working on high end residential projects and running his own interior design business.

Qualifications

  • Master of Education (Global)
  • Bachelor of Adult & Vocational Teaching
  • Diploma of Interior Technology

Jens Schroeder|Head of Academic Studies, Digital Media Design

Dr. Jens Schroeder is passionate about everything digital and video games in particular. He first explored this field in his German Masters thesis, which covered the history of digital games in East Germany. His doctoral thesis deals with the differences in perception of mass media and games in Germany and Australia and how these differences relate to modes of distinction. The thesis is the first social history of gaming for both countries. Both his Masters thesis and his PhD were released as books.

Jens presented papers at a number of conferences, spoke at German and Australian universities, and managed an award-winning creative media institute. He worked in a Berlin-based games studio, acts as an assessor for the NSW Government's Interactive Media Fund and judges entries for the AIMIA Awards.

A firm believer in the transformative power of digital games, he also is part of a start-up that explores game-based learning solutions for teaching English to students in developing economies in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe.