Nadja Kunz

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Who am I? Hi there! My name's Nadja Kunz and I’ve just reached 2 years through my PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia. My thesis seeks to understand behaviour (principally performance and resilience) in coupled human-engineered systems. I contend that a lack of understanding about the interactions between these systems is a major barrier to sustainability implementation in the industrial sector. My research context is water management within the minerals industry. I'm adopting a systems modelling approach to study engineered systems, combined with social network analysis to look at human systems. Building on Ashby’s law of requisite variety, I hypothesise that performance of the coupled system will be best when human and engineered systems are aligned according to their complexity. I will test this hypothesis through gathering empirical data from case study sites.

I’m supervised cross-faculty by Prof Chris Moran at the Sustainable Minerals Institute and Dr Tim Kastelle at the UQ Business School. My own background is in Chemical Engineering/Business Management. I’ve worked at a number of industrial sites (during and post my undergrad degree) including a copper mine, alumina refinery, paper mill, oil refinery, and an ammonia/urea plant.

What do I want to learn from CSSS? I'm excited about all of the modules! I’m particularly eager to learn about structure and dynamics across multi-scale networks and to advance my understanding of network emergence, resilience and robustness. I also look forward to exploring approaches to conceptualize (and hopefully measure!) complexity in an empirical context, and to learn about novel approaches for validating models of complex systems.

What do I know sort of well? Probably networks – I attended a course last year at the Uni of Melbourne (with Prof Pip Pattison and Assoc Prof Garry Robins) which gave me a good understanding of the various statistical models available to analyse social network data. The programs I've been using so far are UCINET and Netdraw, and I intend to use PNet down the track to investigate the factors driving network emergence.

Interests? If you’ve explored the SFI Facebook page, you’ll probably have noticed that I enjoy sports – soccer, rock climbing, cycling, tennis, netball, yoga, surfing, running, etc. I love being outdoors, getting out to the beach, bushwalking, hiking. I’m excited to share so many common interests with other scholars and look forward to exploring the beautiful Santa Fe region with the group over summer.

In other interests, I’ve been involved in a few volunteer groups over the years – including Engineers Without Borders and some local environmental groups in my hometown of Brisbane. A few years ago I volunteered at an indigenous school in Central Australia which was life-changing.

Website? Link is below, unfortunately it’s a bit out of date but is due to be updated soon