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Professor Hossain, Liaquat


Contact Information
Professional Qualifications
YearAwarding InstitutionQualification
1998University of Wollongong Faculty of InformaticsPh.D
1996Assumption UniversityMaster of Science in Computer & Engineering Management (MS-CEM)
1994Assumption UniversityBachelor of Business Administration (BBA)


I currently hold a tenured Full Professor of Information Management at the Division of Information and Technology Studies of the University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining the University of Hong Kong, I spent 14 years of my academic career at the University of Sydney where I was promoted to tenured Full Professorship in Complex Systems Research, Director of the Project Management educational programs and Deputy Head of the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney Australia. During my tenure at the University of Sydney, I also spent 1 year Visiting Professorship at Lund University’s Department of Informatics in Sweden during 2012-2013. Although, I left the University of Sydney last year, I maintain a very strong connection to PhD students and joint research projects with academics of the University of Sydney.


My research focuses on understanding resilience, robustness, accuracy and precision of information flow in organisational, community and engineered complex systems i.e., effects of social networks and technology in supporting communication flow during crisis,  coordinated interventions and delivery of health care and sociology of health, coordination of public health interventions, social networks in allied health service learning, effects of social networks in the delivery of nutritional  health outcome. I have also been using social media analytics and social networks to explore disaster/crisis management and understanding resilience for dealing with disasters related to flood, fire, tsunami, disease outbreaks from food, zoonotic diseases and other man made and bio related security preparedness and response. My work over the past 10 years have evolved to be trans-disciplinary where I begin to find links with social, biological, life and computational sciences and its application in exploring robustness, accuracy and precision of information flow problem in organising systems so that underlying innovation process and learning networks can be explored empirically. During this period, I became increasingly interested in understanding the formation and adaptation of hierarchical, non hierarchical, emerging and self organized structures in social, biological, living, organizational as well as market systems. I have been investigating the functioning and robustness of hierarchical structures and potential problem leading to disruption or delay in the adaptation of behaviours for optimal functioning. I consider the examination of feedback systems leading to effectiveness and efficiency in learning, correcting or intervention to changed behaviour an important step towards understanding performance outcome of different networks in social, biological, living, organizational and market systems. I am fascinated by the complexity of interactions of different macro and micro structures which could lead to positive, negative or improved outcome in different types of systems and sub systems. 

In my research, I use methods and analytical techniques from mathematical sociology (i.e., social networks analysis), social anthropology (i.e., interview and field studies) and computer science (i.e., information visualization, graph theoretic approaches and data mining techniques such as clustering) to explore coordination in distributed and complex setting, globally distributed work groups, organizational and individual performance and knowledge sharing and management support process. I am interested in the area of social networks theory and analytical methods, coordination theory, computer supported cooperative work and human and computer interactions. In particular, I am interested in exploring (modelling and empirical investigation) the effects of different types of social network structures and patterns of information technology use on group behaviour, coordination, individual and organisational performance from a theoretical and an applied perspective. At the University of Sydney, I created cross disciplinary Complex Systems Research Cluster within the Faculty of Engineering and IT, which provides Engineering to establish research partnerships with Science, Public Health, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Agriculture and Sustainability as well as Business and Economics. Within the University of Sydney, I have been able to link my Complex Systems research with Institute for Sustainability, Sydney Institute for Emerging Infectious Disease, Centre for Obesity Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease, Centre for Mathematical Biology and Centre for International Security. My research work spans in areas such as (i) Resources and Energy; (ii) Environment and Sustainability; (iii) Health; and (iv) Security, which has national and international significance. I have established significant working relationships with Banks, Insurance Companies such as HCF, CRC (Commonwealth Research Centre) Financial Markets, CRC-Bushfire, NSW Fire, NSW Ambulance, Department of Environment and Sustainability, Australian Federal Police, NSW Health and Hunter NewEngland Area Health Services, State Emergency Services, Emergency Management Australia.

I am the founding Editor-in-Chief Springer trans-disciplinary International Journal entitled Crisis Communications, which was launched recently with a world renowned international editorial and advisory board. I have secured more than AU$10M in competitively research funding (2014 EU FP 7 4.5m Euro, 2014 $1.325m NHMRC-National Medical and Health Research Council Australia, $499k ARC Discovery, $720k CRC-Commonwealth Research Centre for Financial Markets, $320K CRC Bushfire, and $1.25m ARDA Advanced Research Development Agency in the US). My current funded research and research-in-progress are as follows: (1) Health Emergency Learning and Planning for multi jurisdictional coordinated response to disease outbreaks with EU context (funded under FP7 Framework); (2) Communication and Information Systems Technology in Emergency Preparedness & Management for Trans-Domain Proposal (EU grant FP 7); (3) Ethnicity, Socio-Economic Status and Social Networks as Drivers of Childhood Obesity (funded under ARC DP-Discovery Project); (4) Integrated SOLutions for sustainable fall preVEntion  (iSOLVE): Partnership Project for Better Health (funded under NHMRC Partnerships grant 2013); (5) BioNet: Socio-technical Information Networks for Biosecurity (Theme-based Research HK Research Council);  (6) Health Security: multi-organisational coordinated surveillance and response (submitted to HK research Council); (7) KDDS: Knowledge Discovery and Decision Support for BioSecurity Coordination (submitted to Swedish Research Council 2014); (8) RPHI: Resilient Public Health Interventions through Social Media (Centres for Excellence proposal submitted to HK Research Council 2014); (9) Innovation and Learning in Coordinated Interventions for Mental Health Systems; (10) Social networks and health promotion: Harnessing social networks to enhance the effectiveness of peer counselling for infant and young child feeding; (11) Social Networks Effects on Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood  (submitted to ARC Linkage 2014); and (12) Changing the way allied health students learn: an innovative service-learning model in rural and other disadvantaged communities (ARC Linkage and Community Partnership Grant 2014).

My research work appeared in following major peer reviewed international journals: Journal of Informetrics (Impact Factor-IF: 4.299), PLOS ONE (IF: 4.092), Technovation (IF:3.278), Journal of IT and Decision Making (IF: 3.119), Knowledge-Based Systems (IF: 4.09), European Journal of Public Health (IF: 2.267), Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (IF: 1.958), Scientometrics (IF: 1.905), Statistics in Medicine Journal  (IF: 1.877), Computers in Human Behaviour Journal (IF: 1.865), Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications (IF: 1.562), International Journal of Project Management (IF:1.532), BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making (IF: 1.48), European Journal of Health Economics (IF: 1.337), Fire Safety Journal (IF: 1.017), Complexity Journal (IF: 1.13), Disasters-Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management (IF: 1.17), Knowledge Management Research and Practice (IF: 0.855), Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (IF: 0.667), International Journal of Healthcare Quality, Construction Management and Economics, Project Management Institute Journal, Journal of High Technology Management Research, Disaster Management and Prevention and Journal of Decision Systems. My ongoing research partnership with CRC Bushfire has resulted in significant publications in high-impact peer-reviewed conferences and journals such as Disasters (Impact factor: 1.174); Journal of Fire Safety (IF: 1.017); Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (IF: 0.667); Disaster Management and Prevention and Journal of Decision Systems. I have similar working partnership to study coordinated response to disasters for NSW State Emergency Services (NSW SES), NSW Health and Hunter Area Health Networks in which a number of high impact journals papers such as Disasters Journal (IF: 1.174), Knowledge Management Research and Practice (Impact Factor: 0.855). My research further appeared in most competitive interdisciplinary engineering and systems peer reviewed international conferences such Future Security Conference 2012, ACM CSCW 2006/2008, ICIS 2006/2008/2010, IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) 8.3 on Decision Support Systems 2006; 2008/2010/2012, IFIP TC 13 Human Computer Interactions 2008, IFIP 8.6 2007/2008, CHINZ (ACM Special Interest Group on HCI New Zealand), NAACSOS (North American Association for Computational Social and Organizational Sciences) and IFIP Working Group 8.6 on the Organizational Dynamics of Technology-based Innovation.

Administrative experiences

I personally believe that I bring (i) strong trans-disciplinary engineered systems research as an individual researcher; (ii) experience in cross fertilization of engineered systems approach with other disciplines such as Medicine, Public Health, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Physical, Life and Agricultural Sciences,  and Business and Economics; (iii) proven track record of successful development and implementation of engineering undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs as well as success in developing and implementing combined degrees such as BE/BPM, BPM (Built Environment), BPM (Software Engineering), BPM (Civil) and (iv) significant local and international university and industry contact as well as success in working with the Dean and HoS in driving endowment/fundraising initiatives. Since 2006 to November 2013, I served as Program Director of Project Management Program, Deputy Head of School, Sub Dean and Associate Dean for the Faculty of Engineering for which I have provided transformational leadership. I also played very significant role in HR and Finance and served on recruitment and promotion of Level A to Level E academics as well as HEO4 to HEO10 administrative services appointment. I have also served for 4 years on the University Graduate Studies and Academic Board committees and different sub committees as well as served as Academic Board Nominee for academic promotion committees of Level D and Level E for Faculty of Business, Arts, Education and Medicine.

As Associate Dean and later Sub Dean Postgraduate studies from 2006-2012, I was responsible for the development of Graduate School of Engineering and IT and its operational procedures related to student life cycle management. The Faculty comprises 5 schools and they all had their own internal procedures which created redundancy and backlog in efficient processing of student management and financial administration for the Faculty. Working with the Dean and Professor Assaad Masri (A/Dean Research), we used consensus driven approach to drive the change from planning in which high level consultation from top down was used to formulate the picture for strategic change as well as bottom up user driven approach was used to develop ownership for the proposed change from the operational staff. The outcome of this exercise assisted the faculty in improving the quality of student and financial management of all postgraduate activities under the Graduate School of Engineering and IT. The setup process of Graduate School also assisted in 2 major innovations for the Faculty—(i) educational programs and delivery; and (ii) financial administration.

·         The outcome of the change management plan and its implementation assisted the Faculty in developing a coherent educational and research programs. For example, the agenda for strategic change helped in developing Master of Professional Engineering, Master of Engineering with specializations from different engineering disciplines, Master of Project Management and Master of Project Leadership which resulted in a very significant increase in postgraduate coursework and research enrolments.

·         The Faculty also made very significant operational cost saving as the change management helped removing the overlapping redundant tasks with regards to the management of student life cycle.

·         These initiatives played a major role in improving the quality of intake and delivery of a number of very successful Masters Program, which also contributed to overall profile and ranking of the School and Faculty at a national and international level. 

The following successful programs are result of my strategic and operational leadership during my tenure as Associate Dean and later Sub Dean postgraduate studies: PhD program in Complex Systems within School of Civil Engineering with 10 PhD completions so far, Master of IT and Master of IT Management programs, Master of Engineering Studies (MES) and faculty-wide Master of Engineering (ME), a Faculty-wide Master of Professional Engineering (MPE) and Master of Project Management and Master of Project Leadership. These programs within the Faculty of Engineering and IT now have very significant local and international covered by HECS funded and full fee paying places. As Professor and Director of Project Management program, I worked very closely with the HoS and carried out the overall academic, financial, and administrative responsibilities of the project management programs (BPM, BE/BPM Combined degree, MPM and MPL) involving finance, marketing, student administration, and human resources management of 7 full-time tenure track and 9 part-time academic and 3 administrative staff. I enjoy working with HoS and Finance team in overseeing budgets, management of human resources, marketing and communications, external relationships with industry and the operations of postgraduate programs.

Teaching and Research Supervision

I am very passionate about engaging with students during class and also outside the class. My ten years teaching evaluations in Australia shows an average 4.2 to 4.7 out of 5. I have been involved in designing and teaching organisational information systems/technology related courses for undergraduate, honours and also for the postgraduate level since 1995. I have been involved in designing and delivery of telecommunications management and policy related courses for the undergraduate and postgraduate program in Information and Communications Technology. I also designed and taught courses such as Systems Analysis and Design, Management Information Systems, Strategic Information Systems and Information Science Research Methods for undergraduate and postgraduate program for Basser Department of Computer Science of the University of Sydney during 1999, 2000 and 2001. Fall 2001 to Spring 2004, I designed and taught undergraduate, graduate and PhD level courses at the School of Information Studies of Syracuse University New York.  I taught courses such as Applications of Information Systems, Research Methods, Knowledge Management, Management of Information Systems Project, Systems Analysis and Practice, and Doctoral seminar in Information Management. These courses are offered for both on campus and also for the distance students. I have developed skills in delivery of project management graduate level courses in distance mode through WebCT or other online platform. I also taught Project Management, Research Methods, Management of IT Innovations for both the undergraduate and postgraduate program at the School of IT and School of Civil Engineering of the University of Sydney. I served as a PhD dissertation committee members for 5 PhD students at Syracuse University. At the University of Sydney, I also supervised 17 research students at honours level and currently supervising 2 MSc research students and 14 PhD students from which 10 PhD students completed their dissertation under my supervision.

Honours, Awards & Prizes
AwardeesAward DateHonours / Awards / PrizesCategory
2013-02-01Named as one of the INSPIRING ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP FOR 130 YEARS : The University of Sydney Australia
Research Achievement
Media Contact Directory
Area of Expertise:
Area of Expertise (EN)Area of Expertise (ZH)
Social networks社交網絡
Self organisation自組織
Information flow資訊流
Evolutionary systems進化系統
Epidemics and public health interventions傳染病及公共衞生介入
Complex systems複雜系統
Spoken Languages:
Spoken Language(s) (EN)Spoken Language(s) (ZH)
Written Languages:
Written Language(s) (EN)Written Language(s) (ZH)
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