Curriculum Vitae – Dr Peter Sefton

| Current role: | Manager, eResearch Support, University of Technology Sydney | --- | ------ | | Location: | Katoomba New South Wales Australia 2780 | Phone: | +61 (0)404 096 932 | Email: | | Web: | | Date updated: | 2016-07-19

Short bio for conferences etc

Peter Sefton is the Manager, eResearch Support at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Before that he was in a similar role at the university of Western Sydney (UWS). Previously he ran the Software Research and development Laboratory at the Australian Digital Futures Institute at the University of Southern Queensland. Following a PhD in computational linguistics in the mid-nineties he has gained extensive experience in the higher education sector in leading the development of IT and business systems to support both learning and research.

While at USQ, Peter was involved in the development of institutional repository infrastructure in Australia via the federally funded RUBRIC ( project and was a senior advisor the the CAIRSS repository support service ( from 2009 to 2011. He oversaw the creation of one of the core pieces of research data management infrastructure to be funded by the Australian National Data Service consulting widely with libraries, IT, research offices and eResearch departments at a variety of institutions in the process. The resulting Open Source research data catalogue application ReDBOX is now being widely deployed at Australian universities.

At UTS Peter is leading a team which is working with key stakeholders to implement university-wide eResearch infrastructure, including an institutional data repository, as well as collaborating widely with research communities at the institution on specific research challenges. His research interests include repositories, digital libraries, and the use of The Web in scholarly communication.


I am Innovative, tenacious and creative in coming up with socially workable solutions to hard technical problems. For the last ten years I have worked in senior roles in and around Higher Education and research on systems, policy and change management to support research and learning. I am plugged-in to networks of practitioners, theorists and developers in a broad range of scholarly technologies including institutional repositories, web publishing and research data management. An experienced technical communicator, I have listed many conference presentations and papers below[^1]

[^1]: I can even say that I’m an O’Reilly Author, and I have my framed cheque signed by Tim O’Reilly himself to prove it, I had a couple of articles published on the magazine site, see.

I am also experienced at leading software development. I know how to recruit, mentor, inspire and guide technical staff to produce systems that meet the requirements of stakeholders. I’m also maintaining my technical skills. Recently I have been working with document processing in JavaScript / JQuery and some PHP, although I still fall back on Python. I have a background in XML and XSLT know my way around the major word processing file formats, and I have worked in both Java and C# (not to mention Lisp) .


  • PhD, Linguistics (computational) University of Sydney, 1996

  • Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics), First Class Honours, University of Sydney, 1990

  • Associate Diploma, Outdoor Education, Bendigo College of Advanced Education(BCAE), 1986

## References Contact details for referees are available on request. But here are some quotes – please don’t contact these people unless I have explicitly advised that they are:

Peter thinks deeply about repositories and disseminates his thoughts on top of working software. Pay great attention.

Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge, blog post

You created and managed a work environment where innovation thrived, teamwork was incredibly productive and our professional inputs were given thought and weight, our outputs were respected and sought after and staff morale was buoyant.

I have been here for only a little more than a year, but in my 15 years in the workforce I have never worked somewhere I enjoyed coming to work this much, and I think I’ll be looking for a work culture like this for some time to come.

Greg Pendlebury, Former Senior Software Developer ADFI, blog comment

Peter’s role as RUBRIC Technical Manager has contributed significantly to the success of the project to date through his ability to work positively with partner universities as well as to lead and foster a professional technical team to support the outcomes of the RUBRIC Project. Peter’s responsiveness to the competing and diverse needs of the various RUBRIC Project Managers serves to highlight his commitment to client focused outcomes.

Vicki Picasso, University Library, University of Newcastle

In my capacity as a manager and director of a series of federally funded development projects (ARROW, ARCHER, ANDS) I have worked closely with Dr Sefton, who has led the development of a number of pieces of software on my behalf. In most cases these were very much of a sector leading nature, and required a high level of innovative thinking and research into possibilities and options. My willingness to continue working with Dr Sefton in this area demonstrates my confidence in his ability to perform these tasks to a very high standard.

David Groenewegen Director, Research Data and Operations Australian National Data Service


2015-02 - Current

Manager eResearch Support University of Technology, Sydney.

2011-11 - 2015-02 Manager, eResearch, University of Western Sydney

Ran the eResearch function at UWS (now Western Sydney Univeristy). In this role I established the eResearch team (~ 5 staff depending on project load), oversaw the development of infrastruture projects for Research Data Management and participated in the NeCTAR Virtual Laboratory Project project Alveo - a repository and set of eResearch services for Human Communications Science.

2011-08 - 2011-11 Technical editor, HTML5 demonstrator projects

In mid 2011 JISC in the UK called for bids for case-study projects showing how HTML5 can be used in academic materials online, including integrating documents with data and making research outputs machine-readable: contributed case studies and documentation.

2011-03 - 2011-08 Word processing expert, Digital Monograph Technical Landscape study

Short landscape study looking at the issues surrounding the adoption of e-book reader technology within the scholarly publishing environment to assist with the publishing of scholarly literature, in particular monographs.

2008-01 - 2011-03 Manger, Software Research and Development Laboratory

Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland

With the management team, established the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI) at the University of Southern Queensland. I built-up a technical team with high-level software development capabilities and established the major centre in Australia for expertise in Institutional Repository technology. Provided strategic advice to the university on matters related to eLearning and eResearch and brought in circa $1M in external funding for 2008-2010.

2009-03 - 2011-03 Senior strategist (Repositories), CAIRSS

University of Southern Queensland

Provided Strategic advice to the CAUL, Australian Institutional Repository Support Service CAIRSS team and community. (Externally funded 0.2 FTE) and Supervised CAIRSS Technical Officer and CAIRSS-ANDS Liaison Officer.

2006 - 2007 Technical Manager, RUBRIC project

University of Southern Queensland

Led the technical team in a project “Regional Universities Building Research Infrastructure Collaboratively”, rolling out repositories to a number of Australian universities, plus one from New Zealand. Developed toolkits for managers and technical staff and established a digital communications infrastructure for the network of partner project managers.

2005 - 2006 Senior Research Technologist in Flexible Learning Systems

Distance and eLearning Centre, University of Southern Queensland

Project development for content management in eLearning. Analyzed requirements and re-engineered business processes for a project (The Integrated Content Environment) to replace the existing publishing system.

2004 Programmer

Distance and eLearning Centre, University of Southern Queensland

Developed preliminary project material and prototypes for publishing and e-Learning systems. And participated in reviews of the existing publishing system.

2000 - 2004 Director, Applied Knowledge Systems

NextEd Limited

Developed and supported educational technologies for collaborative online learning and Knowledge Management including a scalable content-management and publishing system for educational and general content using XML

2000 - 2001 Consultant to Standards Australia International Document Technologies

Standards Australia International

Continued with strategic input to the projects established over the previous three years (see below).

2000-08 Consultant, web-site redesign

RMIT University

Designed word processor template input, with metadata capture mechanism for the enterprise-wide RMIT content management system based on the SIM (TeraText) database.

1997 - 2000 Associate Director, Document Technologies

Standards Australia International

Developed knowledge management strategy and policy using SGML and XML technologies. Successfully re-engineered the production system for major publications.

1996 - 1997 Document Management Consultant

Standards Australia

Formulated document management and electronic publishing strategy and developed a project proposal for re-engineering publications

1995 - 1996 Publishing Systems Analyst & Technical writer


Started as a tech writer documenting TAFE computer labs, established an automated web-publishing service for a large distributed educational organization.

1994 Language Consultant; language skills training manual

University of Technology, Sydney

Researcher for Effective Communication in the Restructured Workplace (1994, ISBN 1 875940 11 1).

1991 - 1994 Senior Research Assistant, “Dialogue Project”

Departments of Electrical Engineering and Linguistics at the University of Sydney

Worked on a Telecom-funded project looking at speech processing, and developing a natural language interface to directory database.

1992 - 1994 Associate Lecturer

University of Sydney

Functional Grammar and Discourse, Undergraduate linguistics program

1994-02 - 1994-03 Researcher, Multilingual Text Generation Project

University of Sydney

Developing computer systems to generate written language in multiple languages automatically from databases

1993 - 1994 Desktop Publisher


Production of technical diagrams for academic publications.

1991-11 1991-12 Professional Officer Telecom Research Laboratories

Telecom Research Laboratories

This position involved implementing specifications from the Dialogue Project (see above), using Lisp.

1981 - 1986 Outdoor Instructor

Lucas Chakola, Kangaroo Valley

Casual: worked with all kinds of people: from school children to adult. Main role: “get the message across”—often in situations where the immediate consequences of not doing so could be very serious.


I maintain an online reference list at