Mark is currently an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales following his retirement from the position of Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of New South Wales which he held for two years from April 2004. He was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and International), from January 2001 and prior to that was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering from June 1991.
Professor Wainwright’s activities in higher education span more than 40 years since his appointment as Tutor/Demonstrator in the School of Chemical Technology at the then South Australian Institute of Technology. He currently holds a number of positions in the research and higher education sectors, including:
- Chair, National Computational Infrastructure Steering Committee ANU (2007- )
- Chair, Intersect Australia Limited (2008- )
- Chair, New Horizons Project Collaboration Committee Monash University / CSIRO (2009- )
- Member, Queensland University of Technology Council (2009- )
- Chair, TAFE NSW Higher Education Governing Council (2009- )
- Chair, NSW Selection Panel, General Sir John Monash Awards (2006- )
- Director, Engineering Aid Australia
- Member, Australian eResearch Infrastructure Council (2009- )
- Member, Smart Services CRC Board (2009- )
- Member, Astronomy Australia Limited Board (2009- )
- He has chaired the Australia-China Council since 2006.
Professor Wainwright holds an Honours Degree in Applied Chemistry and a Master of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Adelaide, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University in Canada and a DSc for his research into skeletal catalysts from the University of South Australia. In 2007 he was awarded a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) by the University of New South Wales.
In 2000 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in research policy and management and engineering education. In 2004, Professor Wainwright was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to chemical engineering as a researcher and academic, and to tertiary education.