Vernon Ireland has spent a little more than half of his working as an academic and the remainder in industry. In academia he was Dean of the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS and then Director of Project Management at the University of Adelaide, and recently Visiting Professor of Complex Systems at Chongqing University. He is now an Emeritus Professor in Complex Systems at The University of Adelaide, awarded for exceptional service to the university.
In industry he was Corporate Development Director of Fletcher Challenge Construction, mainly working in the USA, and CEO of the Australian Graduate School of Engineering Innovation. Initially he worked for eight years as a structural engineer. He has worked in the UK, the USA, China, Canada Germany, New Zealand and Sweden.
He has published many papers and received three medals: the Silver Magnolia Medal from the Shanghai Government for fostering Chinese-overseas relations; the Rotary Gold Medal for contribution to vocational education; and Engineers Australia medal for contribution to engineering.
He was President of the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia in 2004 and initiated the Centre of Engineering Leadership and Management.