Robert Pianta (PhD) is Dean of the Curry School of Education, Novartis US Foundation Professor of Education, and founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia. His work has advanced the conceptualization of teacher-student interactions and relationships, documenting their contributions to students’ learning and development. He has led research and development on measurement and improvement tools that help teachers interact with students more effectively and that are used widely in the United States and around the world, including at QUT. He began his career as a special education teacher and joined UVA in 1986, after completing a PhD in Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He was named a Fellow of the American Education Research Association and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota in 2016.