Robotics export named NSW chief scientist

Published: 29 May 2018

The NSW Government has appointed world-renowned robotics expert Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte the next NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said Professor Durrant-Whyte, currently Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK Ministry of Defence, would start in the role on September 3.

“Professor Durrant-Whyte is a globally recognised figure who brings vast knowledge and experience to the role,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“He is a pioneer in autonomous robotics who is known for his work in delivering automated container terminals at Port Botany and he has also been involved in developing autonomous solutions for mine sites.”

Mr Blair said the appointment of Professor Durrant-Whyte will ensure NSW continues to lead the world in the development of new applications in robotics and artificial intelligence.

“Professor Durrant-Whyte is tasked with drawing together business, research and government to drive innovation in the State, while also providing independent advice,” Mr Blair said.

“I would also like to acknowledge Professor Mary O’Kane who made an enormous contribution during her nine years as the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.”

Professor Durrant-Whyte was recently Director of the Centre for Translational Data Science at the University of Sydney, formerly Chair of the NSW Government’s Innovation and Productivity Council, and formerly head of National ICT Australia, now CSIRO’s Data61.

He has won numerous awards for his work including being named the 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year.

Professor Durrant-Whyte attended the Aerotropolis Investor Forum on May 28 and shared his significant expertise with investors from the defence and aeronautical industry.

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