Our Experts

ARM Hub Technical Director

Professor Jonathan Roberts

Professor Jonathan Roberts, ARM Hub Technical Director, Professor in Robotics, Faculty of Engineering, QUT; Centre Director – Australian Cobotics Centre
Jonathan Roberts is Professor in Robotics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). His main research interests are in the areas of Field Robotics, Design Robotics and Medical Robotics. He was a co-inventor of the UAV Challenge, an international flying robot competition. Before joining QUT, Professor Roberts was the Research Director of CSIRO’s Autonomous Systems Laboratory where he developed projects in the area of museum robotics and telepresence. Professor Roberts is a Past President of the Australian Robotics & Automation Association, was a member of the Founding Editorial Board of the IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation Letters and currently serves as a Senior Editor. He is the Centre Director of the Australian Cobotics Centre which was established in August 2021 with a focus on the implementation of Collaborative Robotics (or Cobotics) within Australian manufacturing.
Professor and Chair in Manufacturing Robotics

Professor Will Browne

Will is Professor and Chair in Manufacturing Robotics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with ARM Hub and CSIRO. Possessing expertise in artificial cognitive systems, with interest in how systems, such as robots, can interact with the real-world to solve problems of interest. Will’s topics of interest include computer vision and perception, explainable Artificial Intelligence (AI), transfer learning and collaborative robotics. Will is also co-lead on the Science for Technological Innovation team on ‘Adaptive learning robots to complement the human workforce’, Robotics Spearhead in New Zealand. Academic service includes editorial board membership of the ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization and the Applied Soft Computing journals. Will’s interdisciplinary background in Mechanical Engineering, Energy Studies, Control, Cybernetics, Computer Science, Computational Neuroscience as well as AI and Robotics, is further expanding the disciplines of the ARM Hub expert team.
Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen FAA FASSA
Australian Laureate Fellow, Faculty of Science, QUT

Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen

Kerrie Mengersen is a Distinguished Research Professor in Statistical Science and the Director of the QUT Centre for Data Science at QUT and holds a concurrent role as Associate Member in the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford, UK. She was a Deputy Director in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (2015-2021) and an ARC Laureate Fellow (2015-2021). In 2018 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS). She is an active member of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences, International Biometrics Society, International Statistical Institute and the Statistical Society of Australia. Professor Mengersen’s research focuses on using and developing new statistical and computational methods that can help to solve complex problems in the real world. These problems are in the fields of environment, genetics, health and medicine, and industry. Her research interests include, complex systems modelling and Bayesian statistical modelling, computational methods and applications.
Professor in Robotic Vision

Distinguished Professor Peter Corke

Peter is a robotics researcher and educator with over 30 years’ experience in robotics theory and practice. He is the distinguished professor of robotic vision at Queensland University of Technology, director of the QUT Centre for Robotics, and director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. His research is concerned with enabling robots to see, and the application of robots to mining, agriculture and environmental monitoring. He wrote the bestselling textbook “Robotics, Vision, and Control” and the Robot Academy online teaching resource.
Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz
Faculty of Business and Law, QUT

Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz

Marek Kowalkiewicz is an academic and industry leader with extensive experience in conducting research, co-innovating with industry and university partners, and delivering innovative products to the market. As founding director of Centre for the Digital Economy, he leads QUT’s research agenda to inform and influence a robust digital economy in Australia. Professor Kowalkiewicz manages a contemporary research portfolio and converts industry driven opportunities into research outcomes of global relevance. He is an invited government expert, university lecturer and project lead, as well as an inventor and author. He is recognised as a top-quality manager and excellent public speaker and has an interest in working with stakeholders in developing innovative ideas, ground-breaking business applications and high-impact new technologies.
Professor Richi Nayak
Faculty of Science, QUT

Professor Richi Nayak

Richi Nayak is the Applied Data Science Program Leader of the University Centre for Data Science (CDS) and is an internationally recognised expert in data mining, text mining and web intelligence. She has combined knowledge in these areas very successfully with diverse disciplines such as Social Science, Science, and Engineering for technology transfer to real-world problems to change their practices and methodologies. Her research interests are machine learning and, in recent years, she has concentrated her work on text mining, personalisation, automation, and social network analysis. She has published high-quality conference and journal articles and is highly cited in her research field. Professor Nayak has received several awards and nominations for teaching, research and service activities.
Faculty of Science, QUT

Professor David Lovell

David Lovell is a Professor in the QUT’s School of Computer Science, Deputy Director of QUT’s Centre for Data Science, and leader of the Centre’s Data-Focused Decision-Making Program. He joined QUT in 2014 as Head of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Before joining QUT, he held numerous research management positions in CSIRO. Professor Lovell was involved in a wide range of research and consulting in the analysis of large and complex datasets and was appointed Director of the Australian Bioinformatics Network and has been instrumental in the formation of ABACBS (Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society). His research interests lie at the intersection of humanity, science and technology, particularly data science.
Robotics Lead

Professor Matthew Dunbabin

Matthew joined QUT as a Principal Research Fellow (Autonomous Systems) in 2013 from CSIRO, where he held various roles including Principal Research Scientist and the Robotics Systems and Marine Robotics team leader. He is known internationally for his research into field robotics, particularly environmental robots, and their application to large-scale marine and aquatic ecosystem process monitoring. His research interests include vision-based navigation, image-based habitat classification, adaptive sampling, and path planning, as well as robot and sensor network interactions. His current research within the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision involves the development and use of advanced computer vision techniques to detect and quantify change within the environment, and to improve the perception and monitoring performance of robots operating in challenging and dynamic environments.
Chair, ARM Hub Strategic Research Committee

Professor Greg Hearn

Professor Greg Hearn is Director of Commercial R&D in the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT and a research leader in the ARM Hub and QUT Design Lab. His research focuses on strategic industry futures, knowledge policy, and the future of work. He is author of over 20 major books and reports, most recently as editor of The Future of Creative Work: Creativity and Digital Disruption (Edward Elgar, 2020). This book examines the impact of digital disruption, robotics, and AI, on jobs in design, art and media, and the creation of high value products and services across all sectors of the economy. He has worked in large R&D projects with private industry and public sector organizations over 3 decades, across many sectors including, aviation, defence, agriculture and manufacturing.
Design Lead

Associate Professor Glenda Amayo Caldwell

Glenda is an Associate Professor in Architecture, School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is a chief investigator in the IMCRC Design Robotics for Mass Customisation Manufacturing project in collaboration with UAP and RMIT. Embracing trans-disciplinary approaches from architecture and human computer interaction, Glenda’s research places design at the forefront of robotic research for design-led and mass customization manufacturing. She is an active researcher in the QUT Design Lab and is the author of numerous publications in the areas of media architecture, urban informatics, and design robotics.
Design Lead

Associate Professor Jared Donovan

Jared is a Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design at the Queensland University of Technology. He currently leads the ‘Design Robotics for Mass Customised Manufacturing’ research project with industry partner UAP (funded by IMCRC), which is developing new ways to use robots and vision systems for design led manufacturing. His main research interest is in how technologies can be made more useful and easier to use for people and how end-users can be involved in the design process to make technologies better.
Design Lead

Associate Professor Markus Rittenbruch

Markus Rittenbruch is an Associate Professor in Interaction Design at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is the Associate Director of the QUT Design Lab which hosts innovative research at the interplay of Design and Technology, such as the Design Robotics project. Professor Rittenbruch is an experienced researcher with over 20 years of experience in the design of human-centred technology. His work focuses on the design and study of emerging technologies, including collaborative systems, human-robot collaboration, social robotics, and extended reality.
Design Lead

Dr Muge Belek Fialho Teixeira

Muge Belek Fialho Teixeira is an award-winning creative maker and transdisciplinary designer, who specialises in advanced manufacturing, digital fabrication, and parametric design. She is one of the chief investigators of QUT's Design Robotics project. In her career, she has worked with prominent architectural firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects, taught in several institutions including AA Visiting Schools, published articles, given interviews, and presented in many international conferences and exhibitions.
Sensors and Intelligent Systems

Associate Professor Ajay Pandey

Ajay is Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with expertise in bespoke sensor design and development of intelligent systems. Ajay’s topics of interest include design and development of intelligent sensing and energy harvesting platform technologies with capabilities of on-sensor and near-sensor computing. His research is centred on how autonomous systems such as robots can gain situational awareness akin to intelligent biological systems. He leads several interdisciplinarity projects on development of advanced vision, tactile and acoustic sensing technologies for medical robotics, infrastructure monitoring, and sustainable engineering. Ajay’s interdisciplinary background in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Energy Systems further expands ARM Hub’s advanced manufacturing capability in new domains of medical devices, micro/nano robotics and wearable electronics.
Design Lead

Associate Professor Rafael Gomez

Associate Professor Rafael Gomez is Study Area Coordinator for Industrial Design. He is a design researcher for QUT Design Lab and a prominent researcher in the field of emotional experience, wearable tech for medical/health applications and emerging technologies. He works closely with global industry partners and leads the BMW Group + QUT Design Academy which focuses on fostering design excellence, exploring new knowledge horizons and advancing cutting-edge technologies through internships, research and special R+D projects with BMW Group in Germany. Rafael has been a Council Member of the Design Institute of Australia Queensland Chapter, Founder and Chair of the Design and Emotion Society Australia Chapter and Committee Member for the 2015 IASDR International Design Conference.
Robotics Lead

Dr Chris Lehnert

Chris is a Senior Lecturer within the Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) group at QUT. His research interests lie in the development of novel methods for robotic manipulation in real world and challenging environments. A particular focus of his research has been on enabling robots to perform autonomous harvesting operations in horticulture. He was part of the Australian Centre for Robotics Vision team competing in the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge, where he led the development of the grasping and planning algorithms which could successfully grasp a large variety of objects in a cluttered environment. He is part of the Future Food Systems Co-operative Research Centre, and will receive $35 million in funding over 10 years from the Federal Government, along with almost $150 million in support from the research centre’s educational and commercial participants. He will be working on developing robotics and smart technology for vertical and indoor protected cropping.
Dr Rui Torres de Oliveira
Business Growth, Strategy & Innovation

Dr Rui Torres de Oliveira

Rui is an academic at QUT Business School where he is an expert on innovation, strategy and International Business on the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship - a world-leading hub in the field. Before joining QUT, Rui worked at the University of Queensland and prior to that, he was a senior executive and worked in the US, China, and Europe. Rui holds a Doctorate of Business Administration from Manchester Business School, an MBA and a Masters in Civil Engineering. Rui is passionate about helping start-ups and SMEs to drive innovation and bring their products or services to the market in the best possible conditions.
UAV and Robotics Lead

Professor Felipe Gonzalez

Professor Felipe Gonzalez is within the School of Electrical Engineering and Robotics (EER) and a CI in QUT Centre for Robotics (QCR) Engineering Faculty. Felipe has a passion for innovation in the fields of aerial robotics and automation, and a particular interest in creating aerial robots, drones or UAVs that possess a high level of cognition using efficient on-board computer algorithms using advanced optimization and game theory approaches to assist us in understanding and improving our physical and natural world. A/Prof Gonzalez lead the Airborne Sensing Lab at QUT. He is the co-author of several books in UAV based remote sensing and design based on evolutionary optimization and game strategies. To date he has been awarded $40.1M in chief investigator / partner investigator grants ($6.5M total cash + in-kind contributions). This grant income represents a mixture of sole investigator funding, ARC DP, ARC LIEF, ARC Linkages, international, multidisciplinary collaborative grants, and funding from industry.

He is also a Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineers Australia – National Professional Engineers Register (NPER), a Member Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), The IEEE, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Holder of a current Australian Private Pilot Licence (CASA PPL) and a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL from CASA).

Industrial Design Lead

Dr Tim Williams

Tim’s career has been divided between design practice and academia giving him ideal perspective on the benefits of industry-university collaboration. Consequently, he has a strong track record of leading collaborative projects with industry partners both locally and internationally. His background is Industrial Design with expertise in Computer Aided Design, Design for Manufacture, and Design for Electronics. Tim is an authority on Product Ecosystem theory and has diverse research interests including Design-Led innovation, 3D printing, transportation design and boat building.
Sustainability Design Lead

Dr Alice Payne

Alice Payne is an Associate Professor in Fashion in the School of Design, a program leader in Centre for a Waste-Free World, and co-leader of the research group TextileR: Future Textile Industries. Her research centres on environmental and social sustainability concerns throughout textile and apparel industry supply chains. Dr Payne has examined perspectives on sustainability along the cotton value chain, the cultural and material flows of post-consumer textile waste, and design processes of mass-market product developers, independent fashion designers, and social entrepreneurs. She is author of the book Designing Fashion's Future: Present Practice and Tactics for Sustainable Change (Bloomsbury 2021), co-author of Fashion Trends: Analysis and Forecasting (second edition, 2021) and co-editor of Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion (Bloomsbury 2019). She is an award-winning designer and has exhibited in Australia and overseas. In 2014 and 2020 her design work was featured in A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion. Her recent work explores speculative approaches to textile design including design for disassembly and biotextiles.
Professor Vicki Chen
Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology, UQ

Professor Vicki Chen

Vicki Chen holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. She was formerly Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, where she led the School's performance in research, teaching, infrastructure development, and academic recruitment. With a multitude of national research grants, Professor Chen is a highly successful researcher with over 11,000 citations and 190 publications to her name. She also has held senior positions as the Director of UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology and other significant roles in leading major multi-institutional, collaborative projects with Australian and international industrial partners such as Australian Low Emission Coal R&D, Bluescope Steel and BASF. Professor Chen's collaborations have achieved high-profile outcomes, including new antifouling coatings, novel processes for water purification and brine treatment, CO2 capture technologies, and high-performance nano-composite materials. Professor Chen is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE)
Cyber Security Lead

Professor Ryan Ko

Ryan Ko’s research in cyber security focuses on returning control of data to cloud computing users. He researches information integrity and cyber autonomy in critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, manufacturing, regulatory and agriculture sectors. He serves on the Technical Reference Group of Meat and Livestock Australia Integrity Systems Company, Technology Advisory Board Livestock Improvement Cooperation, is the Research Lead and co-founder of First Watch, advisor to Nyriad, and expert advisor to INTERPOL, NZDF, NZ Minister for Communications' Cyber Security Skills Taskforce.
Professor Matthew Dargusch
Mechanical and Mining Engineering, UQ

Professor Matthew Dargusch

Matthew Dargusch is a Professor in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. He is the Director of the ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices, and the Chief Technology Officer for the Defence Materials Technology Centre. Professor Dargusch’s primary research interests are associated with addressing the major technical challenges facing Australian metal manufacturers in order to assist them to participate more effectively in global supply chains and the development of improved medical devices.
Professor Andrew White
Faculty of Science, UQ

Professor Andrew White

Andrew White's research interests are in the field of quantum information, quantum optics, and all aspects of quantum weirdness. More details are included on the Quantum Laboratory website. He has conducted research on various topics including shrimp eyes, nuclear physics, optical vortices, and quantum computers. He likes quantum weirdness for its own sake, but his current research aims to explore and exploit the full range of quantum behaviours—notably entanglement—with an eye to engineering new technologies and scientific applications. He is currently Director of the Centre of Engineered Quantum Systems, an Australia-wide, 14-year long, research effort by 180 scientists to build quantum machines that harness the quantum world for practical applications.
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, UQ

Dr Michael Heitzmann

Michael Heitzmann is the Co-Director Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing with an expertise in advanced composite materials and processes and new product development. The centre brings together over 50 researchers and 120 PhD students working on materials, design and manufacturing solutions for future economies. He was also one of the main driving forces behind the formation of the UQ Composites group now spanning across all schools within the EAIT faculty. Despite the relatively short time in an academic career, he has been awarded over 5.2M AUD in research funding as chief investigator (CI), of which over 1.2M AUD have been obtained as the lead CI. Michael is the supervisor of 9 research higher degree students (8 PhD, 1MPhil).
Mr Dan Christie
Head of Engineering, James Cook University, JCU

Mr Dan Christie

Mr Christie is currently the Head of Engineering at James Cook University. At the time of receiving this award he was the Glencore Copper Refinery and Port Operations Manager in Townsville. After graduating from James Cook University, with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in 1998, Mr Christie obtained a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from Loughborough University, UK. Since 2010, he has been serving as a Manager and Superintendent at Glencore, a leading global natural resource company. Mr Christie has more than 15 years’ experience in various large-scale engineering projects, ranging from defence projects with the Royal Australian Air Force to international resource projects with leading global mining and resource companies.
Professor Ian Atkinson
Professor and Director eResearch Centre, JCU

Professor Ian Atkinson

Ian Atkinson is a Tropical Leader and Director of the eResearch Centre at James Cook University. His PhD studies were in chemical physics but he moved from experimental science into computational chemistry and high-performance computing two decades. Over the past decade, the rapid expansion of the Internet, mass data storage, and computing has impacted every area of research and academic activity. As Director of the JCU eResearch Centre he has the privilege of working with researchers to apply new and ever-changing ICT tools and methods to their research and amplifying their impacts. Professor Atkinson has a long-standing interest in eResearch methods, tools, scientific data management and user interfaces for HPC tools. He is also actively involved in researching how new systems and software that connect the physical and virtual worlds, particularly focusing on environmental monitoring with sensor networks.
Optus Chair of Digital Innovation (IoT), JCU

Professor Nico Adams

Prior to joining JCU in December 2021, Nico Adams was an Associate Professor and Director of the Factory of the Future at Swinburne University of Technology. He held the position of Senior Research Scientist and Product Manager at CSIRO’s Data61 for over three years. Following on from his work with CSIRO and Data61, Dr Adams assumed the role of Program Lead for Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 at the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC). At IMCRC, he co-developed an innovation diagnostic and an Industry 4.0 business, product and strategy framework tailored for small-to-medium sized businesses. Dr Adams is also a Chief Investigator at the Australian Cobotics Centre.
Dr Stephanie Baker
Lecturer, Electronic Systems and Internet of Things Engineering, JCU

Dr Stephanie Baker

Stephanie Baker holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Systems) degree with first class honours. Her PhD focus is on artificial intelligence for healthcare. Having submitted her dissertation in early 2021, she continues to research in the field of healthcare, while also expanding into areas including conservation and accessibility. Dr Baker has a broad range of research interests, with primary focus placed on machine learning and software.
Advanced Composites Engineer

Professor Peter Schubel

Peter Schubel is a polymer composites materials and manufacturing engineer, specialising in the design and processing of high-value composite components and structures, focusing on automated manufacturing, process development, advanced infusion processing, surface metrology, biocomposites and cost modelling for the aerospace, defence, space, automotive and wind energy sectors. He completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia in 1999. After working as a Production Engineer at Orford for 2 years, he moved to the University of Nottingham, UK and in 2004 completed his PhD with industrial sponsor Aston Martin Lagonda in the area of Polymer Composites Engineering, where he worked on composite materials and manufacturing projects ranging from automotive, aerospace and wind energy sectors. In 2011, he took on a joint role as the National Centre Manager for the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites, coordinating fundamental composites research activity in the UK. In 2014, he was also appointed as the Deputy Director of the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Composites Manufacture at the University of Bristol, where he supported the development and delivery of the EngD program.
Professor Craig Baillie
Director, Centre for Agricultural Engineering, USQ & Deputy Director (IAESS)

Professor Craig Baillie

Craig Baillie is an Agricultural Engineer with 24 years’ experience in agricultural Research, Development and Extension (R, D & E). He is currently the Director of the Centre for Agricultural Engineering (CAE) based at the University of Southern Queensland. His role within the CAE includes research management, business development (new projects) and the commercialisation/adoption of engineering technologies developed by the centre. Professor Baillie’s primary research interests include farming systems innovation and technology solutions to improve farm productivity and profitability.
Executive Director, Institute for Resilient Regions, USQ

Professor Hon. John McVeigh

John McVeigh is a former politician serving as a Queensland State Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry from 2012 to 2015. He was the Federal Government representative for the seat of Groom from 2016 to 2020, holding the position of Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government. Professor Hon McVeigh joined USQ in September 2020 as Executive Director for the Institute for Resilient Regions (IRR). The IRR conducts multidisciplinary collaborative research with industry, community, and government in a broad range of regional settings. The IRR draws together research expertise to address complex issues, challenges and opportunities in regional communities.
Associate Professor Xuesen Zeng
Deputy Director and Theme Leader, Advanced Composites Manufacturing, Centre for Future Materials, USQ

Associate Professor Xuesen Zeng

Associate Professor Xuesen Zeng is a polymer composites research in the Centre for Future Materials at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). The process of pultrusion has been used by at USQ to create composite materials for the oil and gas and transport industries in Australia and overseas. Pultrusion involves creating continuous lengths of composite material by pulling fibre-reinforced profiles through a cross-section of die, resin, and heating and cooling zones. Working alongside Wagner’s Composite Fibre Technologies (CFT), a Toowoomba-based manufacturer that utilises the pultrusion technique, the collaborative project, funded by the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program, is looking into new applications for the manufacturing process. The $10 million collaboration will receive $3m from the federal government’s CRC program.
Dr Cheryl McCarthy
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Agricultural Engineering, USQ

Dr Cheryl McCarthy

Cheryl McCarthy is a Senior Research Fellow in mechatronic engineering with the Centre for Agricultural Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland. Her research involves developing machine vision and sensing systems for agriculture. She has worked on machine vision projects for the beef, fodder and macadamia industries and her current projects include precision sensing of weeds for the sugar, cotton and grains industries. Dr McCarthy has a BEng (Mechatronic) and PhD from USQ. Her research interests include the application of mechatronic engineering to agriculture and imaging spectrometry. She holds a CASA UAV Operator's Certificate.
Dr Alison McCarthy
Senior Research Fellow, Irrigation and Cropping Systems, USQ

Dr Alison McCarthy

Alison McCarthy is an irrigation and mechatronic Research Fellow within the Centre for Agricultural Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. She has a BEng (Hons) in Mechatronics and PhD in Irrigation Engineering from the University of Southern Queensland. Her research with the cotton industry led to the development of real-time adaptive control and low-cost camera-based sensing systems to reduce labour in plant growth monitoring and improve and potentially optimise the irrigation of field crops. Her current projects involve the variable-rate irrigation of cotton, dairy, horticulture and sugarcane crops via lateral move and centre pivot irrigation machines and surface irrigation systems. She developed a simulation framework ‘VARIwise’ to aid the development, evaluation and management of spatially and temporally varied site-specific irrigation control strategies. Her research interests include irrigation decision-making and machine vision.
Associate Professor Rajib Rana
School of Mathematics, Physics and Computing, Program Leader, IoT-Health Research Program, USQ

Associate Professor Rajib Rana

Rajib Rana obtained a Doctor of Philosophy from UNSW Australia in 2010 and joined USQ as a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in 2016. He was appointed a Program Director, Master of Data Science in February 2021. He received the Young Tall Poppy Qld Award in 2018.
Professor Pierre Viljoen
Associate Vice-President (Nth Qld/Chair AFWS), CQU

Professor Pierre Viljoen

Pierre Viljoen is the inaugural BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills at Central Queensland University. His work involves identifying research and development opportunities critical in driving the development of new innovative training qualifications and courses, in response to automation in the workplace and related skills. While the role will have a specific focus on the Mining and Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sectors, it also extends to agriculture, health, small to medium enterprise (SME) development and construction. He is developing new models for innovation, skills, and training that will enable regional communities to grow their economies. Professor Viljoen will leverage his research expertise in industrial psychology, as well as his long-standing connections with industry, government and community in the Mackay, Bowen Basin and Isaac regions, to drive innovation in research and course development in the increasingly critical areas of automation and future workplace skills.
Dr Lasi Piyathilaka
Lecturer, School of Engineering and Technology, CQU

Dr Lasi Piyathilaka

Lasitha Piyathilaka is a Lecturer in Mechatronic Engineering at Central Queensland University. He graduated from University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka specialising Electrical engineering in 2005 and received his M.Phil degree specialising robotics in 2011 from the same university. He completed his PhD degree specialising in Robotics from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Lasitha has a rich blend of industry, teaching and research experience. From 2017 to 2020 he worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and led a research team to develop inspection robots for condition assessment of water and sewer pipelines. This project won both the National and NSW Research Innovation Awards presented by the Australian Water Association in 2020. He worked as a mechatronics engineer at Swarm Farm Robotics, a robotics company based in Queensland that develops a swarm of lightweight agricultural robots for farm operations.
Assoc Professor Preethi Preethichandra
School of Engineering and Technology, CQU

Assoc Professor Preethi Preethichandra

Preethi Preethichandra is an Associate Professor at Central Queensland University. His research interests are in Nanotechnology-based sensors and actuators, Sensor development, sensor networking, Embedded systems development, Robotics.
Advance Queensland Research Fellow, Griffith University

Dr Camila Shirota

Camila Shirota’s goal is to better understand human motor control to support the development and value of clinically relevant technologies for rehabilitation such as assistive and therapeutic devices. She is an expert in biomechanics and motor control of gait, specifically of balance control in response to perturbations. She is also interested in methods to quantify sensorimotor function. She has worked in research and clinical environments, with people with amputations and stroke survivors. She is driven to increase the translation of technologies into the clinic and home.
Dr Grace Bitner
Research Fellow, Hopkins Medical Centre, Griffith University

Dr Grace Bitner

Grace Bitner has over a decade of experience researching in the area of design for disability, health, aging and social inclusion. She is passionate about translating research into the creation of communities that are healthier, more sustainable, and socially inclusive for people of all ages and abilities. Her work in the area of design for disability has given her both a depth and breadth of knowledge of the policies, practices, and systems central to the sector. It has also given her a comprehensive understanding of the complex problems faced by diverse stakeholder groups including individuals with disability and their support networks, service providers, design and development professionals, investors, and government agencies. Dr Bitner is currently serving as a member of the NDIA Specialist Disability Accommodation Reference Group.
Dr Elliot Duff
Independent Robotics Research Consultant

Dr Elliot Duff

Elliott Duff has been involved in the area of field robotics for over 20 years and the development of sensing systems that allow machines to operate autonomously outdoors in hostile and unstructured environments. This work has included the automation of large mining excavators, underground ore haulage vehicles and explosive loading machines. He led the robotic perception team with interests in localisation and mobile mapping in GPS denied areas. More recently, Mr Duff has managed the Autonomous Systems Program with interests in field robotics, sensor networks and cognitive systems. He oversees several emerging markets, including Spatial Intelligence and the Industrial Internet.
Professor Michael Milford
Co-Director of the QUT Centre for Robotics Professor in Robotics, Faculty of Engineering, QUT

Professor Michael Milford

Michael Milford conducts interdisciplinary research at the boundary between robotics, neuroscience and computer vision and is a multi-award-winning educational entrepreneur. His research models the neural mechanisms in the brain underlying tasks like navigation and perception to develop new technologies in challenging application domains such as all-weather, anytime positioning for autonomous vehicles. He is also passionate about engaging and educating all sectors of society around new opportunities and impacts from technology including robotics, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. Professor Milford was named the top robotics researcher in Australia by citation impact by The Australian Research Magazine (2019) and was a top 3 finalist for the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher (2016), the APEC ASPIRE Prize Finalist (2018) and was a finalist in the Reimagine Education Awards Finalist K12 Category.
Dr Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi
Senior Lecturer, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, JCU

Dr Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi

Mostafa Rahimi is a recognised national and international scientist and leader, who was ranked in the top 2% of the highly cited EEE researchers in 2020. He is currently the Chair of the IEEE Northern Australia Section and the program coordinator for the JCU Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree. Dr Rahimi is the AI leader of the $5M ARC-funded JCU Agriculture Technology and Adoption Centre.
Mr Luke Deacon
Associate Director, Business Development and Commercialisation, JCU

Mr Luke Deacon

Luke Deacon is a leader of creative teams, taking on exciting new projects and delivering amazing results. He is passionate about leading teams to build highly impactful programs in the design, execution and scaling entrepreneurship and early-stage technology commercialisation.
Head of School, Information Technology, UQ

Professor Michael Brünig

Michael Brünig is Head of School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland. He is a data innovation expert with over 20 years’ experience in research and development across industry, government and academia over three continents. He is currently the Head of School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland (UQ). Professor Brünig is a versatile Academic Leader who has previously led the UQ Business School. Before joining UQ, Professor Brünig worked with Australia’s most widely known science research and translation hub, CSIRO. As an executive manager with the organisation, he led an initiative to establish a National Research Flagship on Digital Productivity and later guided the business through a merger to create Data61, a national research powerhouse focusing on data innovation.
Faculty of Engineering, UQ

Associate Professor Marcus Gallagher

Marcus Gallagher is an Associate Professor in the Artificial Intelligence Group in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. His research interests are in artificial intelligence, including optimisation and machine learning. He is particularly interested in understanding the relationship between algorithm performance and problem structure via benchmarking. His work includes cross-disciplinary collaborations and real-world applications of AI techniques. Dr Gallagher received his BCompSc and GradDipSc from the University of New England, Australia in 1994 and 1995 respectively, and his PhD in 2000 from the University of Queensland, Australia. He also completed a GradCert (Higher Education) in 2010.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), USQ

Professor John Bell

John Bell leads the Research and Innovation Division at the University of Southern Queensland. He oversees a coordinated focus on fostering collaborations and partnerships with government, industry and the research community, within Australia and around the world to deliver applied research outcomes that have global impact. His key responsibilities include the implementation of the USQ Research Plan, managing research programs, partnerships and investments, driving research performance and supporting research staff and students to achieve excellence. As an outstanding researcher in his area of materials engineering and energy, Professor Bell has led projects in the development of energy efficient smart windows, dye-sensitised solar cell development, and carbonaceous materials. He also has expertise in the area of energy efficiency and occupant comfort in buildings, and has carried out extensive research with industry.
Deputy Head of School (Research) School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University

Professor Alan Wee-Chung Liew

Alan Liew is currently the Deputy Head (Research) of School, the School of Information & Communication Technology, and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Integrated Intelligent Systems (IIIS), at Griffith University, Australia. Prior to joining Griffith University in 2007, he was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interest is in the field of AI, machine learning, medical imaging, computer vision, and bioinformatics. He leads the medical/health informatics stream in IIIS, and is engaging with the Menzies Health Institute, the Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland Health, and the Precision Medicine Data Platform (PMDP) on several collaborative projects. He has published extensively in these areas with two books and more than 200 journal and conference papers, and holds two international patents.
Director, Centre of Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering, Griffith University

Professor David Lloyd

David Lloyd is a Professor of Biomechanical Engineering at Griffith University. He is a mechanical engineer (BSc-Merit, University of New South Wales, 1984) who first worked in the aeronautical industry, and then completed a PhD in Biomechanical Engineering (University of New South Wales, 1993). He then received a prestigious NIH Fogarty International Post-doctoral fellowship (1993-1995) in computational biomechanics and neurophysiology at the premier Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University Medical School. David has over 30 years of academic research experience in biomechanical engineering, biophysics, sports medicine, and regenerative medicine. He co-founded both the Griffith Centre of Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering (GCORE) and Griffith’s Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute (ADaPT). He is the director of GCORE, which undertakes cross-disciplinary research in orthopaedic, neuromusculoskeletal, and cardiovascular biomedical engineering, with hospitals, such as the Gold Coast University Hospital and Queensland Children’s’ Hospital, and industry partners including BiVacor, Orthocell, VALD, Materialise, OrthoPediatrics, Stryker and Philips. David is an international research leader who is Australia’s 1st ranked and world’s 16th ranked (out of >170,000) biomechanics expert.
Senior Lecturer, Head of Computer Science, Griffith University

Dr Hui Tan

Hui Tian is currently appointed as Senior Lecturer and the Discipline Head of Computer Science in the School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith, Australia. She received the PhD degree in Computer Science from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Prior to joining Griffith, she was an Associate Professor in Beijing Jiaotong University, China. Dr. Tian’s main research interests include Wireless Communications and Networking, Network Tomography, Privacy and Security, Knowledge Discovery. She has published one book and more than 70 research papers and led several research projects in different countries. She actively engages in professional activities including service as associate editor of SCI-indexed journals and program chair/committee member of international conferences. Dr. Tian is a senior member of IEEE.
Research Scientist, ARM Hub Robotics Lead, CSIRO

Dr David Howard

David Howard is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO, Australia's national science body. He leads multiple projects at the intersection of robotics, evolutionary machine learning, and the computational design of novel physical objects. His interests include nature-inspired algorithms, learned autonomy, soft robotics, the reality gap, and evolution of form. His work has been featured in local and national media, TechXplore, and Wired. Dr Howard received his BSc in Computing from the University of Leeds in 2005 and completed a MSc in Cognitive Systems at the same institution in 2006. He is a member of the IEEE and ACM, and an avid proponent of education, STEM, and outreach activities.
Group Leader, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Data61

Dr Navinda Kottege

Navinda Kottege is the Acting Group Leader and a Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Data61's Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group. He received his PhD in Engineering from the Australian National University in 2009. He has led legged robot research within CSIRO, an activity he initiated in 2011, which has built up into a world-leading R&D capability within the group. Dr Kottege is also the PI for the CSIRO Data61 team competing in the DARPA SubT Challenge. He joined CSIRO in 2009 as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Sensor Networks (later Distributed Sensing Systems) group at the Autonomous Systems Lab and conducted research in using acoustics for localisation and ecological monitoring. He was a team member of the Serafina project which developed swarming technology for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). During this time, he designed, developed and experimentally evaluated a novel high precision distributed localization sensor to be deployed on small agile underwater vehicles to facilitate swarming.
Director, CSIRO Data61

Professor Jon Whittle

Professor Whittle is a world-renowned expert in software engineering and human-computer interaction, with a particular interest in IT for social good, AI research in health sciences, and sustainable development.
With over 1000 staff and affiliates, partnerships with industries across almost every sector, and collaborations with over 30 Universities, CSIRO's Data61 is both a centre for expertise and an enabler for national initiatives.
Principal Research Scientist, Data61, CSIRO

Dr Simon Dunstall

Simon Dunstall is a member of the Analytics and Decision Sciences (A&DS) program in Data61, and presently is deputy research director for A&DS. Previously he was research director of the Decision Sciences program in Data61 (2015-2019). Dr Dunstall is a researcher in risk analytics and optimisation, especially in topics associated with hazards and extreme events. This has included engagements with the Victorian Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, Cladding Safety Victoria, Dept of Home Affairs and Dept. Health, and most of the electricity distribution companies in Australia. In addition to his role at CSIRO, he is the current national president of the Australian Society for Operations Research (ASOR).

Our Expert Advisors

Professor of Robotics, MIT and Co-Founder of Robust.AI.

Emeritus Professor Rodney Brooks

Rodney Brooks is a robotics entrepreneur known for popularising the actionist approach to robotics. He is Panasonic Professor of Robotics (Emeritus) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and currently the CTO and co-founder of robust.ai, which is developing hybrid, common-sense powered AI, making robots more robust and reliable, even in complex and unpredictable environments. He was Founder, Chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics, and a Founder, former Board Member and former CTO of iRobot Corp. Professor Brooks is the former Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He received degrees in pure mathematics from the Flinders University of South Australia and a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1981. He held research positions at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, and a faculty position at Stanford before joining the faculty of MIT in 1984. He has published many papers in computer vision, artificial intelligence, robotics, and artificial life.
Director, CSAIL, Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

Professor Daniela Rus

Daniela Rus is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. Her research interests are in robotics, mobile computing, and data science. She is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineers, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Rus received her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. Prior to joining MIT, she was a professor in the Computer Science Department at Dartmouth College.
Head of Chair of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management, RWTH Aachen University

Professor Dr Frank Piller

Frank Piller is considered one of the leading German experts for innovation management, in particular open innovation, customer co-creation and product individualization. His research work has received numerous awards, most recently the PDMA Co-Creation Award or the nomination for the Innovating Innovation award from Harvard Business Review and McKinsey. Professor Piller researches the design of customer-centric innovation and value creation processes, the successful management of radical business model innovations and the use of external knowledge for the innovation process. Since mid-2007 he has been full professor for technology and innovation management at RWTH Aachen University, where he is also the Academic Director of the Executive MBA program. He previously worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the TU Munich. He received his doctorate in Mass Customization from the University of Würzburg (2000) and habilitated in 2004 on Open Innovation and User Innovation at the TUM Business School, TU Munich.
Data scientist, researcher, developer, educator, and entrepreneur

Honorary Professor Jeremy Howard

Jeremy Howard is a data scientist, researcher, developer, educator, and entrepreneur. He is a founding researcher at fast.ai, which is dedicated to making deep learning more accessible, and is an honorary professor at The University of Queensland. Previously, Professor Howard was a Distinguished Research Scientist at the University of San Francisco, where he was the founding chair of the Wicklow Artificial Intelligence in Medical Research Initiative. He was the founding CEO of Enlitic, which was the first company to apply deep learning to medicine and selected as one of the world’s top 50 smartest companies by MIT Tech Review two years running. He was the President and Chief Scientist of the data science platform Kaggle, where he was the top-ranked participant in international machine learning competitions two years running. He was the founding CEO of two successful Australian start-ups (FastMail, and Optimal Decisions Group–purchased by Lexis-Nexis). He spent 8 years in management consulting, at McKinsey & Co, and AT Kearney. Jeremy has invested in, mentored, and advised many start-ups, and contributed to many open-source projects.
Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft

Lee Hickin

Lee Hickin has over 27 years’ experience in the IT industry working across a variety of roles and technologies. He has worked in Asia, the UK and Australia with a passion for innovation and leading-edge technologies such as AI. He has been a CISSP certified security architect with RSA Security and Tivoli, leading the IOT business development team across APAC with Amazon Web Services and most recently the CTO for Microsoft Australia. As the CTO, Lee helps customers on their journey of digital transformation through cloud technologies; focusing on the adoption of intelligent cloud services such as AI, IOT, Machine learning and cognitive services underpinned by core cloud infrastructure technology strategy, Security and ethical AI principles. Mr Hickin is a regular speaker on Cloud technology, innovation and driving digital transformation.
Chief Scientist, Trusted Autonomous Systems CRC

Dr Kate Devitt

Kate Devitt is Chief Scientist of the Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), CEO of BetterBeliefs an evidence-based social platform and adjunct Associate Professor Human-Computer Interaction, ITEE, at the University of Queensland. She holds a BA(Hons) History and Philosophy of Science and Psychology, Melbourne University, Grad Cert Cognitive Science and PhD philosophy (AOS epistemology, AOC ethics and cognitive science) from Rutgers University. Her teaching experience includes an introduction to philosophy, applied ethics, philosophy of time travel, cognitive science, science communication, information systems and information science. She has expertise in decision support tools, expert systems and human factors. Dr Devitt helps build technologies that enable the development of autonomous systems that incorporate ethical, legal, and regulatory structures to achieve social license to operate and trusted adoption.

Our Research Committee

  • Chair:  Shay Chalmers, Strategic Engineers Australia Pty Ltd
  • Associate Professor Cori Stewart, CEO – ARM Hub
  • Distinguished Professor Peter Corke, Director – Centre for Robotics, QUT
  • Professor Peter Schubel, Executive Director – Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences, USQ
  • Professor Vicki Chen, Executive Dean – Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, UQ
  • Mr David Chuter, CEO and Managing Director – IMCRC