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Robotics expert named NSW Chief Scientist

Robotics expert named NSW Chief Scientist article image

World-renowned robotics expert Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte has been appointed the next NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.

In a statement NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said Professor Durrant-Whyte, would start in the new role on September 3.

Professor Durrant-Whyte is currently Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK Ministry of Defence.

He is best known for his pioneering work on probabilistic methods for robotics.

The algorithms developed Professor Durrant-Whyte and his group since the early 1990s have paved the way for autonomous vehicles to deal with uncertainty and to localise themselves despite noisy sensor readings.

Professor Durrant-Whyte will assist the government in the planning of future applications for robotics and automation in NSW.

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

Developing autonomous solutions

“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 would 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,” he said.

Professor Durrant-Whyte will replace Mary O’Kane, who was appointed in 2008 as NSW’s first Chief Scientist & Engineer.

Professor Durrant-Whyte was recently Director of the Centre for Translational Data Science at the University of Sydney.

He is a former Chair of the NSW Government’s Innovation and Productivity Council, and former head of National ICT Australia, now CSIRO’s Data61.

Professor Durrant-Whyte has won numerous awards for his work including being named the 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year.

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