Vice-Chancellor receives scientific honour

Monday, 27 May 2019


University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in recognition of his significant and ongoing contribution to the field of science.

Professor Alex Zelinsky AO
Professor Alex Zelinsky AO

The Fellowship is one of the highest honours an Australian scientist can receive, with up to 22 Fellows elected to the Academy each year for their outstanding research achievements.

With a career spanning innovation, science and technology, research and commercial start-ups, Professor Zelinsky will join an elite group of 543 Fellows for his pioneering work within robotics that has helped to improve driver safety.

As CEO and co-founder of Seeing Machines, a technology company focused on computer vision, Professor Zelinsky was instrumental in developing an innovative camera technology that uses artificial intelligence to monitor a driver’s eyes and detect drowsiness or distraction.

Along with being implemented in buses and trucks around the world, the technology became a commercial product in 2018 after General Motors installed it in its Cadillac motor vehicle for the first time. It is due for further rollout by European car manufacturers from 2020.

Prior to his current role as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Newcastle, Professor Zelinsky was Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist and Group Executive for Information Sciences at CSIRO, with his leadership and technical expertise contributing to the advancement of science across the nation.

“Science and technology is going to be the way that Australia can contribute to its own wellbeing, but also to the wellbeing of our planet. I’m honoured to be recognised by a leading institution that supports the important role that science plays in our society and beyond,” Professor Zelinsky said.

Australian Academy of Science President, Professor John Shine AO FAA, congratulated the new Fellows for making significant and lasting impacts in their scientific disciplines.

“These scientists were elected by their Academy peers following a rigorous evaluation process. What stands out among the new Fellows elected this year is the collective impact of their science on an international scale,” Professor Shine said.

Celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, the Australian Academy of Science is committed to supporting the diversity of scientific excellence and provides independent advice to government and industry.

Twenty-two new Fellows will be formally inducted into the Academy at a ceremony being held on Tuesday 28 May at the Shine Dome in Canberra.