Vice-Chancellor and President

The Vice-Chancellor and President is the principal executive officer of the University and is responsible for the educational and administrative affairs of the University.

About Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO

About Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO

Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO is the University of Newcastle’s 8th Vice-Chancellor and President and commenced in the role on 19 November 2018.

Prior to joining the University, Professor Zelinsky was Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist and leader of Defence Science and Technology within the Department of Defence.

Professor Zelinsky’s scientific career includes working as a computer scientist, systems engineer and roboticist and spans innovation, science and technology, research, commercial start-ups and education.

Prior to joining Defence, Professor Zelinsky was Group Executive for Information Sciences at CSIRO. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Seeing Machines, a technology company focused on computer vision. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a start-up from the Australian National University, where he was a Professor of Systems Engineering.

Professor Zelinsky has a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Honours), Doctor of Philosophy and Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Wollongong, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has completed the Advanced Management Program from Harvard University and the Senior Executive Program from London Business School.

Professor Zelinsky has been recognised nationally and internationally for his work including:

  • inducted by the Royal Institution of Australia as an Honorary Bragg Member in 2019
  • elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in 2019 in recognition of his significant and ongoing contribution to the field of science
  • appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2017 Queen's birthday honours in recognition of "distinguished service to defence science and technology, to systems engineering, and to education as an academic and researcher"
  • named in Engineers Australia's list of the 100 most influential engineers from 2009 - 2015
  • awarded the prestigious M A Sargent Medal by Engineers Australia for outstanding professional contributions to engineering
  • awarded the Pearcey Medal, the ICT industry’s premier prize for lifetime achievement
  • selected as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2003, 2004 and 2005 in recognition of his commercialisation of technology with Seeing Machines
  • receiving the BHERT International award for his university-business research collaboration in 2000
  • Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Institute of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.