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Top 100 : 2010
TOP 100 AUSTRALIA S MOST INFLUENTIAL ENGINEERS -- COVER STORY David Skellern, 59 Chief Executive of National ICT Australia (NICTA), Sydney Electrical engineer, University of Sydney As head of Australia s ICT centre of excellence, David Skellern is proud of the contribution NICTA is making to Australia s competitiveness through ICT research. In 2009, NICTA secured its third round of funding through to 2015. e centre has some 700 sta and students and last year celebrated the graduation of its 100th PhD student. e centre has ve labora- tories in four cities around Australia. Last year, three projects within NICTA achieved world rsts -- with new developments in software operating system microkernals, ultrahigh-speed wireless networks and intel- ligent eet logistics. NICTA spin-out companies have raised $15 million and employ 60 people. Skellern said: "We are driving the develop- ment of exciting next-generation technologies using our expertise in the design of extremely low-powered wireless systems." Rod Tucker, 62 Director, Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society, University of Melbourne Electrical engineer, University of Melbourne Professor Rod Tucker is a Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne and founding director of the university s Institute for a Broad- band-Enabled Society (IBES). He is also director of the university s Centre for Ultra-Broadband Information Networks (CUBIN). Tucker said IBES is the nation s rst cross- disciplinary research institute that is dedicated to maximising community bene ts of broad- band technologies. e institute brings together leading university researchers and 15 major companies. Together, they conduct research in broadband-enhanced delivery of health services, education, social networking, online engage- ment, content creation and delivery, business and service transformation, and entertainment. He currently leads a group undertaking re- search on broadband access technologies and energy e ciency in telecommunications. "Our recent research has provided a new perspective on the greenhouse impact of the internet and on how this impact can be man- aged," Tucker said. He was a member of the federal government s expert panel that recommended the establish- ment of a bre-to-the-premises-based national broadband network. More recently he was a key player in the establishment of GreenTouch, a global consortium aimed at improving the energy e ciency of the internet. Tucker is currently vice-president for publica- tions of the IEEE Photonics Society. In 1997 he was awarded the Australia Prize, Australia s premier international award for sci- ence and technology, for his contributions to telecommunications, and in 2007 he received the IEEE LEOS Aron Kressel Award. Tucker has been named one of ISI s Highly- Cited Researchers Peter Gray, 64 Director, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane Chemical engineer, University of Sydney Professor Peter Gray was appointed the inaugural director of the Australian Institute for Bioengineer- ing and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and professor of bioengineering at the University of Queensland in 2003. Gray s main research interests are in production of biopharmaceuticals by mammalian cell cultures, and his research group has an extensive collaborative network of international research groups and corporations, includ- ing DSM Biologics who will be setting up a new facility in Brisbane. With his colleagues he has been building a major re- search institute with programs ranging from developing new therapeutic processes based on stem cells, to clean energy production from nanotechnology in fuel cells. Chris Vonwiller, 67 Chief Executive Officer, Appen, Sydney Electrical engineer, University of Sydney Chris Vonwiller is a leader in the development and mercialisation of new technology in ICT. He is chai of Appen, specialists in so ware products, speech dat and services and with a linguistic data processing ab currently spans some 100 languages. In the past year, Appen has enjoyed strong growth including language technology for the emerging Indian market, and in Japan. Recently, Australian private equity fund Anacacia Capital joined to sup- port further growth. Outside work, Vonwiller is enjoying family activities having recently become a grandfather. com- irman tabases bility that h, g 59 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2010