Alumni Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Forward-thinking leaders
This award recognises alumni who are forward-thinking leaders in their industry, profession, field of research or area of expertise.

To be eligible, nominees must meet the following selection criteria:

  • Nominees must have graduated from the University of Sydney.
  • Nominees must demonstrate visionary thinking across any field or industry. For example, sustainability and technology, elements of design and architecture and creative new ideas.

2023 winner


Dr Stephen Hicks wins Alumni Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr Stephen Hicks (BSc '99, PhD '05) was only ten years old when glasses allowed him see stars for the first time. Now his cutting-edge work is combining medicine and techology to restore sight to others.

About Dr Stephen Hicks

Bachelor of Science '99 and Doctor of Philosophy '05
Neuroscientist turned tech entrepreneur

Stephen Hicks is a futurist at the forefront of neuroscience, visual perception and entrepreneurship. With OXSIGHT, a spinoff from his lab at Oxford University, Stephen developed smart glasses that are changing the lives of millions with visual impairments. Alongside his world-changing tech, he is a prolific author with over 50 peer-reviewed publications and ten patents.

Stephen's groundbreaking work in cybernetics and vision has earned him prestigious awards, including the Google Global Impact Challenge and the Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation.  His pioneering contributions also earned him a place as a finalist in the Advance Global Australian Awards: Gamechangers – Science and Healthcare in 2022. Stephen continues improving the quality of life for individuals facing neurological challenges through cutting-edge wearable technology.

To me, innovation is about identifying an area that you are passionate about, being realistic about what can be achieved and finding the team and resources that you need to make it happen.
Dr Stephen Hicks