Professor Willy Zwaenepoel

Dean's Lecture Series

Hear from global leaders pioneering engineering
Our Dean's Lecture Series brings key global guest speakers in the fields of engineering and computer science to the University of Sydney, to share their knowledge and expertise with the public.

The Dean’s Lecture Series showcases world leading thinkers who are doing transformational work in the fields of engineering and computer science.

Hosted by Professor Willy Zwaenepoel, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, these events open to prospective and current students, industry and the public aim to provide a forum that is both informative and inspirational.

Past keynote speakers

Dr Alvy Ray Smith is co-founder of two successful startups Pixar and Altamira. He was the first director of computer graphics at Lucasfilms, and saw the birth of the personal computer, internet, and some of the earliest colour pixels at Xeros PARC.

Dr Smith directed the Genesis Demo in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Pixar's first short: The Adventures of André & Wally B. Further, he has received technical Academy Awards for two inventions; notably the first full-colour paint program, the HSV (or HSB) colour transform, and the alpha channel.

Dr Smith holds a PhD from Stanford University and honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published widely in computer science and computer graphics.

Listen to Dr Smith's Dean's Lecture (12.1MB)

Watch Dr Smith's Dean's Lecture (courtesy of iITWire)

Professor Patrick Aebischer was president of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) from 2000 to 2016, and he is generally viewed as the main architect and driving force behind EPFL’s rise from a regional engineering college to a world class research university. He was trained as an MD and a neuroscientist at the Universities of Geneva and Fribourg in Switzerland. He was a faculty member of Brown University and the University of Lausanne before joining EPFL.

Professor Aebischer is the founder of three biotechnology companies. He presently seats on the board of Lonza, Nestlé and Logitech. He is the Chairman of the Novartis Venture Fund and a senior partner of NanoDimension-III, a venture capital firm based both in Silicon Valley and Lausanne.

Download Professor Aebischer's presentation slides

Listen to Professor Aebischer's Dean's Lecture (119MB)