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Academics honoured for their contribution to technological innovation

16 October 2015

Three University of Sydney researchers have been named as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.


Professor Robert Park, from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Professor Salah Sukkarieh, and Professor Branka Vucetic, both from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, have been recognised.

Our three new Fellows are part of the group of 26 newly elected Fellows to the academy, which is an independent body of 800 eminent Australian engineers and scientists enhancing Australia’s prosperity through technological innovation.

Professor Alex McBratney, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, said, "The work of Professor Robert Park, our world-leading plant pathologist, Coffey Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, and Director of the Australian Cereal Rust Program in our Plant Breeding Institute, has been recognised in his election as a Fellow."

Robert's research is a substantial contribution to global food security. Congratulations Robert! This continues the great tradition of our cereal rust work which began back in the 1930s."

Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said: "Congratulations to Professors Branka Vucetic and Salah Sukkarieh. It is a terrific achievement for two of our leading faculty researchers to be named among Australia’s high ranking and leading engineering and science research innovators."

"The work of both Professors Vucetic and Sukkarieh is having a global impact in the fields of wireless communication systems and robotics."

Professor Robert Park is an international leader in the pathology and genetics of cereal rust pathogens. Through his scientific research and leadership of the world-renowned Australian Cereal Rust Control Program, he has made major contributions to the national effort to control these diseases. His research underpins the estimated $1 billion benefit that resistance breeding contributes annually to the cereals industry. His research group has played a pivotal role in breeding cereal cultivars that carry in-built genetic resistance to stem, leaf and stripe rust, a troika of the most feared cereal diseases.

Professor Salah Sukkarieh is Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, School of Aerospace Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering; and Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. He is a pioneer in the research, development and application of robotics and intelligent systems. He has worked with a range of companies and government organisations to apply these technologies in industrial and civilian applications for Australian and international benefit. He is a world leader in autonomous navigation and mapping for robotic aircraft and in the application of this technology to operational systems in aerospace, biosecurity and agriculture.

Professor Branka Vucetic is recognised as a world leader for her contributions in channel coding theory and its applications in wireless communication systems. Her innovations have had a world-changing impact on technology. She led a team that invented soft output detection and decoding methods that made mobile phones more reliable. She also produced significant achievements in the field of signal processing for multiple-input multiple-output antennas and wireless sensor networks that are leading the next phase of transformational smart infrastructure technologies. She held various research and academic positions in the UK, Yugoslavia and Australia, before joining the University of Sydney in 1986.

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