Innovation, Enterprise and Technology

Strategic Innovation

I am founder and director of the Magic Lab at UTS, Australia's leading group in social robotics, and we work with the leading social robotics groups internationally. 

Australia lags in university-industry partnerships and engagement. I have a strong track record in working with industry and startups on sharing knowledge, know-how and establishing collaborative projects. I also inspire and connect my team to exciting opportunities.

I established and lead the team that developed an exciting and innovative data analytics research program into CBA. We delivered exceptional customised training to more than 5000 bank employees over 2 years. Building on this high level of engagement I developed the CBA-UTS Social Robotics Partnership with Williams Judge, head of Social Robotics at CBA.

My work has been adopted by numerous industry partners and researchers alike. IBM has been a strong supporter through an ARC Linkage Project and seven IBM PhD Fellowships for talented students. 

I led the effort to bring UTS into the US-based startup Willow Garage and the Personal Robot 2 Community with Stanford University, MIT, Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Tokyo, Samsung, Bosch and several other leading universities.  

Recently I developed partnerships with the self-flying drone startup HEXO+ and Softbank Robotics.

I lead the UTS-Stanford Launchpad project (2016 - 2018) that culminated in the creation and co-design of UTS Launchpad.

Partnership with HEXO+
Partnership with HEXO+

International and National Innovation

  • Australian Research Council
  • ARC College of Experts: 2006 - 2008
  • ARC Consultant: 2009
  • Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA): 2011 - 2013.
  • Federal Government
  • Business Missions: USA
  • Advice: Innovation, technology and entrepreneurship
  • Reports: Advanced technologies
  • Academy of Science: Robotics and AI Report, Invited Talk
  • Academy of Technology, Science and Engineering: Reports and Invited Talks
  • Sydney Science Week Festival
  • China Science Week
  • US National Robotics Week

 International and National Research Community Leadership

  • Scientific Foundation KR Inc: President 2006 - 2008; Past President 2008- 2010; Non-exectutive Director since 2010. KR Inc is the peak body for knowledge representation and reasoning a critical area in AI research and computing.
  • ACM Awards Committee
    • Eugene L. Lawler Award For Humanitarian Contributions Within Computer Science And Informatics from 2014. ACM is the prestigious American Computing Machinery the peak body for computing.
    • Australasian AI National Awards Committee form 2015.
  • Advisory Boards
  • Disruptive Innovation Week, Sydney
  • International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
  • Editorial Boards
  • Information Systems Journal from 2014
  • International Journal for Social Robotics from 2012
  • Artificial Intelligence Journal, 2007 - 2017.
  • Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 2006 -2009.
  • Major Scientifc Conference Leadership: KR, IJCAI, ICSR, AAAI Symposiums, see community engagement  for more.
  • Program Committees: IJCAI, AAAI, ECAI, JELIA, HRI - for more see Program Committees for more.
  • Best Paper Award Committees: IJCAI, KR, Ro-MAN, International Conference on Social Robotics.

Australian Research Council Projects: 10 x ARC Discovery Projects; 2 x ARC Linkage Projects

Other Major External GrantsEU 7th Framework; Australia China Partnership; Australia Japan Foundation; 

Early Career Researcher Opportunity and Development: 8 x Postdoctoral Fellows; 4 x Chancellor Fellows; 2 x Endeavour Leadership Fellowships; 7 x IBM PhD Fellowships

Coaching Student Teams and Individuals

  • Social Robotics team competing at RoboCup@Home; won the Best Human-Robot Interface Award and second place in the Social Robot league.
  • A wide variety of presentations for the public and the research community, e.g. UTS Shape Shifters
  • Robot Soccer I have led more than a dozen internationally competitive teams to International World Championships since 2002; 
  • 100,000 € Valeo Challenge: The UTS Unleashed! team were Finalist out of 1000 entries which included top universities around the world; 
  • Enabling Work Experience School Students: Topics include robotics, software engineering, design thinking, ideation, prototyping, technology and society.

University Leadership

  • CBA, Stocklands and ATN Social Robotics Partnership Steering Committee, 2016 - 2019

  • Partnership Leader, CBA Social Robotics Project, 2016 - 2019

  • EY Data Analytics Partnership Steering Committee 2016 - 2017

  • Director, Disruptive Innovation, UTS 2015 - 2017 a newly created university-wide role to help inspire and energize transdisciplinary teaching, research and industry engagement.

  • Program Director, CBA Data Analytics Exec Training 2014 - 2016 $1.3M external income

  • Project Lead, EY on Disruptive Innovation 2015 - 2017.

  • UTS Chancellor Research Awards Selection Committee 2013 and 2016

  • University Workload Policy Review Committee 2010 - 2016

  • Associate Dean, Research, Engineering and IT, UTS July 2010 - February 2014
  • Assistant Dean, Research, Business and Law, University of Newcastle, 2002,
  • Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning, Business and Law, University of Newcastle, 2000 - 2002.
  • Head, Information Systems, Business and Law, University of Newcastle, 1998 - 2000.







  • Social Robotics at UTS, ComputerWorld
  • Interview with RoboCub in Singapore
  • Magic Happens in UTS Lab
  • John McCarthy visits the Magic Lab
  • UTS Unleashed! wins Australian Open Robot Soccer Championships 
  • UTS goes to RoboCup
  • more to come ...