Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte is Chief Scientist & Engineer for the state of New South Wales in Australia, and a world-leading authority on robotics, automation, machine learning, and the application of all three.

He previously served as Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence (2016-2018), CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA) (2010-2014), and Director of the Australian Research Centre (ARC) of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (1995-2010). He was a Professor and ARC Federation Fellow, and the founding Director of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at the University of Sydney. He has published over 300 research papers, graduated over 70 PhD students, and won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including being named 2010 New South Wales Scientist of the Year and receiving the 2017 Sargent Medal from the Institute of Engineers Australia.

In his career, Professor Durrant-Whyte has worked with many major companies and co-founded three successful start-ups. He is particularly well known for his work with Patrick Terminals in delivering the automated container terminals in Brisbane and Port Botany, and for his work with Rio Tinto in pioneering the automated “Mine of the Future,” including its driverless trucks.

Hugh is an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (FIEEE), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).