Advanced sensing and machine learning experts elected Fellows

Professor van den Hengel and Professor Luiten

Professor van den Hengel (left) and Professor Luiten

Two of the University of Adelaide’s leading researchers have been elected as fellows of the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

“I congratulate Professor Andre Luiten and Professor van den Hengel for being recognised by the Academy of Technology and Engineering for their world-class research in the fields of advanced sensing and machine learning,” says the University of Adelaide’s Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

“Their work drives transformational technology and research which has the potential to deliver massive social, economic and environmental benefits not just for Australians but communities everywhere.”

Professor Andre Luiten’s work as the Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS), a global hub of photonics research, focusses on the principles of precision measurement.

“Measurement is at the very heart of science – measurement delivers that first understanding, around which you can build a theory. Further precise measurements refine this theory to provide a more complete understanding,” he said.

“In science this unlocks new knowledge, but for industry, this delivers a competitive edge because it allows you to understand what no-one else does. Whole industries are being transformed through access to new measurements.

Professor Luiten is also co-founder and Managing Director of start-up company Cryoclock, which is taking technology that he has developed and bringing it to market. 

“My sapphire clock technology is going into an amazing Australian defence innovation called the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar that can monitor air and sea movements across 37,000 km²,” said Professor Luiten.

“Radar needs great timing to work well, and my sapphire clock is the best in the world – gaining or losing just one second in 40 million years. By delivering better timing, radar can find smaller objects at larger distances and thereby make all Australians a little safer.”

Professor Anton van den Hengel is Co-Director of the Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML), the largest research group of its kind in the nation.

“Machine Learning is one of the key technologies of our times. It is changing the way we work, communicate, and live.  It’s the technology behind Google, Apple, and Facebook, and it is having a transformative impact on every industry sector. It’s a great time to be working in such a high-impact area,” said Professor van den Hengel.

“I have worked with Australian companies to develop world’s-first medical devices, to improve mine safety, and develop crops that will help feed the world. I’ve also started the world’s first AI art gallery, and am working with Laurie Anderson on AI-enabled art.”

AIML is a key research institution in machine learning globally, ranked number one in the world for three key areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“It is incredibly rewarding to be able to step into a complex, high-impact research area and achieve things that no one has done before,” said Professor van den Hengel.

“Most recently my group and I have pioneered in the area of Visual Question Answering which requires an artificial agent to answer questions about an image. This is very close to true artificial general intelligence.

“We particularly led the work in applying it to robotics, which is a step towards enabling robots that can collaborate flexibly with people. It’s a step towards the life of the Jetsons.

“Computing, and even more Machine Learning, is the technology of our times: it is a part of every aspect of our lives.

“For someone deciding on what to study, a qualification in computing will give control of the primary technology in whatever field they are in whether it’s agriculture, art, management or medicine.”

Tagged in van den Hengel, Luiten