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Mary-Anne Williams

Michael J Crouch Chair in Innovation, UNSW Sydney

I am the Michael J Crouch Chair in Innovation at UNSW, where I collaborate to grow entrepreneurship and accelerate innovative thinking in Australia. Micheal Crouch was an inspiring Australian entrepreneur and business leader. He was a visionary and extraordinarily generous benefactor. In 2017 Michael Crouch was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to the community through philanthropic contributions to youth, cultural, medical research and health care organisations, to business in the areas of manufacturing and international trade, and as a supporter of innovation and higher education.

Before taking up this exciting role, I spent 18 years as founder and director of the Innovation and Enterprise Research Lab (The Magic Lab), Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute at UTS. The Magic Lab was a pioneer with unique transdisciplinary capabilities in key areas of innovation and enterprise. It specialised in technology-enabled innovation and built solutions using AI, Design Thinking, Experimentation, and Analytics. Our industry and government partners included South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), IBM, Google, Disrupt, Linkedin, big tin can, Willow Garage (now Savioke), Amazon, Visual Risk, CBA, Denmark's National Bank, EY, Samsung, Sony, and Softbank.

Professor Williams served on the leadership team of the Strategic Management Society Knowledge and Innovation Interest Group for three years and chaired it in 2012. She has served on the leading AI journal editorial boards. Professor Williams is currently serving on the International Journal of Social Robotics and the Journal of Information Systems editorial boards and has been a Director on the KR Inc board since 2009 and played a critical role in shaping the organisation. KR Inc is a US_based scientific foundation.


  • 2009–present
    Fellow, CodeX (Affiliated Faculty), Stanford University
  • 2020–present
    Michael J Crouch Chair in Innovation, University of New South Wales
  • 2002–2020
    Director, Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory (The Magic Lab, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2017–2020
    Distinguished Professor , University of Technology Sydney
  • 2015–2018
    Director, Disruptive Innovation, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2010–2014
    Associate Dean Research, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2011–2013
    Chair, ERA MIC Panel, Australian Research Council
  • 2009–2010
    Consultant, Australian Research Council
  • 2005–2008
    College of Experts, Australian Research Council


  • 2008 
    University of Edinburgh, Master of Law (LLM)
  • 1994 
    University of Sydney, PhD Artificial Intelligence

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow in the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering
  • Fellow in the Australian Computer Society
  • Strategic Management Society
  • Stanford University Alumni
  • Federal Bar Association


Fellow, Australian Academy of Engineering and Technology; Fellow, Australian Computer Society; Google Faculty Award; Machine Learning Australasian AI Distinguished Research Contribution Award; IBM Faculty Award; British Council Fellowship; Commonwealth Fellowship; Pauli Fellowship.