I am a leading robotics researcher conducting interdisciplinary research at the boundary between robotics, neuroscience and computer vision, and a multi-award winning educational entrepreneur. My research models the neural mechanisms in the brain underlying tasks like navigation and perception in order to develop new robotics and computer vision-related technologies, with a particular emphasis on challenging application domains where current techniques fail such as all-weather, anytime positioning for autonomous vehicles. I currently hold the position of Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, as well as Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and Chief Investigator on the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.

My research has attracted more than twenty-one million dollars in research and industry funding, both in the form of sole investigator fellowships and large team grants from the Australian Research Council, Queensland Government, Microsoft, Caterpillar Corporation and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development. My papers have won (4) or been finalists (7) for 11 best paper awards including the 2012 Best Vision paper at ICRA2012. My citation h-index is 25, with 2362 citations as of February, 2017. I have given more than 50 invited presentations across twelve countries at top international conferences, universities (including Harvard, MIT, CMU, Boston Uni, Cambridge and Imperial College London) and corporations (including Google Deepmind and Microsoft). I was a finalist (top 3 nationwide) in the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka awards for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.

As an educational entrepreneur, I have written and produced innovative textbooks for high school students for fifteen years, with more than 6000 physical sales and educational website and YouTube views in excess of 1.5 million. I am currently launching the company Math Thrills, an initiative combining mass market entertainment and STEM education. Math Thrills received pre-seed funding on Kickstarter ($2500) and seed funding ($50,000) from QUT Bluebox, further funding ($25,000) from the AMP Foundation and is in initial school trials. The initiative has led to awards including the 2015 Queensland Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award and a 2015 TedXQUT talk.

I have dual citizenship between Australia and the United States, and have lived and worked in locations including Boston, USA and Edinburgh and London in the UK, collaborating with organizations including Harvard University, Boston University, Oxford University, MIT, Edinburgh University, Imperial College London, Caterpillar, the US Air Force and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2011–2015
    Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2010–2011
    Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2007–2010
    Research Fellow, The University of Queensland

Education

  • 2014 
    Queensland University of Technology, Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice
  • 2006 
    University of Queensland, PhD
  • 2002 
    University of Queensland, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Space)

Publications

  • 2016
    Routed roads: Probabilistic vision-based place recognition for changing conditions, split streets and varied viewpoints, International Journal of Robotics Research
  • 2016
    Unlocking neural complexity with a robotic key, The Journal of Physiology
  • 2016
    Visual place recognition: A survey, IEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • 2016
    Supervised and unsupervised linear learning techniques for visual place recognition in changing environments, IEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • 2015
    Bio-inspired homogeneous multi-scale place recognition, Neural Networks
  • 2015
    Autonomous Multisensor Calibration and Closed‐loop Fusion for SLAM, Journal of Field Robotics
  • 2015
    A hierarchical model of goal directed navigation selects trajectories in a visual environment, Neurobiology of learning and memory
  • 2014
    Vision‐based Simultaneous Localization and Mapping in Changing Outdoor Environments, Journal of Field Robotics
  • 2014
    Principles of goal-directed spatial robot navigation in biomimetic models, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B
  • 2013
    Vision-based place recognition: how low can you go?, International Journal of Robotics Research
  • 2013
    OpenRatSLAM: an open source brain-based SLAM system, Autonomous Robots
  • 2012
    CAT-SLAM: probabilistic localisation and mapping using a continuous appearance-based trajectory, International Journal of Robotics Research
  • 2012
    Maintaining a cognitive map in darkness: the need to fuse boundary knowledge with path integration, PLoS Computational Biology
  • 2011
    Using strategic movement to calibrate a neural compass: A spiking network for tracking head direction in rats and robots, PloS one
  • 2011
    The Race to Learn: Spike Timing and STDP Can Coordinate Learning and Recall in CA3, Hippocampus
  • 2010
    Persistent Navigation and Mapping using a Biologically Inspired SLAM System, International Journal of Robotics Research
  • 2010
    Solving Navigational Uncertainty Using Grid Cells on Robots, PLoS Computational Biology
  • 2008
    Mapping a Suburb with a Single Camera using a Biologically Inspired SLAM System, IEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • 2008
    Robot Navigation From Nature, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
  • 2007
    Learning spatial concepts from RatSLAM representations, Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    An Infinitely Scalable Learning and Recognition Network ($120,000 per year)
    Role:
    Project Lead
    Funding Source:
    Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development
  • 2016
    Automation-enabling positioning for underground mining ($428,000 + $1,500,000 industry & in-kind)
    Role:
    Project Lead
    Funding Source:
    Queensland Government
  • 2015
    Superhuman place recognition with a unified model of human visual processing and rodent spatial memory ($676,000)
    Role:
    Future Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2014
    Center of Excellence in Robotic Vision ($19,000,000)
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2013
    Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship ($110,000)
    Role:
    Microsoft Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Microsoft
  • 2012
    Brain-based Sensor Fusion for Navigating Robots ($140,000)
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2012
    Visual navigation for sunny summer days and stormy winter nights ($375,000)
    Role:
    DECRA Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Professional Memberships

  • IEEE
  • Australian Robotics and Automation Association

Research Areas

  • Neurosciences Not Elsewhere Classified (110999)
  • Adaptive Agents And Intelligent Robotics (080101)
  • Computer Vision (080104)

Honours

AMP Tomorrow Maker 2016, Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher 2016 Finalist, Queensland Young Tall Poppy of the Year 2015