Alex Zelinsky

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Alexander "Alex" Zelinsky (born 5 March 1960 in Wollongong, NSW) is Australia's Chief Defence Scientist, a Computer Scientist, a Systems Engineer and a Roboticist. His career spans innovation, science and technology, research and development, commercial start-ups and education. As Chief Defence Scientist he leads Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation, having served in that position since March 2012.[1][2]


While studying at the University of Wollongong (UoW), Zelinsky started his career in 1978 as a cadet at BHP. In 1984 he joined UoW's academic staff where he taught computer science while completing a PhD in robotics. He worked as a Research Scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan, developing computer vision and robotics technologies (1991–1994). He was appointed Professor of Systems Engineering at the Australian National University in 1996, holding that position until 2004.[3] In 2000 as CEO, he co-founded, and is currently a non-executive director of,[4] Seeing Machines Limited, a company listed on the London stock exchange.[5] He has also been a Senior Executive at CSIRO (2004–2012), where he served as Director of the ICT Centre (2004–09), and Group Executive of Information Sciences (2007–12).[3]

Qualifications and Awards[edit]

Dr Zelinsky has a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Honours), a Doctor of Philosophy, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science,[3][4] all from the University of Wollongong (UoW).[6] He is also a member of the University of Wollongong Council.[7]

He is a Fellow of:

Some of his awards and appointments include:

  • In 2003, 2004,[10] and 2005, the World Economic Forum selected Dr Zelinsky as a Technology Pioneer in recognition of his commercialisation of technology with Seeing Machines.
  • In May 2005 he was awarded the ATSE's Clunies-Ross Award "for successful innovation involving the application of science and technology for the benefit of Australia".[4][11]
  • Since 2008 he has been named as one of Australia's 100 most influential engineers.[12]
  • In 2011 he led the CSIRO team named as a Global Supplier of the Year by Boeing.[13]
  • In August 2013 he was awarded the Trevor Pearcey Medal by the Pearcey Foundation for "distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the ICT professions, research and industry in Australia".[15][16]

Lists of Publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Chief Defence Scientist". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  2. ^ On 23 December 2011, the Hon. Warren Snowdon, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, announced that Dr Zelinsky would become Australia's Chief Defence Scientist in early 2012, following the retirement of Prof Robert Clark from the role in October 2011.
    Dr Alex Zelinsky appointed as new CDS – 2012, Media Release – Minister Warren Snowdon,
  3. ^ a b c Alex Zelinsky, UoW Council Member Profile,
  4. ^ a b c d e Board of Directors, Seeing Machines Limited.
  5. ^ Seeing Machines Limited website,
  6. ^ University of Wollongong website,
  7. ^ University Council, University of Wollongong
  8. ^ IEEE Fellows List,
  9. ^ Institute of Engineers Honorary Fellows List, Engineers Australia website
  10. ^ Apax Partners (2004). "The next big thing? – The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2004". World Economic Forum. p. 25. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Past Award Winners, ATSE Clunies-Ross award,
  12. ^ Australia's Top 100 Engineers, Engineers Australia Website
  13. ^ Boeing names the CSIRO Supplier of the Year, Australian Government Dept of Innovation Website
  14. ^ Innovation Hero Awards, Warren Centre Website
  15. ^ Pearcey Medal for Lifetime Achievement, The Pearcey Foundation,
  16. ^ 2013 National Medal, The Pearcey Foundation,

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Prof Robert Clark
Chief Defence Scientist of Australia