Alan Finkel

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Alan Finkel

Alan Finkel (2017).jpg
8th Chief Scientist of Australia
Assumed office
25 January 2016
Preceded byIan Chubb
Personal details
Alan Simon Finkel

(1953-01-17) 17 January 1953 (age 67)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Finkel
EducationMonash University Mount Scopus Memorial College
OccupationElectrical engineer

Alan Simon Finkel AO FAA FTSE[1] is Australia's Chief Scientist.[2] An Australian neuroscientist, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, he served as Chancellor of Monash University in 2008-2016.[3]


Finkel was educated at Monash University, receiving a doctorate in Electrical Engineering in 1981. He then served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University, before leaving academia to found Axon Instruments, a global science and technology company based in the US.[4] During this time, he invented a commercially successful device which substantially speeds up drug research.[3][5]

Since then, he has used his wealth to found the science magazine Cosmos, an environment magazine called G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine and contribute towards a number of research institutes. During a speech at Monash University's 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, he announced that he would be endowing a Chair in Global Health for the University.[6]

In 2006 Finkel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)[7] and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE). In 2008 he was inducted as an honorary member of the Monash Golden Key Society to recognize his achievements.[8] In 2009 Finkel was appointed as the Chief Technology Officer of Better Place Australia.[9] In 2012 he co-founded Stile Education, a science education company based in Melbourne, Australia.[10] In 2013 he was appointed President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).[11] Since 2011, Finkel also serves as the Patron of In2science [12] and since 2013, as the Patron of the Australian Science Media Centre.[13]


He is married to Elizabeth Finkel, an Australian science journalist.[6]

Nuclear power advocacy[edit]

Since assuming his role as President of ATSE in 2013, Alan Finkel has advocated for the consideration of nuclear power in Australia in newspapers,[16][17] at speaking engagements[18] and in digital media broadcasts.[19] Following his appointment as Australia's Chief Scientist in 2015, Finkel suggested nuclear power should be considered as an option for potential inclusion in Australia's future low carbon energy mix.[20]


  • Finkel, Alan (February–March 2014). "Doomsday or boomsday?". Incurable Engineer. Cosmos. 55: 27. Cite has empty unknown parameters: |1= and |authormask= (help)
  • Finkel, Alan; Australia. Dept. of Education and Training (2017), 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, [Dept. of Education and Training], ISBN 978-1-76051-015-2
  • Finkel, Dr Alan (Australia's Chief Scientist); National Press Club Address, Australian Broadcasting Commission, - 12th February 2020[21]


  1. ^ Recognition in Queen’s Birthday Honours (born 17 January 1953)Alan Finkel AM, 50 Years of Monash Engineering, Monash University.
  2. ^ Australia's Chief Scientist; Sturmer, Jake (17 October 2015). "Simon McKeon takes top job at Monash University". Waverley Leader. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b New Chancellor appointed by Monash University for 2008, 26 April 2007, Press release, Monash University
    New Chancellor installed Archived 16 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 13 March 2008, Press release, Monash University; McGinn, Christine (17 October 2015). "Simon McKeon takes top job at Monash University". Waverley Leader. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  4. ^ Alan Finkel, In Conversation, 9 June 2005
  5. ^ Five minutes with our new Chancellor, Around Monash, Issue 19, Autumn/Winter 2007, Monash University
  6. ^ a b Ancora Imparo, June, 2008, Monash Memo, 4 June 2008, Monash University
  7. ^ Member of the Order of Australia (AM), It's an Honour
  8. ^ Honorary Members Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Monash Golden Key Society
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^
  11. ^ ATSE Board 2013 Archived 5 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
  12. ^ In2science patron, In2science Advisory Board
  13. ^ AusSMC
  14. ^ "IET Awards - Mountbatten Medal". Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Fellowship | AAHMS – Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  16. ^ Finkel, Alan (28 October 2013). "We need abundant, reliable power. Why not nuclear?". Herald Sun. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  17. ^ Finkel, Alan (5 April 2015). "Switch on to the electric planet". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  18. ^ Twomey, David (26 July 2013). "ATSE head: Aust 'hiding head' on nuke energy". Eco News. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  19. ^ Finkel, Alan (14 March 2014). "Alan Finkel: Electric Planet - Seeing the Possibilities of an Electron Economy Over an Oil Economy". Big Ideas. ABC. Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Chief Scientist Alan Finkel calls for dialogue on alternative energy, including nuclear". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  21. ^ Finkel, Dr Alan. "National Press Club Address". National Press Club. Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Jerry Ellis
Chancellor of Monash University
Succeeded by
Simon McKeon
Government offices
Preceded by
Ian Chubb
Chief Scientist of Australia