By Lucien Wilkinson

The 2019 John Booker Medallist, Professor Brad Yu, has been appointed the Optus Chair in Artificial Intelligence at Curtin University, where he will lead the Optus-Curtin Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.

Professor Yu was presented the prestigious John Booker Medal in Engineering Science by the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra yesterday.

His appointment as the Optus Chair in Artificial Intelligence at Curtin follows the forming of an alliance between Curtin and Optus Business to develop an artificial intelligence research group embedded in the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, with strong links to the Curtin Institute for Computation.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry welcomed Professor Yu to the role and congratulated him on receiving the John Booker Medal in Engineering Science for his outstanding research.

“In awarding Professor Yu the John Booker Medal, the Australian Academy of Science hailed him as the leader of a new generation of Australian researchers and I am delighted to welcome him to Curtin as the Optus Chair in Artificial Intelligence,” Professor Terry said.

“Professor Yu is an inspiring and innovative leader who will strengthen the Curtin-Optus alliance by utilising Curtin’s world-leading research, teaching and learning capabilities and Optus’ market-leading technology and infrastructure capabilities to advance artificial intelligence for regional telecommunications, higher education and the urban environment.”

Optus Business Acting Managing Director Simon Vatcher said Optus anticipated that artificial intelligence would significantly change Australian enterprises and the broader Australian economy.

“We are pleased to partner with Curtin as they advance Australia’s learnings in one of the most significant new technologies to ever impact our economy,” Mr Vatcher said.

Professor Yu said the Curtin-Optus artificial intelligence research group was already at the forefront of science and technology research and he was excited to continue the development of artificial intelligence in the new 5G era.

“As the Optus Chair in Artificial Intelligence at Curtin University, I will be delving into one the most exciting and emerging areas of research with the aim of yielding important real-world applications,” Professor Yu said.

“I look forward to playing my role in strengthening the Curtin-Optus alliance by building a strong research team that includes appointing four new Optus Research Fellows, as well as funding for PhD scholarships and student projects.”