Management Structure

The ACFR Management Committee is responsible for setting the Centre’s overall policies and objectives.

Professor Eduardo Nebot is the Executive Director of the ACFR and is responsible for the Centre’s management and operation.
Eduardo received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Universidad Nacional del Sur, (Argentina) and MS and PhD degrees from Colorado State University, USA. He is a Professor at the University of Sydney in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and is the Patrick Chair of Automatic and Logistics.
Eduardo has a substantial track record in robotics and automation. Eduardo’s fundamental research contributions in navigation, sensing and estimation were essential in the implementation of full automation in various field robotics applications, such as tramming in underground mines, safe hauling in open pit mining environment, autonomous straddle carrier, train loading automation and mine safety. He is the Co-founder and Director of a University of Sydney / CRCMining spin-off company – Acumine Pty Ltd.

Professor Salah Sukkarieh is the Director of Research and Innovation at the ACFR, and the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney. He is responsible for the ACFR’s strategic research agenda, establishing strategic partnerships, and the development of research opportunities through industry research contracts and commercialisation.
Salah received his Honours in BE Mechatronics Engineering in 1997 and his PhD in in 2000 at the University of Sydney. Salah has been the principal research and development lead on many of the autonomous projects at the ACFR including the automation of straddle carriers for port operations; unmanned air vehicle research; and ground vehicle automation for various defence, agriculture and mining organisations.

Professor Stefan B. Williams is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Sydney. Stefan leads the Marine Robotics group at the ACFR. He is also the head of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System AUV Facility. His research interests include Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping in unstructured underwater environments, autonomous navigation and control and classification and clustering of large volumes of data collected by robotic systems. He received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2002 and completed a Bachelor of Applied Science with first class honours in 1997 at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Dr. David Rye is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. David obtained a BE (Hons 1) from the University of Adelaide (1980) and a PhD from The University of Sydney (1986), both in mechanical engineering. He has conducted extensive research in fields related to automation and control of machines, including applied nonlinear control, container-handling cranes, excavation, and autonomous vehicles. Since 2003 he has worked in the field of social robotics, designing and implementing autonomous robots that can interact with people in social spaces. David is recognised as a pioneer in the introduction and development of university teaching in mechatronics, having instituted the first Australian BE in mechatronics in 1990.

Dr. Mari Velonaki received her BFA (Hons 1) in 1997 and her PhD in 2003 at the University of New South Wales. She is an Assoc. Professor at NIEA/UNSW and an Adjunct Assoc. Professor at the University of Sydney. She is the Co-founder of the Centre for Social Robotics, and is the Director of the recently established Creative Robotics Lab, at the National Institute of Experimental Arts. In 2007 Mari was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship and in 2009 she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship.

Dr. Steven Scheding received the B.E. and Ph.D. degrees in mechatronic engineering from the University of Sydney in 1995 and 1998, respectively. From 1998 to 1999 he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Robotics Engineering Consortium, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. From 1999 - 2010 he was a senior academic within the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, the University of Sydney. In 2010 he joined Ocular Robotics as Chief Technology Officer, and in mid 2011, he returned to the University of Sydney as Director of the Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation. His research interests include the automation of large outdoor vehicles, fault detection and identification, and algorithms and sensors for perception in unstructured environments.

Dr Graham Brooker received a B.Sc (Elec. Eng) and M.Sc (Elec. Eng) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1979 and 1983 respectively. He completed a Ph.D at the University of Sydney in 2005. In 1999 Graham moved to the University Sydney as a Senior Research Associate, and was later appointed as a Senior Lecturer. Graham runs the Sensors Laboratory, supervises students, lectures and builds specialist radar systems. He is also the School Director for Learning and Teaching.

Dr. Fabio Ramos is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Information Technologies and Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), University of Sydney, and an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow. He received the B.Sc. and the M.Sc. degrees in Mechatronics Engineering at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2001 and 2003 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree at University of Sydney, Australia, in 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he was an ARC postgraduate research fellow at the ACFR. His research focuses on statistical learning techniques for large-scale regression and classification problems with applications to robotics, mining, environmental monitoring and healthcare.

Dr Ian Manchester joined the ACFR in 2012 as a Senior Lecturer and was made an Associate Professor in late 2015. Ian completed his PhD at the UNSW, and then spent six years overseas as a post-doc at UmeƂ University, Sweden, and a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Ian developed a new framework for control design and stability analysis for biped and quadruped robots walking, running, or bounding over rough terrain whilst at MIT's robot locomotion group.