Hugh F. Durrant-Whyte

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Hugh F. Durrant-Whyte
Born February 6, 1961 (age 57)
Residence Australia
Nationality Australia, American
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
University of London[1]
Known for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping
Scientific career
Fields Robotics, Machine Learning, SLAM
Institutions University of Oxford
The University of Sydney
Doctoral students John J. Leonard, Jeffrey Uhlmann

Professor Hugh F. Durrant-Whyte (FRS) is known for his pioneering work on probabilistic methods for robotics. The algorithms developed in his group since the early 1990s permit autonomous vehicles to deal with uncertainty and to localize themselves despite noisy sensor readings (simultaneous localization and mapping SLAM).

Durrant-Whyte was a 1983 Thouron Scholar.[2] From 1986-1995 he held positions at Oxford University. In 1995 he accepted a professorship at the University of Sydney, where he was director of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) from 1999 to 2002. From 2002 until 2010 he held the position of Research Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS), a joint venture between the ACFR and mechatronics groups at the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of New South Wales. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010. Hugh has published more than 350 research papers, graduated more than 70 PhD students, and won numerous awards and prizes for his work.

Durrant-Whyte is one of the early pioneers of SLAM with John J. Leonard. Durrant-Whyte became the CEO of NICTA on 13 December 2010. He resigned as NICTA CEO on 28 November 2014 citing differences with the Board over future funding arrangements.

From 1995-2010 he was Professor of Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Sydney, where he played a critical role in raising the visibility of Australian robotics internationally and was named "Professional Engineer of the year" (2008) by the Institute of Engineers Australia Sydney Division and NSW "Scientist of the Year" (2010).[3]

He was announced as the Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Ministry of Defence on February 27, 2017.[4]


  • FRS - Fellow of the Royal Society of London
  • FAA - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS)
  • FIEEE - Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
  • FTSE - Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
  • HonFIEAus - Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia

Awards and Honours


  • NSW Scientist of the Year (2010)
  • IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Award (2009)
  • ATSE Clunies Ross Award (2009)
  • Professional Engineer of the year (2008) Institute of Engineers Australia, Sydney
  • IFR/IEEE Invention and Entrepreneurship Award (2007)
  • New South Wales Pearcy Award (2004)
  • Harry Lees Award (2004) Institute of Marine Engineers
  • Warren Centre Innovation Hero (2003)
  • BAE Systems Chairman’s Gold Award (2003)
  • Four IEEE Best Paper prizes (IROS 1994 and 2006, Data Fusion1997, Robotics 2004)


  1. ^ "Hugh Durrant-Whyte - Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2016-12-30. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  3. ^ World-leading robotics engineer named NSW Scientist of the Year - University of Sydney [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Hugh Durrant-Whyte - Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2016-12-30. 

External links

  • Personal page at ACFR (outdated)
  • Personal page at CAS
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems
  • Chief Executive Officer - People webpage at NICTA
  • Biography on Royal Society Website

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