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Joseph Brookes

Australian innovators awarded ATSE honours

Leaders from Australia’s innovation ecosystem have been recognised by Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) in its latest Fellows cohort, announced on Wednesday.

Deep tech incubators, Indigenous knowledge experts and research translators join a Nobel Prize laureate as Fellows of ATSE in 2023.

The newest inductees include Sally-Ann Williams, the director of Sydney deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations, who is also leading the federal government’s review of STEM diversity programs.

Indigital founder and chief executive Makaela Jade. Image: LinkedIn

Mikaela Jade, the founder of Australia’s first Indigenous eduTech company, InDigital, also received a Fellowship in recognition of her use of technology to amplify connection to traditional knowledge and culture.

Nobel Prize winner and outgoing ANU vice chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt is also now an ATSE fellow.

Engineers Australia chief Engineer Jane MacMaster is a 2023 inductee, as is space and defence laser innovator Dr Yue Gao. Dr Gao is the EOS Defence Systems chief scientist.

The chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator Daniel Westerman was made a fellow in recognition of his role as a national leader in Australia’s transition to net zero emissions.

“As we face global challenges such as climate change, the digitisation of our economy and the massive challenge of building a diverse and skilled STEM workforce, technological innovation is the lynchpin for shaping our future. It’s looking bright thanks to the extraordinary contributions of our 33 newest Fellows,” ATSE President Dr Katherine Woodthorpe said.

“It is a proud moment to be elected by your peers and acknowledged for your lifelong achievements. ATSE Fellows are truly exceptional at what they do, and Australia is all the better for them.”

ATSE has now made more than 900 people Fellows in recognition of their impact on science, technology and engineering. The latest cohort is ATSE’s most diverse yet, with more women than men named as fellows and three Indigenous leaders recognised.

The full list of ATSE’s 2023 new Fellows:  

Australian Capital Territory

  • Dr Yue Gao FTSE / Space and defence laser innovator / chief scientist and director DEP, EOS Defence Systems
  • Mikaela Jade FTSE / Trailblazing edutech entrepreneur / founder & CEO, Indigital
  • Professor Yun Liu FTSE / Advanced materials chemist / ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow, Australian National University (ANU)
  • Professor Anna Moore FTSE / Astronomer, inventor, pioneer / director, ANU Institute for Space
  • Professor Brian Schmidt AC FTSE FAA FRS / STEM research & education leader / outgoing Vice Chancellor, ANU

New South Wales

  • Dr Therese Flapper FTSE / Water sustainability superpower / general manager – Canberra region and group ESG leader, TSA Management – Australia and New Zealand
  • Professor Stephen Foster FTSE / Structural engineering specialist / Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • Professor Anna Giacomini FTSE / Rockfall mechanics maestro / Professor, School of Engineering, College of Engineering, Science and Environment, University of Newcastle
  • Professor Susanne Hermesch FTSE / Livestock genetics expert / Professor, Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, University of New England
  • Jane MacMaster FTSE / National engineering influencer / chief engineer, Engineers Australia
  • Professor Christopher Matthews FTSE / Indigenous education champion / Associate Dean, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement, University of Technology Sydney
  • Su McCluskey FTSE / Agriculture advocate / special agricultural trade representative, DAFF
  • Dr Glenn Platt FTSE / Renewable energy changemaker / executive director, Emergent Group; Professor of Practice, University of Sydney; director, Ampcontrol
  • Distinguished Professor Vivian Tam FTSE / Green construction innovator / Distinguished Professor, Western Sydney University
  • Professor David Taubman FTSE / Digital media expert / deputy head of school (research), UNSW
  • Sally-Ann Williams FTSE / Innovation leader / CEO & executive director, Cicada Innovations


  • Honorary Fellow, Professor Sandra Eades AO FTSE FASSA FAHMS / Indigenous health trailblazer / Associate Dean (Indigenous), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne
  • Professor Joanna Batstone FTSE/ Responsible AI champion / director and Professor of Practice, Monash Data Futures Institute, Monash University
  • Dr Susannah Eliott FTSE / Science communicator & evidence advocate / CEO, Australian Media Centre
  • Professor David Grayden FTSE / Brain decoder & entrepreneurial mentor / Clifford Chair of Neural Engineering, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Baohua Jia FTSE / Phototonics game-changer / Professor, RMIT University
  • Professor Guillaume Lessene FTSE / Cancer therapy designer / Head of the New Medicines and Advanced Theme, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Professor Tuan Ngo FTSE / Sustainable building specialist / Professor and research program leader of Building 4.0 CRC, University of Melbourne
  • Lara Olsen FTSE / Sustainable technology leader / managing director (AUS), South East Water
  • Daniel Westerman FTSE / Energy transition expert / CEO and managing director, Australian Energy Market Operator


  • Adjunct Professor Daniel Lambert FTSE / World water engineer / CEO, WaterStart Australia
  • Professor Chamindie Punyadeera FTSE / Biomedical innovator / Professor, Griffith University
  • Dr Penny Stewart FTSE / Industrial data science entrepreneur/ CEO, PETRA Data Science

South Australia

  • Professor Bronwyn Gillanders FTSE / Oceans advocate / head of school, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Zaiping Guo FTSE FAA / Cutting-edge battery innovator / deputy director, ARC Research Hub for SafeREnergy
  • Professor Graham Nathan FTSE / Decarbonisation developer / Professor, University of Adelaide


  • Dr Alistair Hobday FTSE / Marine sustainability steward / research director, Sustainable Marine Futures, CSIRO


  • Foreign Fellow Dr Sangeeta Bhatia FTSE / Tissue technologist & entrepreneur / director, Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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