17 November 2014

A Queensland Brain Institute researcher’s respected career designing unmanned aerial vehicles based on biologically inspired systems has seen him elected onto the Australian Academy of Science Council.

Professor Mandyam Srinivasan

A Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) researcher’s respected career designing unmanned aerial vehicles based on biologically inspired systems has seen him elected onto the Australian Academy of Science Council.

Professor Mandyam Srinivasan is one of five new researchers elected to the council, which promotes scientific knowledge and advice.

“It is an honour and a great privilege to serve on this distinguished and respected panel of scientists,” Professor Srinivasan said.

“I believe that all of the council members will be working towards ensuring that our politicians, and the public at large, understand the magic and the importance of science.”

Professor Srinivasan runs the Neuroscience of Vision and Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the QBI, where he studies insects and birds to understand how they are able to navigate complex environments.

His work is applied in robotics with unmanned aerial vehicles, designing systems to avoid collisions and safely navigate their environments.

“Having studied and worked in four different continents since commencing my career, I feel that I can bring a broad international perspective to the table,” he said.

Professor Srinivasan will formally take up his position at the Australian Academy of Science’s Annual General Meeting in May 2015, and is enthused with his role of promoting science.

“I think we need to better appreciate there are a variety of ways in which good scientific outcomes can be achieved – ranging from small, individual-driven laboratories, to large consortia involving dozens of collaborating scientists,” he said.

“The funding of science should be designed to cater to a variety of styles and approaches, to best exploit the creative talent that exists in Australia.

“I also believe that it is critically important to provide better career prospects for our early-career scientists, to ensure we do not destroy our scientific base by losing them to other countries.”

Professor Srinivasan’s election coincides with UQ’s Professor Ian Frazer retiring from the Australian Academy of Science Council.

Work by Professor Srinivasan has garnered support from Boeing Research and Technology Australia, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the US Army Research Office and NASA, as well as the Queensland State Government and the Australian Research Council.

Media: Darius Koreis, +61 7 3346 6353, d.koreis@uq.edu.au; Professor Mandyam Srinivasan, +61 7 3346 6322, +61 434 603 082, m.srinivasan@uq.edu.au