Professor Salah Sukkarieh
Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, School of Aerospace Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics
J04 - Rose Street Building
The University of Sydney
Professor Salah Sukkarieh is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems. He has lead a number of robotics and intelligent systems R&D projects in logistics, commercial aviation, aerospace, education, environment monitoring, agriculture and mining, and has consulted to industry including Rio Tinto, BHP, Patrick Stevedores, Qantas, BAE Systems, QLD Biosecurity, Meat and Livestock Australia, and the NSW DPI amongst others. In 2014 he was awarded the NSW Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies.
Salah is the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney, and the Director of Research and Innovation at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. He has supervised over 20 research fellows, and graduated over 30 PhDs, 5 Masters and 60 honours students. He has received over $45m in government and industry funding, national and international.
Salah is on the editorial board for the Journal of Field Robotics, Journal of Autonomous Robots, and Transactions of Aerospace Systems, and has over 300 academic and industry publications in robotics and intelligent systems.
Robotics is a field that has captured the public imagination, with numerous books, films and television programs featuring improbably intelligent machines with seemingly unlikely capabilities. Professor Salah Sukkarieh's research into robotics and intelligent systems is the real thing, and it's not too far from those products of our collective imagination.
"My work involves developing robotic devices and intelligent systems that can operate 24/7 in outdoor environments. These are devices that can perceive and understand their environment, make informed decisions about any actions required and then carry out those actions - all without direct human input.
"For example, my colleagues and I have already developed an automated berth in Brisbane where ships are loaded and unloaded by robotic devices without direct human involvement. We're also working with Rio Tinto on establishing an autonomous mine operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia; we've developed pilotless robotic aircraft that can detect and spray invasive weeds in remote locations; and we're currently working on autonomous devices that will perform many of the manual tasks involved in large-scale agricultural production.
"I'm also developing intelligent software systems for autonomous decision making. We're already seeing applications for this technology in commercial aviation and environmental management, and its potential for use in other areas is significant.
"All of these projects represent vast improvements in human safety as well as in efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
"I'm passionate about developing this kind of high-end technology and supporting its adoption, because it has a significant and immediate impact on industry and the wider community - it really is transformational.
"I've been working in this field for the past 12 years. Having completed my own degrees at the University of Sydney, I then returned to join the staff. It's a great environment, it's local to the main industry players and we have excellent student cohorts."
Awards and honours
- 2014 NSW Science & Engineering Awards - Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies
- 2014 Australian Vegetable Industry's peak body Ausveg - "Researcher of the Year "
In the media
Recent Invited Talks
- HORTGRO Science Technical Symposium: 3-4 June 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa
- PMA Fresh Connections: 12-14 May 2015, Melbourne Australia
- Joint Electrical Institutions Sydney Lecture: 14 May 2015, Sydney Australia
- Deloitte: 25 May 2015, Sydney Australia
- HIAL Launch: 19 March 2015, Canberra Australia
- ABARES: 4 March 2015, Canberra Australia
- Accenture: 8 December 2015, Canberra Australia
- SADIG: 13 November 2014, Sydney Australia
- Almond Conference: 29 October 2014, Adelaide Australia
- Challis Bequest: 17 October 2014, University of Sydney, Australia
- International Horticultural Congress: 22 August 2014, Brisbane Australia
- PMA Fresh Connections: 25 June 2014, Auckland New Zealand
- European Space Research and Technology Centre: 5 June 2014, Noordwijk Netherlands
- Canada MDA: 30 May 2014, Toronto Canada
- NASA AMES: 28 May 2014, Pasadena California
- GRDC: 26 Feb 2014, Adelaide Australia
- GRDC: 12 Feb 2014, Temora Australia
- EMTECH: 20 Jan 2014, Singapore
- NewTech: 24 October 2013, Warragul Victoria
- Consilium: 22-24 August 2013, Gold Coast Australia
- Combined Fruit Industry Conference - 17-19 July 2013, Gold Coast Australia
- Banana Conference: 1 June 2013, Sunshine Coast Australia
- Ausveg: 31 June 2013, Gold Coast Australia
- Mango Conference: 16 May 2013, Cairns Australia
- Future Flight Planning System. Sukkarieh S; Qantas Airways Limited.
- Predictive Maintenance for Commercial Aviation. Sukkarieh S; Qantas Airways Limited.
- An Algorithm and Software System for Individual Aircraft Fuel Burn Characterisation. Sukkarieh S; Qantas Airways Limited
- ACFR Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation. Scheding S. & Sukkarieh S.; Rio Tinto
- ACFR BAE Systems Centre for Intelligent Mobile Systems. Underwood J., Durrant-Whyte H. & Sukkarieh S
- New optimisation algorithms for dynamic flight planning. Sukkarieh S; Qantas Airways Limited.
Teaching and Learning
AERO4701 - Space Engineering 3
AERO5700 - Space Engineering (Advanced)
- A revolutionary new sensor for in-field measurements of food safety in leafy vegetables; Bland-Hawthorn J, Sukkarieh S, McConchie R, Rogers G; Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA)/Research & Development Grant.
- AINST Accelerator Scheme - Project Officers Group (working title); Kuncic Z, de Sterke C, King N, Sukkarieh S; DVC Research/AINST Accelerator Scheme.
- Imaging technology and un-manned aerial vehicles to detect weed species; Sukkarieh S; Northern Tablelands Local Land Services/Activity Agreement.
- Deployment and integration of cost-effective, high spatial resolution, remotely sensed data for the Australian forestry industry; Sukkarieh S; Forest & Wood Products Research & Development Corp.(FWPRDC)/Research Grant.
- Active Segmentation for Cooperative Mobile Robots in Outdoor Environments; Sukkarieh S, Fitch R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
- An intelligent farm robot for the vegetable industry; Sukkarieh S; Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA)/Research and Development General Call.
- Space SyReNS; Cairns I, Muller R, Bland-Hawthorn J, Crawford J, Lenzen M, Odeh I, Ivers D, Wu X, Sukkarieh S, Khachan J, Rey P, Vila-Concejo A, Bruce E, Murphy R, Leon-Saval S; DVC Research/Research Network Scheme (SyReNS).
- Alligator Weed detection with UAV's; Fitch R, Sukkarieh S; Department of Primary Industries (Vic)/Research Support.
- Education 2020: Enabling learning in science, engineering and mathematics; Sukkarieh S; Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations/Education 2020: Enabling learning in science, engineering and mathematics.
- Autonomous perception systems for horticulture tree crops; Sukkarieh S; Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA)/Research and Development Industry Call.
- LNK:ARC Linkage LP120100448 "The endangered swift parrot as a model for managing small migratory bir; Sukkarieh S.
- MUAC-IREN - Multi-UAV Cooperation International Research Exchange Network; Ollero A, Viguria A, Maza I, Merino L, Santos S, Hirzinger G, Kondak K, Schwarzbach M, Sukkarieh S, Bryson M, Goktogan A; European Commission (Belgium)/Marie Curie Action: International Research Staff Exchange (IRSES).
- Multi-sensor Fusion and Classificaiton of Aerial Imagery for Automated RIFA Detection; Sukkarieh S; Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation/Research Contract.
- LNK: Robotics for zero-tillage agriculture; Corke P, Upcroft B, Sukkarieh S, Wyeth G, Bate A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
- The endangered swift parrot as a model for managing small migratory birds; Sukkarieh S, Heinsohn R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
- New detection and classification algorithms for mapping woody weeds from UAV data; Sukkarieh S; Meat and Livestock Australia Ltd/Livestock Production Research and Development Program: Strategic and Applied Research Funding.
- Using UAVs and innovative classification algorithms in the detection of cacti; Sukkarieh S; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Federal)/Research Support.
- Autonomous tracking and predictive modelling of Australian plague locust migratory band movement; Sword G, Sukkarieh S, Brooker G, Simpson S, Spurgin P, Spurgin P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
- Pathways to space: Empowering the internet generation; Oliver C, Sukkarieh S; Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (Fed)/Australian Space Research Program.
- UAV Surveillance Systems for the Management of Woody Weed Infestations; Sukkarieh S; Meat and Livestock Australia Ltd/MLA Livestock Production Research and Development Program.
- Cost-Effective Surveillance of Emerging Aquatic Weeds Using Robotic Aircraft; Sukkarieh S; Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation/Defeating the Weed Menace.
- Data Fusion for Self-Localisation and Team Situational Awareness in Unknown Structured Environments; Sukkarieh S; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
- Operator Decision Modelling In Autonomous Systems; Durrant-Whyte H, Sukkarieh S, Campbell M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage International: ARC International Fellowships (ARCIF).
- Cooperative Airborne Inertial-SLAM for improved platform and Feature/Target Localisation.; Sukkarieh S, Kano F, Park T; Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) - US Air Force/Research Support.
- Research Forward Reconnaissance for Marine Operations in Structured Environments using an Autonomous Airborne Heterogeneous Sensor Network; Sukkarieh S; US Office of Naval Research (USA)/Research Grants.
- Information Theoretic Control of Multiple Sensor Platforms; Durrant-Whyte H, Sukkarieh S, Kano F, Park T; Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) - US Air Force/Research Support.
- UAVs for Future Target Detection; Durrant-Whyte H, Sukkarieh S, Bowden K; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited/Research Support.