Leading expert Dr Stephen Hanly has been lured back to Australia as the inaugural CSIRO-Macquarie University Chair in Wireless Communications.

The Chair has been funded by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund together with Macquarie University with the aim of facilitating world leading research in wireless communications through collaboration between CSIRO and the University.


Dr Hanly said the new Chair had its origins in highly successful collaborations between the CSIRO ICT Centre and the Electronic Engineering Department at Macquarie University in the area of wireless communications.


"My role will be to strengthen these collaborations, to build up a research group and to establish some new directions for joint research between Macquarie University and CSIRO," he said. "It will be exciting to lead research in an area where Australia is recognised as having a world leading capability."


Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Macquarie University, Professor Jim Piper, said Dr Hanly's appointment would continue a strong tradition of innovation in wireless research at the University.


"Pioneering WLAN research by Professors Neil Weste and David Skellern at Macquarie in the late 1990s led to an IT-related commercial startup, Radiata Communications, which was bought by Cisco Systems for a then-record $US295 million," he said.


"We're very excited at the prospect of Stephen not just leading new research, but also helping to build upon our already strong partnership with CSIRO."


Dr Hanly said while wireless communications has developed dramatically over the past decade or so, "the biggest advances are yet to come" via "a proliferation of low-powered wireless devices and sensors that will revolutionise how we manage our homes, lives and industries".


"Spectrum is scarce and we still have to discover clever ways to mitigate interference between the myriad of wireless devices," he said.


After a Cambridge University PhD in mathematics, Dr Hanly was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1993 to 1995. From 1996 to 2009, he was a research fellow and then lecturer with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne.


He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore.


Dr Hanly will take up the appointment in January 2012.