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Biographical entry O'Kane, Mary Josephine (1954 - )


Mount Morgan, Queensland, Australia
Computer scientist


Mary Josephine O'Kane was a pioneer in research in automatic speech recognition and has been a senior participant in Australian research policy and higher education for many years. She was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Adelaide from 1994-1996, when she was appointed Vice-Chancellor. She was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Canberra 1989 - 1993. In previous years she spent some time at the Institute of Information Science at Turin University. She is a computer expert whose specialty is computer voice. In 2008 O'Kane was appointed Chief Scientist and Engineer for the New South Wales State Government.



Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed at Australian National University
1989 - 1993
Career position - Dean of the Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Canberra
1991 - 1993
Career position - Member, Engineering, Earth and Applied Sciences Panel, Australian Research Council
1992 - 1996
Career position - Member, Australia Prize Committee
1992 - 2001
Career position - Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Adelaide
1993 - 1996
Career position - Member, Australian Research Council
1994 -
Career position - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE)
1994 - 1996
Career position - Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide
1994 - 1996
Career position - Chair, Research Grants Committee, Australian Research Council
1996 - 1997
Career position - Member, South Australia Museums Board
1996 - 2001
Career position - Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide
1997 - 1998
Career position - Member, Cooperative Research Centres Committee
1997 - 2002
Career position - Member, CSIRO Board
1998 - 2000
Career position - Member, Botanic Gardens Board of South Australia
2001 -
Career position - Emeritus Professor in Electrical Engineering, University of Adelaide
2004 - 2010
Career position - Director and Executive Chairman, Mary O'Kane and Associates Pty Ltd
2006 - 2010
Career position - Chair, CRC for Spatial Information Board
2008 -
Career position - New South Wales Chief Scientist and Engineer
2008 - 2012
Career position - Member, New South Wales Innovation and Productivity Council
2008 - 2013
Career position - Member of Council, Charles Darwin University
2009 -
Career position - New South Wales Clean Coal Innovation Council
2010 - 2012
Career position - Chair, Australian Centre for Renewable Energy
2011 - 2012
Career position - Vice-President, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
2011 - 2013
Career position - Chair, New South Wales Renewable Energy Taskforce
2011 - 2014
Career position - Member, Advisory Board, Defence Science and Technology Organisation
2012 -
Career position - Trustee, New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute
2013 -
Career position - Chair, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies Board, University of Tasmania
2013 -
Career position - Member, Council, Queensland University of Technology
Award - DSc (honoris causa), University of Wollongong
2014 -
Career position - Chair of the Board, CRC for Space Environment
Award - Ada Lovelace Medal, University of New South Wales
Award - Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to science and engineering, as a contributor to national policy development and governance, to the promotion of technology research and future energy supply, to higher education, and as a role model to young scientists

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Related Datasets

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Bhathal, Ragbir, Profiles, Australian women scientists (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 1999), 191 pp. Details


See also

  • Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Handbook 2001 (Victoria: Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 2001), 271 pp. Details

Rosanne Walker