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Biographical entry Poole, Peter Cyril (1931 - 2017)


26 December 1931
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
19 August 2017
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Computer scientist


Peter Poole was recognised as a national and international leader in computer science and software engineering. When Head of the Computing Systems Research Group at the Atomic Energy Commission's Culham Laboratory in the United Kingdom he was involved in the early use of time-sharing systems, and the design and implementation of large systems (what is now known as software engineering). In 1975 Poole became the inaugural Professor of computing at the University of Melbourne. Under his leadership the Department became a leader in Australia and noted internationally for its research projects, especially in the area of machine intelligence. He recognised early the importance of open-source operating systems and was one of those responsible for the first data link with the United States for the exchange of emails with overseas researchers, the forerunner of the world wide web. As Assistant Vice-Chancellor had oversight of all information technology policies at University of Melbourne.



Education - BSc, University of Queensland
1958 - 1962
Career position - Teaching Fellow, School of Physics, University of Sydney
1963 - 1964
Career position - Lecturer, School of Physics, University of Sydney
Education - PhD, University of Sydney
1965 - 1971
Career position - Head of Computing Systems Research Group, Culham Laboratory, Atomic Energy Commission, United Kingdom
1972 - 1975
Career position - Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado, U.S.A.
1975 - 1990
Career position - Head, Department of Computer Science, University of Melbourne
1975 - 1992
Career position - Foundation Professor of Computing, Department of Information (later Computer) Science, University of Melbourne
1980 - 1989
Career position - Member, International Federation of Information Processing Technology Committee 2
1985 - 1987
Career position - Deputy Dean of Science, University of Melbourne
1986 - 2003
Career position - Director, KE Software (formerly Knowledge Engineering)
1988 - 1992
Career position - Head, School of Information Technology and Engineering, University of Melbourne
1989 - 1994
Career position - Chairman, International Federation of Information Processing Technology Committee 2
1990 - 1992
Career position - Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Information Technology), University of Melbourne
1990 - 1992
Career position - Chairman, IT Policy Advisory Committee, University of Melbourne
1990 - 2017
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Career position - Joint CEO, Collaborative IT Research Institute, University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
1993 - 1997
Career position - Dean, School of Information Technology, Bond University
Award - Silver Core Award, International Federation of Information Processing Technology
1997 - 1999
Career position - Chairman, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering IT Committee
Award - Premier's Award for Individual Contribution to Information Technology, Government of Queensland
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in information technology
Award - Inducted into Pearcey Hall of Fame
Award - DEng (honoris causa), University of Melbourne

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Peter Poole was a computing pioneer', Focus, 204 (2017), 53. Details

Newspaper Articles

  • Moffat, Alistair and Araki, Filippa, 'Peter Poole 1931 - 2017: visionary leader into the computer age', The Age (2017), 33. Details


Helen Cohn