Startup Stories with Alex Zelinsky AO (Seeing Machines)

Join the i2N virtual hub for Startup Stories and hear from one of Australia’s most distinguished scientists as he shares his insight into research, innovation and entrepreneurship.


Professor Alex Zelinsky AO is a well-known scientist, specialising in robotics and computer vision and is widely recognised as an innovator in human-machine interaction. He leads the University of Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor and President but has enjoyed a career spanning 30 years in research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In June 2000, Alex spun Seeing Machines out of a robotics lab at the Australian National University. The company is dedicated to the commercialisation of computer vision systems and is fitted in thousands of off-road heavy mining vehicles, on-road heavy trucks and some regular production cars. Seeing Machines uses smart cameras and algorithms to track a drivers’ face, eyes and eyelids to monitor alertness levels in real-time.

Seeing Machines has won customers such as Caterpillar, Boeing and Takata and the technology is protecting drivers around the world. The company was the first in Canberra to be listed on a foreign stock exchange.

Alex has won numerous national and international awards including a Clunies-Ross Medal for successful innovation, the Trevor Pearcey Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement, the M A Sargent Medal by Engineers Australia and was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Institute of Engineers Australia and was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2017.


Events, grants, news, resources and project announcements. In your inbox every month.