Arun Sharma

Head, Sustainability and Climate Change; Distinguished Professor Emeritus, QUT, Adani Group

Arun Sharma is an advisor to the Chairman of Adani Group and a member of the Board of Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd. He is the Chair of the Council of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research and Innovation) of QUT during 2004-19, where he oversaw a nearly four-fold increase in annual research funding and the university's rapid rise in international rankings.

He has played a leading role in the development of Australian technology research capability. He was a co-founder of National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA) – now CSIRO’s Data61. Before NICTA, he was Head of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales. He co-founded the Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Internet Technology and played an essential role in the establishment of its successor, the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre. At QUT, he oversaw the establishment of research programs in robotics and automation, big data analytics, material science and additive manufacturing, and energy technologies such as biomass to bio-products, renewables, and hydrogen. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 Queens Birthday Honours for services to Computer Science and Information Technology.

He has contributed significantly to research and innovation policy. He was appointed to the inaugural Advisory Council of the Australia Research Council (2008-09) and has twice chaired the Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellors Research committee (2008 and 2014). He is a member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel (since 2015) and has previously served on the Queensland Premier's Smart State Council (2004-11) and the Premier's Business Roundtable (2010-12). He was Champion of Team Queensland in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (2018-19). He served as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Innovation Ecosystems (2018-19).

He has fostered business links between Australia and India. He was the National Chair of the Australia India Business Council (2011-12) and served as the President of the Queensland Chapter (2005-11). In 2018, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australia India Business and Community Awards.

He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (1985), Ph.D. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1990) and post-doctoral training in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT (1990). He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2008). In 2019, he was conferred the Distinguished Alumnus Award from BITS Pilani.

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