Professor Mary O'Kane was appointed NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer on 23 October 2008.
Professor O'Kane is also Executive Chairman of Mary O'Kane & Associates Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based consulting practice specialising in innovation and major reviews, and a company director.
Born in central Queensland, Professor O'Kane is an expert in computerised speech recognition.
She has been a member of a number of high-level committees, including the Australian Research Council and the panel for the Federal Government's Review of the National Innovation System.
Professor O'Kane holds a number of honourary positions, including:
She has chaired major reviews of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Co-operative Research Centres Program.
Professor O'Kane was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide from 1996 to 2000.
She was Chair of the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy from 2010 to 2012.
She is a former member of the Australian Research Council, the Co-operative Research Centres Committee, the board of FH Faulding & Co Ltd and the board of the CSIRO.
She is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of Engineers, Australia.
In her role as the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor O'Kane is currently a member of a range of different government committees and advisory groups including:
The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer is a member of the Forum of Australian Chief Scientists, which includes State and Territory Chief Scientists and is chaired by the Chief Scientist for Australia.
As NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor O'Kane consults widely with academia, industry and government to ensure scientific knowledge and research can be adapted and used to benefit NSW.
She is responsible for: