The eighth in AIBN’s Thought Leaders’ dinner series took place at Customs House in Brisbane on the evening of 16 April 2015. Attendees at the dinner included a senior AIBN research leaders, along with executive management from a range of local, interstate and international companies.

Guest speaker was Professor Jim Patrick AO, DEng, BSc, MSc, FIEAust, CPE (Biomed), FTSE.                                                   

Professor Jim Patrick is Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President at Cochlear Limited and recognised as a world authority on cochlear implants. He joined Professor Graeme Clark’s research team at Melbourne University in 1975.

With training in physics and communications engineering, and an interest in how electrical stimulation might be used to help people hear, he led the successful development of "UMDOLEE", the ten channel cochlear implant developed by the Departments of Otolaryngology and Electrical Engineering.

When initial proof of concept generated Federal Government support for commercial development in 1981, Jim moved to Sydney as a member of the Cochlear "Tiger Team", established by Paul Trainor inside the Nucleus group to develop a ‘clinically applicable' cochlear implant. Jim was responsible for systems engineering, and the digital aspects of the implantable stimulator, playing the key leadership role in the development of the commercial medical implant.

Since 1981 he has been a member of Cochlear's senior management team, holding a number of technology management roles, including responsibility for R&D, Quality and Manufacturing. Currently, Jim is responsible for Cochlear's global research program, exploring how novel forms of signal processing can improve the performance of the cochlear implant, and how advances in biology and electro-neural interfaces can be applied to future implant designs.  He has honorary appointments as Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne, Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University and Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University.

Professor Patrick was awarded the Order of Australia (26 Jan 2015) for distinguished service over many years to science through the development of cochlear implant technology, to biomedical research and engineering innovation, and to education and professional associations.  

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