John O’Sullivan

By October 20th, 2014


After graduating from Sydney University’s Electrical Engineering Department, Dr John O’Sullivan undertook a PhD as a student of Chris Christiansen and worked closely with Dr Robert (Bob) Frater in developing the Fleurs Synthesis Radiotelescope. This telescope was used as a basis for PhD work in the Electrical Engineering Department over a twenty year period.Dr O’Sullivan completed his PhD in 1974 at Sydney University, and took an appointment in the Foundation for Radio Astronomy in the Netherlands (now ASTRON). He went on to become the Head of their Engineering group making major contributions in the electronics and signal and image processing areas.In 1983, Dr O’Sullivan returned to Australia and played an important early role in the initial conception of the Australia Telescope receiving systems. He was primarily charged with setting up a new Signal Processing group at the Division of Radiophysics. This group under his direction set out to find applications of processing skills and technologies for the wider community and led to the group making significant contributions, together with various commercial partners and customers, in areas such as image processing for medical and geophysical applications, underground mine safety, communications systems and radar processing systems.After his demonstration of the Wireless LAN system, Dr O’Sullivan left CSIRO in 1995 to join News Ltd as their Australian Director of Technology. During this period, he was a member of the PMSEIC working party ‘Connecting Australians: Opportunities for a New Wireless Age’. Following the formation of Radiata in 1997, he returned to Australia to join them as Vice President of Systems Engineering. He continued this role for some time after the acquisition of Radiata by Cisco in 2001.More recently, Dr O’Sullivan returned to CSIRO to work on the system design for the Square Kilometre Array.

Honours and awards

2015 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal (ASKAP Phased Array Team)
2012 European Inventors Award
2009 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
2009 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal (Wireless Network Team)
Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering
1962-1963 Vice-President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI)



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