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Professor Jim Patrick Awarded Scientist of the Year

Left to Right: The Hon. Gabrielle Upton, MP, The Hon. Sarah Minister Mitchell, MLC, Professor Jim Patrick, Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales.


Macquarie University Adjunct Professor of Linguistics, Jim Patrick AO, has been recognised for his 40‑plus year contribution to hearing science.

Professor Patrick, who is also Chief Scientist – Emeritus at Cochlear, was named Scientist of the Year in the 2021 NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering.

Each year, this prestigious award is presented to an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of science and/or engineering that has benefited the people of NSW.

Professor Patrick began his career on the team of cochlear implant inventor, Professor Graeme Clark, and went on to become Cochlear’s first full-time employee in 1981.

When he retired in 2016, he was responsible for Cochlear’s global research programme, 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 continues to contribute through his Emeritus role.

Through his role as Adjunct Professor at Macquarie, Professor Patrick has been involved in the Australian Hearing Hub (AHH) since its inception. He continues to provide his expertise and support to encourage further collaboration between AHH member organisations, as well as sharing his knowledge in the area of cochlear implant design.

Professor Patrick said being named 2021 Scientist of the Year was “a wonderful honour”.

“The impact of the cochlear implant on the lives of millions of people around the world is the result of the outstanding actions of Cochlear staff, global research partners and clinical colleagues, and support from the Federal Government,” he said.

“I’m very proud to have received this award but I also recognise that my own contributions took place in this environment of collaboration and critical thinking.

“The cochlear implant outcomes of today are the result of the wonderful support that has been provided on our journey, most recently from Macquarie University and the AHH.”

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