Professor Mary O'Kane was appointed NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer on 23 October 2008.
Professor O'Kane is also a company director and Executive Chairman of Mary O'Kane & Associates Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based consulting practice specialising in innovation and major reviews, and a company director. She was named as one of Australia's top 100 most influential engineers in 2014.
Born in central Queensland, Professor O'Kane is an expert in automatic 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 board positions, including:
- Chair of the Development Gateway;
- Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information
- Director of PSMA Ltd, the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre, NICTA, and Business Events Sydney.
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 2001.
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 of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of Engineers, Australia.