Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Australian of the Year

Nominee

2012 NSW Australian of the Year Nominee

Hung Nguyen AM

State: New South Wales

Medical inventor

Giving severely disabled people greater independence and control has been the central aim of Professor Hung Nguyen’s working life for the past decade. As an award-winning engineer, specialising in the field of medical inventions, Hung is responsible for Aviator, the smart wheelchair technology that has stepped straight out of science fiction. The Aviator system, ranked third in the top 100 Australian innovations this year by the business and innovation magazine, Australian Anthill, directs and controls the chair’s navigation by reading head movements and brainwaves, using two pairs of electrodes embedded in a hat the user wears. With around 200 people a year in Australia sustaining injuries that result in quadriplegia, Hung’s research team at the University of Technology are now testing the Aviator system, which is set to revolutionise the lives of paraplegics and quadriplegics, especially those unable to use their hands. Aviator is just one of a long list of inventions by Hung that have improved the lives of people suffering lifestyle diseases. They include a non-invasive diabetes monitoring system, a ‘stealth-based’ system for the early detection of breast cancer, and a system for monitoring and preventing driver fatigue.

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