Michael Brooks

Michael Brooks

School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Professor Mike Brooks an Emeritus Professor in the School of Computer Science. He is a leading international researcher in computer vision and image analysis, and his work in intelligent video surveillance has seen wide commercial use in the security industries and has resulted in international awards.

Mike has served on many boards, including the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute, and, for almost 10 years, National ICT Australia (NICTA), the forerunner of Data61.

He has extensive experience in research leadership and management. He established six of the University of Adelaide’s flagship research institutes, and has overseen the University’s rapid rise up the international rankings.

Mike is a former chair of the Go8 Committee of Deputy Vice-Chancellors Research, and former member of the NHMRC Code Review Committee advising on Australia’s new research integrity code. He is presently chairing the Australian Research Council (ARC) Review of the ERA/EI, and in the past served for eight years on grant award panels of the ARC.

He has published over 120 papers in the field of computer vision, image analysis and video surveillance. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

In senior management at the University of Adelaide, Mike has previously served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Provost, and Interim Vice-Chancellor.

As well as being passionate about the wellbeing of the University of Adelaide and his field of artificial intelligence, Mike delights in family life (raising two daughters), beach walks and classical music.

Research Interests 

Recovery of 3D object shape and depth from visual imagery: stereo vision; motion vision; shape from shading; metrology; self-calibration. Statistical vision-parameter estimation. Applications in vision: networked video surveillance, object detection and tracking, behaviour analysis, intruder detection,  depth and volume estimation, analysis of road accident and crime scene images, UAV video analysis; evolutionary feature programming.

Commercialisation Awards

An intelligent surveillance system has been developed by the Computer Vision Group of the University of Adelaide's School of Computer Science. This group forms a component of the Image Analysis Program of the CRC for Sensor Signal & Information Processing. 

The surveillance system is patented (Brooks, Gibbins & Newsam), licensed to our commercial partner iOmniscient Pty Ltd, and has won the awards listed below.

iOmniscient are now selling the system around the world (e.g. airports, art galleries, iconic structures) and have distribution agreements in the UK, USA and elsewhere. The system has recently been put to use on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. See iOmniscient Newsletter.

See also publicity article The New Art of Surveillance (pdf file 1.2Mb).

iOmniscient wins prestigious 2004 IFSEC Award for the Best Product in Intelligent SurveillanceiOmniscient wins prestigious 2004 IFSEC Award for the Best Product in Intelligent Surveillance

In May 2004, iOmniscient Pty Ltd won the prestigious 2004 International Fire & Security Exhibition and Conference Award for the Best Product in Intelligent Surveillance.

The IFSEC Award is presented by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) at the IFSEC Conference which is one of the largest security shows in Europe.

The judging panel consisted of the Security Managers for Lloyds (the insurance group) and Tesco (a large retailer in the UK), the Head of the Security Group of The Ministry of Defence, the Director of the Police Scientific Development Board and the editors of several key European Security Magazines.

All major international competitors were represented at the IFSEC exhibition, including NICE Vision, Object Video, Wavelet and Cieffe among many others.

The President of the BSIA said, "...what iOmniscient has to offer is years ahead of anything else we have seen to date." He went on to say "...organizations should consider their Duty of Care if they decide not to implement technology like this that could avert a disaster. People would tend to ask why an inexpensive but effective technology has not been deployed – especially where innocent lives or major assets are at risk".

iOmniscient is a 2003 Secrets of IT Innovation WinneriOmniscient is a 2003 Secrets of IT Innovation Winner

The iOmniscient intelligent surveillance system won an award in the prestigious Business/Industrial Software Solutions category. The Secrets of Australian IT Innovation award's major sponsor is the Australian Government through Department of Education Science and Training, Department of Industry Tourism and Resources, Department of Communications, IT and the Arts, and Austrade.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 - ongoing Emeritus Professor The University of Adelaide
    2020 - 2021 Interim Vice-Chancellor and President The University of Adelaide
    2020 - 2020 Acting Vice-Chancellor and President University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2020 Provost University of Adelaide
    2018 - 2019 Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Research) University of Adelaide
    2008 - 2018 Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Research) University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2008 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2007 Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Strategy) (8/2007) University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2007 Chair, Research Quality Framework Board University of Adelaide
    2003 - 2007 Head of School University of Adelaide
    1992 - 2005 Program Leader, Image Analysis Program Cooperative Research Centre for Sensor Signal & Information Processing
    1991 - 1998 Chair in Artificial Intelligence University of Adelaide
    1991 - 1998 Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    1989 - 1991 Reader in Computer Science Flinders University
    1986 - 1991 Head of Discipline Flinders University
    1985 - 1985 Lecturer in Computer Science University of Adelaide
    1979 - 1980 Lecturer in Computer Studies Sheffield Polytechnic
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2015 Fellowship ATSE Fellow Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering Australia -
    2015 Fellowship Australian Computer Society Fellow Australian Computer Society Australia -
    2004 Award Best Product in Intelligent Surveillance International Fire & Security Exhibition and Conference United Kingdom -
    2003 Award Secrets of IT Innovation Winner Australian Government Australia -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1983 University of Essex United Kingdom Ph.D. (Computer Science)
    1976 University of Essex United Kingdom M.Sc. (Computer Science)
    1975 University of Hull United Kingdom B.Sc. Hons (Mathematics)

ARC Discovery Grant 2005-2007 

Prof MJ Brooks

Multi-objective parameter estimation techniques for computer vision 
  • 2005 : $101,000

  • 2006 : $79,000

  • 2007 : $81,000


Administering Institution : The University of Adelaide   

This project will benefit Australia's scientific knowledge and technology base in the area of computer vision. By contributing improved methods for parameter estimation applicable to a wide variety of technical problems, the project will aid the generation of improved software products in a wide variety of domains. Examples include: augmented reality systems, with which virtual reality artifacts may be immersed within real video; 3D from 2D systems, with which 3D object structure may be computed from image streams; and visual robotic systems, with which the pose of viewed objects may be determined. 

ARC Discovery Grant 2007-2009 

Prof MJ Brooks and Dr AR Dick

Automated acquisition of surveillance-camera network topology 
  • 2007 : $67,000

  • 2008 : $67,000

  • 2009 : $67,000


Administering Institution : The University of Adelaide   

The development of an automated system for acquisition of camera network topology is a crucial prerequisite to obtaining intelligent surveillance systems operating at the network level. Such systems will contribute improved methods for safeguarding Australia from terrorism and crime by facilitating the tracking of suspicious individuals and vehicles, and detecting anomalous behaviours in busy environments. The leading-edge techniques involved will also constitute smart information use of significant commercial value to Australian industry.

ARC Discovery Grant 2008-2010 

Prof MJ Brooks 

Enhanced parameter estimation for multi-component fitting in computer vision 
  • 2008 : $85,000

  • 2009 : $85,000

  • 2010 : $80,000


Administering Institution : The University of Adelaide   

Computer vision is concerned with the development of computational methods that endow machines with the capacity to interpret their visual environment. Emerging applications include automated methods for analysing behaviour exhibited in video and improved techniques for generating special effects in movies. Many vision problems require high-accuracy estimation of parameters embedded within a mathematical model, an area that has seen enormous progress over the last decade. This project will develop leading edge techniques for simultaneously computing parameters that characterise multiple components (such as several objects in motion) rather than a single component, a critical remaining challenge in the field.


Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision

  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2007 - 2008 Co-Supervisor Efficient Embedding of Meshes and Hypercubes on a Group of Future Network Architectures Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Yawen Chen
    2007 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Optical Flow Estimation in the Presence of Fast or Discontinuous Motion Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Yan Niu
    2003 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Robust Visual Tracking in Image Sequences Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Prof Chunhua Shen
    2002 - 2008 Co-Supervisor Fundamental Numerical Schemes for Parameter Estimation in Computer Vision Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Tony Scoleri
    2000 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Reconstructing 3D Geometry from Multiple Images via Inverse Rendering Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr John Bastian
    2000 - 2008 Co-Supervisor The Automated Synchronisation of Independently Moving Cameras Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Daniel Pooley
    1999 - 2004 Principal Supervisor Towards an estimation framework for some problems in computer vision Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Darren Gawley
    1998 - 2005 Principal Supervisor Surface Reconstruction from Three Dimensional Range Data Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Andrew Peter Myers

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