Dr Alan Finkel AC AO is an Australian neuroscientist, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
He was Chancellor of Monash University from 2008 to 2016 and Australia’s eighth chief scientist from 2016 to 2020.
Dr Finkel received a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University before leaving academia to found Axon Instruments, a global science and technology company based in the US. He invented a commercially successful device which substantially speeds up drug research. Dr Finkel also used his wealth to found the science magazine Cosmos, an environment magazine called G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine, and contributed towards a number of research institutes. In 2012, he co-founded Stile Education, a science education company based in Melbourne.
In 2006, Dr Finkel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2008, he was inducted as an honorary member of the Monash Golden Key Society in recognition of his achievements. Dr Finkel was also awarded the Victorian of the Year in 2016, and received the 2015 IET Mountbatten Medal (UK) and the 2019 IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award in recognition of his work in advancing the field of scientific instrumentation.
In 2014, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to science and engineering, and to tertiary education administration, as an advocate for the protection of children, and to philanthropy. In 2022, Dr Finkel was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to science, to national energy innovation and research infrastructure capability, to climate change and COVID-19 response initiatives, and to science and engineering education.
In 2021, Dr Finkel was nominated by the federal government to lead work on fostering international collaborations and in spruiking the government's climate action on the world stage.