Stefan Harrer  Stefan Harrer photo         

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Academy of Technology LogoStrategic Advisor AI & Neurotech | Research Program Manager
Lead Epilepsy Research, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM), IBM Master Inventor, Member IBM Academy of Technology



Responsible and Ethical Use of AI and Neurotechnology in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Stefan received the B.Sc., Diploma, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with majors in Medical Engineering, Nanotechnology and Nanoelectronics from the Technical University of Munich and an Honours Masters Degree in Technology Management from the Technical University of Munich and the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich.

He also studied Technology Management at the Center for Digital Technology and Management and as a Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. As a Visiting Graduate Student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he was involved in implementing new nanoimprint lithography and nanotransfer lithography techniques before joining IBM Research as a Process Development Engineer in the Advanced Lithography Group at IBM AlbanyNanotech, NY. There he developed novel nanofabrication technologies in the areas of nanoimprint lithography, immersion lithography, and directed self-assembly technology.

He then became a Research Scientist in the Systems Biology and Functional Genomics Group at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, where he worked on novel DNA-sequencing technologies as an Investigator of the National Human Genome Research Institute Grant “Nanopore-based Electrical Device for DNA Sequencing” and as part of a collaboration with Roche 454.

In 2011 he founded the Bionanotechnology Research Program and Team of IBM Research - Australia, Melbourne and led it until 2014.

Pursuing the idea of utilising neuroscience and neurotechnology to build ethical AI systems for assisting human decision makers he founded the Brain-Inspired Computing Research Program of IBM Research Australia in 2015. As its Technical Lead and Manager and since 2020 in a global role as Senior Technical Staff Member, he has grown it into IBM's global Epilepsy Research Program spearheading an effort to develop AI technology for diagnosing, managing and treating epilepsy.

Stefan has also held positions as Head of the Lab Innovation Development Team, as Science Technical Assistant to the Lab Director of IBM Research Australia and as Technical Assistant to the VP Cognitive Computing of IBM Research. He is currently a Board Member of the Exploratory Life Sciences Research Council of IBM Research and a Member of the IBM Neurotech Working Group advocating for and advising for responsible use of neurotechnology and AI. He holds an Adjunct Professor position in the School of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Technology Sydney.

Cited over 1500 times with an h-index of 20, he has authored or co-authored over 50 technical papers in publishing houses such as Nature, CellPress, ACS, and The Lancet and in the proceedings of conferences including IJCAI, AAAI, NeurIPS, MICCAI and BMVC. He is a Member of the IEEE Computer Society Steering Committee and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience, and was named Master Inventor by IBM in 2017 and again in 2020 for holding 58 issued and over 60 pending patents and for his impact in mentoring aspiring inventors. Stefan is a regular invited and keynote speaker and has held various committee and chair roles at international engineering, medical and computer science conferences including IJCAI, AAAI, MICCAI, NeurIPS, IEEE Nano, IEEE EMBC and SPIE. He is the recipient of a Research Scholarship from UC Berkeley, a Karl Chang Innovation Fund Grant from MIT, an Honorary Principal Research Fellowship from the University of Melbourne and Research Grants from the NIH and the Australian Research Council.

Stefan is a Senior Member of the IEEE, as well as a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the IBM Academy of Technology, the Management Committee of the Australian Nanotechnology Network, and the Steering Committee of the IBM Australia/New Zealand Technical Experts Council. He has appeared on ABC Catalyst and ABC Radio and his work was featured in WIRED Magazine, The World Economic Forum, Popular Science, Tech Times, Engadget, R&D Magazine, Fast Company, the Scientific American, IF**LoveSciene, VentureBeat, Forbes, and ZDnet amongst others.

Stefan blogs regularly on the IBM Research Blog and on LinkedIn.

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