Professor Eliathamby Ambikairajah

Head of School and Professor in Signal Processing


Telephone:    +61 2 9385 4009

Fascimile:     +61 2 9385 6743


Room:            105a  Electrical Engineering Building


Professor Eliathamby Ambikairajah

BSc (Eng), PhD, FIET, CEng, FIEAust, CPEng, MIEEE

Professor Eliathamby Ambikairajah received his BSc(Eng) (Hons) degree from the University of Sri Lanka and received his PhD degree in Signal Processing  from Keele University, UK. He was appointed as Head of Electronic Engineering and later Dean of Engineering at the Athlone Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland from 1982 to 1999. His key publications led to his repeated appointment as a short-term Invited Research Fellow with the British Telecom Laboratories, U.K., for ten years from 1989 to 1999.

He is currently the Head of School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. His research interests include speaker and language recognition, emotion detection and biomedical signal processing. He has authored and co-authored approximately 250 journal and conference papers and is the recipient of many competitive research grants. He is also a regular reviewer for several IEEE, IET and other journals and conferences. For his contributions to speaker recognition research, he was invited as a Visiting Scientist to the Institute of Infocomms Research (A*STAR), Singapore in 2009, where he is currently a Faculty Associate

Early in his career, Prof Ambikairajah earned the Best Paper Award for Younger Members by the IEE (UK). He received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004 for his innovative use of educational technology, the School Awards for Teaching Excellence in 2003, Academic Management in 2001 and in 2014 he received the UNSW Excellence in Senior Leadership Award.

Professor Ambikairajah was an APSIPA Distinguished Lecturer for the 2013-14 term. He is a Fellow and a Chartered Engineer of the IET UK and Engineers Australia (EA) and is a Member of the IEEE

Research Gateway


  • PhD, (Electronic Engineering), University of Keele, UK, 1982
  • Postgraduate Degree, (Electronic Engineering) Philips International Institute (PII), Holland, 1978
  • BSc(Eng) (Electronics and Telecommnications), University of Sri Lanka, Katubedde Campus, 1974


  • UNSW Excellence in Senior Leadership Award (2014)
  • UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching (2004)
  • School Teaching Excellence Award (UNSW) (2003)
  • School Academic Studies Award (UNSW) (2001)
  • IEE Younger Members (UK) Award for the best research paper (1982)

Fellowships and Scholarships

  • Faculty Associate  Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR, Singapore, 2009-2018
  • British Telecom Laboratories, Invited Research Fellowship (10 consecutive fellowships) (1989 to 1999)
  • The Queens University of Belfast (Northern Ireland), Post Doctoral Fellowship (1983-1984)
  • University of Keele (UK), PhD Scholarship (1978-1982)
  • Phillips International Institute (Netherlands), Research Scholarship (1977-1978)

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology (UK) (CEng, FIET) 1982 (Member) 1999 (Fellow)
  • Engineers Australia (FIEAust, CPEng) (2001)
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (MIEEE) (1991)


  • (1999 - present) Head of School, Professor and Deputy Head of School, Associate Professor and Director of Academic Studies, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, UNSW.
  • (1982 to 1999) Dean of Engineering, Head of Department of Electronic Engineering, Senior Lecturer, Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Ireland.
  • (1975 - 1977) Scientific Officer, Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (CISIR), Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Visiting Appointments

  • Visiting Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway, 1985-1999

Teaching Areas

  • Digital Signal Processing and Applications
  • Speech and Audio Processing
  • Telecommunications
  • Circuits and Systems

Research Interests

  • Speech and Speaker Recognition
  • Speech and Audio Coding
  • Speech Enhancement
  • Biomedical Signal Processing
  • Genomic Signal Processing
  • Cochlear Modelling
  • Engineering Education