New Chief Investigator for ACEMS


Prof Tristan Perez, ACEMS Chief Investigator, QUT

The Australian Research Council (ARC) officially approves Prof Tristan Perez to become ACEMS’ newest Chief Investigator.

Tristan is a Professor at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). His specialisation is in dynamical systems, decisions and control. He brings to ACEMS a wealth of experience in applied research with industry and defence.

Tristan has always been attracted to work in the area of applied mathematics, which was also the focus of his PhD when he studied fundamental limitations and optimal control of constrained stochastic systems.

“Over the years, I have been working across different sectors like aerospace, marine, mining, agriculture, robotics, econometrics, and defence. What has allowed me to do it is the fact that once you remove details, problems from seemingly different areas start to look very similar from a mathematical perspective,” said Tristan.

One problem in particular that Tristan would like to tackle with his colleagues in ACEMS involves quantifying uncertainty and managing the behaviours of complex dynamical networks.

“These are networks of dynamical systems that have a large number of entities with distributed decision-making capabilities, and they interact through constrained exchange of information. These types of systems appear in many different areas of society including defence, national security, food, ecology, health, energy, and transportation. Our main limitation today lies not in the technology, but in the mathematics that can help us to understand fundamental limitations and optimise the behaviour of complex networked systems.” said Tristan.

A good deal of Tristan’s research has involved working with industry partners. Some of those partners include Boeing, BHP, the Australian Cotton Industry, Horticulture Australia, and different divisions of the Australian Department of Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group's: Maritime Division, Tactical and Weapons System Division, and Joint Operations Analysis Division.

Tristan says some of industry problems present unique mathematical challenges.

“Sometimes you simply specialise a general theoretical result into a tool to solve a particular problem. However, there are those times when you look at particular problem, you find that there are no tools to attack the problem, and this can lead to the development of new theoretical results. For example, with colleagues from QUT, we recently attempted to study the problem of bird behaviours during collision avoidance in terms of inverse game theory, and we found that there was little theory in this area. Therefore, we developed new interesting theoretical results, which we are now exploring in completely different areas such as complex warfare.” said Tristan.

Tristan is originally from Argentina. He came to Australia in 1999 and completed his PhD at the University of Newcastle. He then spent four years overseas in the UK and Norway, before returning to Australia in 2007 to join the ARC Centre of Excellence for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control at the University of Newcastle.

In 2014, Tristan moved to QUT and was appointed a Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and led the IntelliSensing Enabling Platform at QUT’s Institute for Future Environments.

Tristan has been an Associate Investigator with ACEMS since the beginning of the Centre in 2014. He is excited about his new role as a chief investigator (CI).

“Being a chief investigator gives me an opportunity to potentially shape some of the research being conducted, as well as open new areas of research and work more closely with collaborators and other CI’s from other nodes of the Centre,” said Tristan.

Tristan is now one of 20 Chief Investigators spread across seven ACEMS university nodes. He is one of five CI’s based at QUT.

Congratulations, Tristan!

Green Acorn