Ted Huber awarded McNeil Prize

We are proud to announce that Ted Huber, our founder and chairman, has been awarded the Australian Naval Institute’s McNeil Prize for 2021. The McNeil Prize was created in 2016, and first awarded in 2017, to honour an individual from Australian industry who has made an outstanding contribution to the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy. The prize is named in honour of Rear Admiral Percival McNeil CB RAN (1883-1951), a great champion of Australian Shipbuilding. Lockheed Martin Australia sponsored the prize.

Huber was born in Warsaw in 1947 and his family emigrated to Australia when he was five years old. He studied biophysics, physical chemistry and neurophysiology at Flinders University and worked as a medical researcher before studying electrical engineering at the University of Adelaide and working in defence industry with Vision Systems. In 1992, Huber founded Acacia Research (now Acacia Systems) and has been supporting the RAN for the last 29 years. Huber has an enduring passion for solving the problems of sailors at sea in both submarines and surface ships. He has a rare ability to bridge the gap from intellectual theory to practical systems. At sea aboard an Oberon class submarine to test advanced automated target motion analysis algorithms for towed arrays, Ted would be found in the back of the fin drenched alongside the sonar team recovering the towed array in rough seas.

In the early years, Ted and the Acacia team conducted research sponsored by and in collaboration with the then Defence Science Technology Organisation, including work on a new tactical data management system for Collins Class submarines. Later Ted was involved in work in the architecture and systems for RAN units to share anti-submarine information. He and his team have also developed the Reflex data management system that captures and visualises all elements of mission data for the Collins Class submarine.

The Onyx Intelligent Tracking System developed by Huber and Acacia is a major contribution to the anti-submarine capabilities of the RAN surface fleet through multi-sensor data fusion capability that supports the fusion of Fleet sensor data across the active and passive sonar domains.

ANI President Vice Admiral Peter Jones said, “Ted Huber has made an outstanding contribution to Navy’s capability over almost three decades. This is a testament to his commitment to the Navy and the nation. Perhaps, his most enduring legacy is the establishment of an Australian owned and controlled, world-leading high technology, sovereign defence industry capability.”

The Prize was presented at the ANI’s Vernon Parker Oration and Annual Dinner, held on 1 June 2021 in Canberra. 

Congratulations to Ted Huber on this outstanding recognition of his lifelong dedication to Australian sovereign defence capability. Bravo Zulu!