PROF Robert Cowan

PROF Robert Cowan


  • Cochlear Implants and Hearing Prosthetics (cochlear implants, hearing aids)
  • Hearing Protection and Hearing Loss Prevention (prevention of hearing loss)



  • A/Prof Bob Cowan is CEO of the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and an Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University.
    Bob’s research includes cochlear implant and hearing technology, audiology and biomedical research management. He has authored over 120 publications and book chapters, and holds a number of Australian and international technology patents and trademarks.

    Bob received his Postgraduate Diploma in Audiology, and Doctor of Philosophy (Audiology) from the University of Melbourne. In addition, he holds an MBA (Technology Management) from LaTrobe University, and Graduate Diplomas in Technology Management and Health Economics. Bob’s early training was in Kinesiology (Simon Fraser) and BSc (Hons) in Physiology in Canada.
    Bob heads the HEARing CRC, which brings together the research, educational, clinical and commercial skills of internationally-recognised Australian hearing research groups and leading biomedical companies to develop communication devices to enhance communication benefits for the millions of hearing impaired adults and children in Australia and world-wide. Under his leadership, the HEARing CRC has received Excellence in Innovation Awards in 2002, 2003, 2012 and 2013, as well as a STAR Award in 2012. He was a finalist in the Eureka Prizes in both 2012 and 2013.
    In 2012, Bob was elected President of the international Society of Audiology, and is the Congress President for the XXXII World Congress of Audiology in 2014. He has served on the ISA Executive Committee for several years, and was Congress President of the XXVI International Congress of Audiology in Melbourne in 2002. Bob is a Fellow and Past President of Audiology Australia, and the Chair of its National Conference Committee. He was selected as Australian Professional of the Year 2004 by Professions Australia, and his contributions to audiology have been recognized through Audiology    


Selected publications


Education and training

  • GAICD, Australian Institute of Company Directors 2010
  • MBA, La Trobe University 2005
  • GradDipMgt, Deakin University 2002
  • GradCertMgt, Deakin University 2000
  • CertHlthEc, Monash University 1998
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1992
  • DipAud, University of Melbourne 1983
  • BSc (Hons), Queen's University at Kingston 1972

Awards and honors

  • Australian Professional of the Year 2004, Professions Australia, 2004
  • President's Distinguished Service Award, Audiological Society of Australia, 2002
  • Fellow of the Audiology Society of Australia, 1999



Available for supervision

  • Y