• Auditory communication and signal processing (cochlear implants and hearing aids)
  • Neurobionics (deep brain stimulation)



  • Professor Hugh McDermott is the Deputy Director of the Bionics Institute, and holds honorary appointments as a Professorial Fellow of The University of Melbourne in the Departments of Medical Bionics and Audiology and Speech Pathology.
    In 2006 Hugh was appointed to the newly created Chair of Auditory Communication and Signal Processing at the University of Melbourne as full professor. He held that position until 2010 when he joined the Bionics Institute. He is an elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and an elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has over 30 years of experience in signal processing, electronic design, and perceptual research.
    Hugh has authored more than 105 journal articles, 7 book chapters, and over 100 additional publications, and he has delivered more than 60 invited presentations. In recognition of “his leadership that has fostered scientific advances and significant developments in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders,” he became the first winner of the Callier Prize in Communication Disorders, awarded by the University of Texas, Dallas in 2009. Hugh is a named inventor on 19 patent families, and he has a further 10 patent applications currently being processed.
    Several of his inventions have been translated into successful commercial products, including:
    • Development of the Speak/ACE sound-processing scheme for cochlear implants. This scheme continues to be the most commonly used sound-processing algorithm in cochlear implants manufactured by the Australian company Cochlear Ltd. Over 200,000 cochlear implant recipients worldwide are now users of the Speak/ACE scheme.
    • Development of the frequency-compression scheme for acoustic hearing aids known as SoundRecover, which improves the perception of high-frequency sounds and thereby increases speech intelligibility. The success of SoundRecover has led to its introdu   


Member of

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Senior Member 2000 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1988
  • BAppSc, University of Melbourne 1981

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, 2012
  • Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 2012
  • First recipient of the Callier Prize in Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center, 2009



Available for supervision

  • Y