Towards Identifying the Somerton Man

How engineering skills can help solve the mystery

The Somerton Man was found dead on Somerton Beach, South Australia in 1948. More than 70 years later, no one has been able to confirm his identity.

This presentation, delivered by Professor Derek Abbott, will review the mystery before describing how the skills of an electrical engineer can be utilised to bring us closer to a solution – including imaging, cryptography, use of conditional probability, bioinformatics and software engineering.

The presentation will also provide an overview on tools that can support the broader issue of human identification.



Professor Derek Abbott

Professor Derek Abbott is a Professor with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide, with research interests including multidisciplinary complex systems, networks, energy policy, stochastics, biophotonics, and forensic engineering.

Professor Abbott is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and IEEE, and has received a number of awards in recognition of his contributions to the fields of science and engineering.


Tue, 19 Mar 2019 - 06:00pm to 08:00pm AEDT


Non-members: $30.00; Financial members: No charge (full discount when logged in).

Event partners: 


Engineers Australia
Level 11, 108 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000