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​Professor Wozniak takes on new role at Australian university

Sydney's University of Technology has a new teacher, with Steve Wozniak taking on his first ever adjunct professorship and being dubbed "the coolest person in the universe" in the process.

Steve Wozniak gets friendly with a UTS robot. Srinivas Madhisetty/UTS

Inventor, programmer and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has taken up his first ever adjunct professorship at Australia's University of Technology, Sydney, earning himself the additional title of "coolest person in the universe" from university staff in the process.

The pioneering computer engineer has taken up the position in the university's Magic Lab (Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory), which is part of the School of Software and Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems in the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT. In doing so, it is the first adjunct professorship that Wozniak has accepted at any university.

After visiting the campus earlier in 2014, 'Woz' now works with students and staff in the Magic Lab via video-link, with a second trip to UTS planned in December this year.

Speaking about the appointment, Magic Lab director Professor Mary-Anne Williams described Wozniak as the "coolest person in the universe," a "strong advocate for technology" and an exceptional inspiration for UTS students.

"Woz loves the energy, the vibe and the robots in the Magic Lab," she said. "He beams in on our telepresence device to chat with students, share his latest ideas and entertain with jokes and the occasional prank.

"Woz constantly highlights the new possibilities for technology to change the world and enjoys sharing his insights and experiences. The students have been totally wowed by the attention he has given them -- one claiming he had changed her life in less than 60 seconds."

UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Glenn Wightwick was also positive about Wozniak's role at the university.

"It's hard to imagine a more iconic mentor for UTS students than one of the most influential technology pioneers of the modern era," he said.

"His history aside, Steve Wozniak remains a leading voice in innovation and a promoter of creativity and ingenuity, especially among the young technologists who will take the next step."