Profile photo of Professor Alex Frino. Sitting on a desk in front of computers. Red lit background.

Professor Alex Frino wins second Fulbright Award

Professor Alex Frino wins second Fulbright Award

Senior Scholar Fulbright Award to lead high-level research on cyber attacks in the US, Australia and NATO

University of Wollongong (UOW) Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation, Enterprise and External Relations) and Professor of Economics Alex Frino has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright to the United States for the second time in his career. 

The Fulbright Commission has awarded Professor Frino a Senior Scholar Fulbright Award 2022 to travel to the US and lead high-level research into a major global issue – the impact of cyber attacks on companies in NATO countries and Australia.

Professor Frino was previously hosted by Georgetown University in Washington DC via the Fulbright Program in 2005. 

Professor Frino will travel to the US later this year and in 2023 to work with researchers in the Cyber Security Department at Florida Polytechnic University. This will extend work he is currently engaged in collaboration with researchers from the Centre for Economic Policy and Analysis in Washington DC.

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson congratulated Professor Frino on his achievement and for championing the University’s commitment to cutting-edge research and global collaboration.  

“For Professor Frino to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship not once but twice is a testament to his commitment to creating knowledge for a better world,” Professor Davidson said.  

“Professor Frino is a leader in his field globally. I’m thrilled he will be able to collaborate with leading researchers in the US to address the global problem of cyber attacks.

“This opportunity is great for both Professor Frino and the University. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to bring back the knowledge and experience of his research endeavours in the US to share with our communities in Australia, making positive and tangible impact for policymakers.” 

Professor Frino said he was surprised and delighted to be awarded a rare second Fulbright Scholarship.

“My first Fulbright experience in 2005 was a career highlight, giving me the opportunity to work with world-class scholars and researchers and develop a network of collaborators around the world that I have continued to work with in the years since,” Professor Frino said. 

“I feel greatly honoured to be given another chance so late in my career to participate in this wonderful collaborative research program – especially on a subject of such global importance as cyber security.

“I look forward to working with some outstanding US scholars to press hard on solutions to this problem – and building a bridge between Australia and the USA.” 

Cyber attacks on corporations have stolen military secrets, erased over $100 billion in shareholder value, lost the personal information of 150 million people, and led to the shutdown of critical infrastructure. 

Professor Frino said the importance of cyber security was highlighted recently when NATO announced that a cyber attack could trigger Article 5 - in short, a cyber attack on one NATO country could lead the entire alliance to respond with an array of measures, including going to war. 

“Cyber security will require global collaboration, not just between the US and Australia, but between all NATO countries,” he said.

“Cyber criminals attack the weakest link and by doing so can penetrate the IT systems of other countries. As we saw in June last year, a technical error at a US internet technology company, Akamai, led to outages at the Reserve Bank of Australia, several Australian commercial banks, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and a number of US airlines.”

Australian Fulbright Commission Executive Director Professor James Arvanitakis described Professor’s Frino’s second Fulbright Scholarship as unique at this stage of his career. 

“It is a first to have a Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor awarded a Fulbright and a testament to the University of Wollongong for supporting its researchers in all stages of their careers,” Professor Arvanitakis said. 

“This is a compelling and topical research project with potential benefits across both nations, has strong engagement and support with our US partners, and we are very pleased to award Professor Frino a Senior Scholar Fulbright Award.”

Eleven UOW staff members and a number of alumni have been named Fulbright Scholars in the past. 

In 2021, UOW and the Australian-American Fulbright Commission announced a new partnership that will see US scholars spending up to four months at UOW, conducting research in areas of importance to UOW.

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the US, established after World War II to increase binational research collaboration, cultural understanding and the exchange of ideas.

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission promotes education and cultural exchange between Australia and the United States, with a scholarship program providing support for students and scholars to study and research in either country. More than 5000 scholarships have been awarded to Australian and American researchers.