David Hawking


I'm an Information Retrieval researcher based in Canberra, Australia. Since November 2013 I have been an Applied Researcher in the Bing (Microsoft) team.

My interests lie in the areas of Enterprise and Web Search. I am interested in search evaluation in realistic contexts, distributed search techniques, retrieval through textual annotations, enterprise/intranet search, query suggestion and improvement, improvement of search through exploitation of context, personal search and search efficiency.

I was a member of the editorial board for the Information Retrieval journal (IRJ) for all of the 20 volumes since its inception. I hold an honorary professorship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University and an honorary fellowship in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne.


From 2008 to 2013 I worked at the Funnelback enterprise search company in the role of Chief Scientist.

Between 1998 and 2008 I was a research scientist at CSIRO.

From 1996 to 2003 I was a coordinator of VLC and Web tracks in the annual Text Retrieval Conference (TREC).  The activities of these tracks are summarised in Chapter 9 of the MIT Press book (Ellen M. Voorhees and Donna K. Harman (Ed.s), TREC - Experiment and Evaluation in Information Retrieval, ISBN 0262220733.). From 2007 to 2011 I was a member of the Scientific Board of the Information Retrieval Facility in Vienna. I was a Program Chair of ACM SIGIR in 2003 and again in 2006.  In 2003 I was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 2005 I was awarded the Chris Wallace prize for Computer Science research at the Australasian Computer Science Week. In 2012 I was named as joint winner of the Tony Kent Strix award.


I love the game of Ultimate (yes, with a flying disk AKA frisbee) but haven't had the chance to play for a while. In recent years I've become fond of cycling and recently bought a nice carbon-fibre bike. Canberra is an amazingly good place for cycling with good weather and hundreds of kilometres of dedicated cycle paths both on and off road. Riding around the lakes and forests at weekends and on summer evenings is very pleasant.