The Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia, Professor Tanya Monro has been appointed Chief Defence Scientist.
Professor Monro will succeed Dr Alex Zelinsky in the role, and will take up her new position in March. Professor Monro was the inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014, and was also the inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at the University of Adelaide. Her research is in the field of photonics, with a focus on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres.
“Professor Monro will bring her extensive experience working at senior levels in both Industry and Educational Institutions to this integral and nationally significant role,” Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said in a statement. “In a complex and changing environment she will lead and develop the Defence science organisation whilst collaborating with research agencies, industry and international partners.”
Professor Monro obtained her PhD in physics in 1998 from The University of Sydney, for which she was awarded the Bragg Gold Medal for the best Physics PhD in Australia. In 2000, she received a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton in the UK, and is also an inaugural Bragg Fellow of the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus).
She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics. She is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), a Board Member of the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and sits on the South Australian Defence Advisory Board and the South Australian Economic Development Board.
Professor Monro’s awards include the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2008), the South Australian Scientist of the Year (2010), South Australia’s Australian of the Year (2011), and the winner of the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research (2015).
“I pay tribute to Dr Zelinsky who served as Chief Defence Scientist from March 2012 to November 2018,” Minister Pyne added. “Under his leadership DST has forged new partnerships with industry, academia and international allies, ensuring Defence retained a capability edge through the collaborative development of game-changing technologies.”