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Dr Larry Marshall

Title: Welcome and Power of Collaboration 

Chief Executive, CSIRO

Dr Larry Marshall is Chief Executive of CSIRO, Australa's national science agency and innovation catalyst. CSIRO solves the greatest challenges thorugh innovative science and technology. Their collaborative research turns science into solutions for food security and quality; clean energy and resources; health and wellbeing; resilient and valuable environment; innovative industries; and a secure Australia region.

CSIRO's work has delivered environmental interventions like myxomatosis and dung beetles, enabled great Australian industries like cotton and wool, and saved lives with enhanced food products and 3D printed body parts, and changed the world with inventions like fast WiFi.

Larry is a scientist, technology innovator and business leader with a wealth of experience in creating new value and impact with science. He has a PhD in Physics and became a global leader in laser research, for which he was honoured as a Federation Fellow and later as an ATSE (Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering) Fellow.

He invented the "eye-safe" laser which enabled lasers to be used safely in public. He was inspired at Stanford to found his first company, Light Solutions, which invented the world's first solid-state green laser for the treatnent of blindness in diabetics. Light Solutions merged with infra-red laser company Iris Medical in 1995, and the green-laser sales propelled the new company Iridex to IPO (initial public offering) on Nasdaq.

He was the CEO/MD and founder of another five companies, frequently based on Stanford's science, in biotechnology, telecommunications, semiconductors, and venture capital, including Arasor which he took public in 2006. In 2007, he became MD of Southern Cross Ventures, specialising in Australian innovation, where he delivered the first Nasdaq IPO of an Australian-venture backed startup commercialising science.

He has 100 publications and conference papers, holds 20 patents, and has served on 20 boards of high tech companies operating in the US, Australia and China. Larry is a Male Champion of Change committed to tackling gender equality. He is passionate supporter of Australian innovation, returning to Australia to lead CSIRO, which he believes is the essential catalyst to improve Australia's innovation performance.


Plenary Speakers

Dr Cathy Foley

Title: Brave New World

Chief Scientist, CSIRO
Dr Cathy Foley, CSIRO Chief Scientist, has made distinguished contributions to the understanding of superconducting materials and to the development of devices using superconductors to detect magnetic fields and locate valuable deposits of minerals.
Dr Foley has made significant contributions to the scientific community as president of several scientific societies and as a member of committees such as PMSEIC giving advice to Government on scientific and technological matters.  Cathy was awarded the `Woman of the Year’ by the NSW Government in 2013 and the International IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductivity 2014. In 2015 was awarded the Clunies Ross Medal of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering and in 2016 the Australian Institute of Physics  Medal for Outstanding Service to Physics.
As a leader in CSIRO, Cathy is working to help existing Australia to transform to be globally competitive by engaging with Australian researchers and to build new companies and enterprises to assist with the translation of research for economic prosperity.



Dr Doug Hofmann

Title: Additive manufacturing technologies for space related Applications

Dr. Douglas Hofmann is a Principal and founding member of the Materials Development and Manufacturing Technology Group at NASA JPL. He is also a Visiting Associate and Lecturer in Materials Science and Applied Physics at Caltech. Prior to joining JPL, he was a Research and Development Scientist at Liquidmetal Technologies.

Dr Hoffman has received many awards for his research, most notably the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers from President Obama for his work in the development of metallic glass metal matrix cmposites. He has founded two start-up companies to comercialise technology developed at NASA JPL/Caltech.



Professor Bronwyn Fox ATSE RACI GAICD 

Title: Industry 4.0 and Connected Manufacturing

Director, Manufacturing Futures Research Institute
Swinburne University of Technology

Bronwyn Fox is the founding Director of Swinburne University’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute where her mission is to support transition of Australia’s industries into Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution.  

She has demonstrated a sustained commitment to support the growth of the carbon fibre and composite industry in Australia through targeted research and was previously a co-founder of the Carbon Nexus facility at Deakin University, a core part of a $100 million dollar precinct in Geelong.  Leveraging her specific knowledge of materials engineering, Bronwyn builds multidisciplinary teams who work with the manufacturing sector to ensure they are digitally equipped and linked into global supply chains. 

Bronwyn is an internationally recognised expert on carbon fibre and composite materials and has worked extensively with the automotive and aerospace industries globally. She has published more than 170 papers during her career.  Bronwyn is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. 


Dr Roger Beeden

Title: Towards Resilience-Based Management of the Great Barrier Reef

Director - Reef Knowledge 
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 

Originally from the UK, Roger moved to Townsville in 2004 to complete an MSc degree in Marine Biology at James Cook University. Since then he has combined this knowledge with 12 years of commercial marketing experience from the pharmaceutical industry to identify strategies to support the future of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem under a changing climate.  In partnership with a range of scientific, government and non-government organisations Roger has focused on improving Reef stewardship and building knowledge about the resilience of coral reef ecosystems to climate change. Roger completed a PhD in 2015 that examined how individuals, industry and managers can jointly assess reef health to inform actions to support the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

Roger is responsible for the Authority’s Reef 2050 integrated monitoring, modelling and reporting program (RIMREP) for the Great Barrier Reef region. RIMREP will enable managers, stakeholders and community members to access information on trends, current condition and the outlook for the Reef. RIMREP is being designed to underpin the implementation of the Reef 2050 plan. This will include the evaluation of Reef 2050 objectives and the existing management foundations through the five-yearly Outlook report, and resilience-based management guidance as the climate changes.


Dr Peter Thorburn

Title: The trouble with data (and sensors): Experience from the Digiscape FSP GBR project

Chief Research Scientist
Research Group Leader: Integrated Agricultural Systems
CSIRO Agriculture and Food

Peter is a Chief Research Scientist and Research Group Leader in CSIRO Agriculture and Food. His multidisciplinary Group has staff located across multiple sites researching diverse aspects of farming systems, including optimising risk-return trade-offs in cropping and mixed crop-livestock production systems, improving pest and disease control, minimising environmental impacts. Peter’s personal research focuses on the environmental dimensions of agricultural systems. Peter develops and applies models to identify production systems that mitigate agriculture’s impacts on water quality and greenhouse gas. He frequently collaborates with social and economic scientists in the search for effective pathways to improve farmers’ management. Peter’s research has won international awards and has had substantial impact on government policy.

Peter was a founder and is co-leader the Crop Modelling stream of the international Agricultural Modeling Improvement and Intercomparison Program (AgMIP), is a member of the Science Advisory Group of New Zealand’s OVERSEER agricultural nutrient management model and CSIRO’s representative on the APSIM Initiative, the Joint Venture that own and produces APSIM - the world’s most widely used agricultural model.


Mr Nigel Warren

Executive Director Growth, CSIRO

Mr Nigel Warren, Executive Director: Growth, joined CSIRO in March 2016. Nigel leads the CSIRO Business Development & Commercialisation, Global, Science Impact & Policy (CSIRO Innovation Fund) and ON Innovation programs and teams. He is a member of the CSIRO Executive.

From 2009 – 2015 Mr Warren was Australia’s Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner based in San Francisco California, he also had attached agency responsibility for AUSFilm, Australia’s Film Promotion agency and was a committee member of G’Day USA, Australia’s most comprehensive public diplomacy program in the United States of America.

From 2004-2009 Mr Warren was Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner Latin America, based in Santiago, Chile. He managed Australia’s Trade, Investment and Consulate-General network throughout Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Mr Warren has private sector experience across Asia and the United States of America as the Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Equilibrium Inc., a U.S. enterprise software technology company based in San Francisco. He is a graduate of Griffith University in Brisbane Australia with a degree in International Business. Mr Warren is Chairman of the CSIRO Chile Board and a Board member of the Council on Australia Latin American Relations (COALAR).


Gala Dinner Speaker

Ms Felicity Turner

Title: The Jourey of an AgTech Start Up

Chief customer officer, The Yield

With a diverse entrepreneurial background, Felicity thrives on taking technology businesses from concept to execution. Responsible for both the customer experience and accelerating commercialisation of The Yield solutions, Felicity was previously an award-winning Senior Azure Specialist at Microsoft.

Felicity is responsible for sales, marketing, support and services at The Yield. She works with top tier growers to ensure our products solve real on-farm challenges, while collaborating with them to scope and develop new products. Felicity leverages two decades of commercial experience to forge new partnerships for The Yield across the global supply chain.

Felicity is a director of PMA A-NZ.


Keynote Speakers


Dr Alexander Held

Title: An Overview of the Space Future Science Platform

CSIRO Centre for Earth Observation Astronomy and Space Science

Dr. Held is the research Director of the Centre for Observation Program in CSIRO's Astronomy and Space Science unit. He is also a co-Director of the 'Landscapes' Platform of the NCRIS Terrestrial ecosytem Research Network (TERN). Alex has over 25 years experience in terrestrial remote sensing, and has lead several projects and research teams since then. His PhD is from the University of California, Davis in the area of plant physiology. Dr Held has focused his work on designing ways for better use of satellite earth observation (EO) data in forestry, agriculture, disasters and ecosystem science. He also represents CSIRO at the inter-agency Committee on Earth Observtion Satellites (CEOS), that is designing future EO data architectures for global earth observation programs, as well as promoting the use of EO data for achieving sustainale development goals. He is an active delegate for Australia on the Group on Earth Observation (GEO), and in particular has been part of the original leadership of the Global Forest Observation Initiative - GFOI, under GEO. Alex has been the lead since 2013 of "GEOGLAM RAPP", a grassland and livestock monitoring system of GEO.    



Dr Kathie McGregor

Title: We are AIM

Acting Director Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform
CSIRO Mineral Resources

Kathie has more than 20 years’ experience as a research leader at CSIRO, and holds a PhD in Electrochemistry/Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Melbourne, as well as an Executive Certificate in Management from the University of NSW. Her expertise in electrochemistry and high temperature chemistry has been applied in battery technology, light metal production, alloy design and sensor development, and she has led numerous R&D projects with Australian and international companies. She is the Portfolio Leader for the CSIRO platform sensor technology known as Sensei™, and is responsible for driving the commercialisation and technical development of this area. Since December 2018, Kathie has also been the Acting Leader of the Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform, one of ten CSIRO Future Science Platforms (FSPs). The FSPs represent an investment in frontier science that underpins innovation and has the potential to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia.



 Dr David Howard


Title: An Overview of the Autonomous Design testbed

Senior Research Scientist Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group
CSIRO Data61

David is a researcher working at the boundary of robotics, evolutionary machine learning, and robotic materials.  His interests include nature-inspired algorithms, learned autonomy, soft robotics, the reality gap, and evolution of form.  He lectures at QUT and UQ, supervises students from undergraduate to PhD.  He is a founding member of the Active Integrated Matter FSP, and leads six cross-BU projects under the “Autonomous Design” testbed.  His work has been featured in the Courier Mail, ABC, TechXplore, and Wired.



Miss Leah Solyom

Title: Teacher Researcher in Partnership Program (TRiPP)

Team Leader, Development Team 
CSIRO Services

Leah is currently Team Leader of the Development team in CSIRO Education and Outreach, working on the development and trialling of several new and existing initiatives designed to enrich teaching and learning in the classroom and build teacher capacity. Her education career spans nearly a decade, developed firstly as a secondary science teacher in Australia and the United Kingdom, and then as an Education Specialist and Team Leader for CSIRO. She has broad experience developing and delivering educational resources and experiences to students, education professionals and the wider community. Leah continues to be motivated and inspired by positive impact stories shared with her directly from the classroom.


Miss Lisa Brindley 

Title: Teacher Researcher in Partnership Program (TRiPP)

Education Specialist, Development Team  
CSIRO Services

Lisa is currently an Education Specialist within the Program Development team in CSIRO Education and Outreach, working with AIM FSP staff to gain suitable projects for teacher placement, designed to enrich teaching and learning in the classroom and build teacher capacity. Her career within CSIRO spans more than twenty years, initially commencing as an Education Assistant and progressing to an Education Officer role. Lisa holds a double degree Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Teaching. She has a broad knowledge of Education and Outreach programs, developing and delivering educational resources and experiences to students, education professionals and the wider community. Lisa is inspired and motivated by the feedback from participants and how their experiences have helped motivate and engage their students.


Workshop Speakers

Mr Blake Nikolic

Black Sky Aerospace

Blake has been inovled in the explosives and aviation industry for over 20 years. Blake holds a number of qualifications in risk management, quality management and product development. Blake has taken advantage of his experience as a pilot in the Australian Army and applied that to his role in Black Sky Aerospace. Blake sits on the board of various rocketry organisations in Australia. Blake is well versed in ITAR/EAR regulations as well as Australian legislation and is the primary contact to state and national regulators.  



Mr Michael Clark

Director Technical Strategy
Thales Australia Pty Ltd

Michael graduated from The University of Auckland with a Master of Science (Electronic Physics) and has spent the last 30 years in the Australian defence business of Thales Australia. He has extensive experience in technology development and the planning and management of R&D activites in both Australia and Europe.

Today Michael works in the role of Director Technical Strategy, where he provides technical direction to strategic growth initiatives such as establishing activities in the emerging new Australian space industry. Michael is also an active promoter of technical innovation and is regularly involved in establishing research collaborations with external research providers.


Mr Andrew Sysouphat

Principal Technologist 
BAE Systems Australia 

Andrew Sysouphat is a Principal Technologist for BAE Systems and is responsible for our materials and advanced manufacturing research portfolio for Australia.

With an aerospace engineering degree, Andrew has worked for over 15 years in aerospace and electronics R&D.  Andrew has broad experience from conducting flight testing and qualification to building lasers, RF systems and aerostructures.  More recently Andrew’s work has focussed on the strategic research that underpins our Advanced Manufacturing capabilities.  Current research focus areas of these capabilities are space and maritime systems.


Ms Liz Eadie 

Acting Executive Director, Intellectual Property
CSIRO Business Developmnet and Comercial

Liz is the Acting Executive Director of IP for CSIRO.  In her IP role she helps identify and protect CSIRO’s intellectual property and devise intellectual property strategies with a view to achieving impact from our research. She passionate about achieving successful commercial outcomes for our research and in choosing the best business model to facilitate this.  Liz had been a member of several ON Prime teams and the Sensei team which went through the first ON Accelerate.  She has helped run and mentor on several On Launch camps, has helped facilitate ON Prime 1 and is a mentor on the current ON Prime.  She spent a year on secondment rolling out the ON methodology in the Minerals Business Unit. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours, both from the University of Melbourne. She is a registered Patent and Trade Marks Attorney.


Dr Doojin Vak

Title: Industrial Translation of Roll-to-Roll Printed Solar Film Technology: Challenges & Learnings  

Senior Research Sceintist, Printable Photovoltaics
CSIRO Manufacturing

Dr Doojn Vak is a Principal Research Scientist working on printed PV in CSIRO, and is currently leading an ARENA-funded R&D project on the "Manufacturing of Printed Perovskite PV Modules". He received his PhD on organic semiconductors for optoelectronic applications from GIST in Korea. He started research on printed PV at the University of Melbourne in 2007. Since he joined CSIRO in 2010, he has been working on various industrial processes, such as gravure printing, reverse gravure coating, slot die coating and screen printing, for the commercialisation of printed organic and perovskite solar cells. He reported the first slot die coated perovskite PV in 2015 and also reported the first roll-to-roll produced perovskite PV in 2017. He was awarded a Korea Research Foundation (KRF) postdoc fellowship in 2007, a CSIRO Julius Award in 2015 and a Distinguised Professorship from UNIST (Korea) in 2016.  


Dr Tony Murphy

Title: Non-Destructive Evaluation of Metal Additively Manufactured Components using X-Ray CT Analysis

Chief Research Sceintist, Materials and Process Modelling
CSIRO Manufacturing

Tony Murphy is a Chief Research Scientist and leads the Materials Process Modelling Team at CSIRO, which he joined in 1989. His research focuses on computational modelling of thermal-plasma and additive-manufacturing processes, and applications of atmospheric-pressure plasmas. He is Editor-in-Chief of Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, a member of the Editorial Board of three other journals, and has won research awards from the Australian Academy of Science, Institute of Physics (UK), Australian Institute of Physics and Royal Society of NSW. He is currently President of the International Plasma Chemistry Society


Dr Peter Lynch 

Title: Application of Serial X-ray Scattering for Microstructure Optimization of Polyacrylonitrile Fibres Produced by Wet Spin Processing

Visiting Scientist, Carbon Fibre
CSIRO Manufacturing 

Peter is currently a team member of the CSIRO (Waurn Ponds) Carbon fibre group, working on the application and development of X-ray scattering methods from optimization of PAN based precursor for carbon fibre production.