SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is going where few space industry bodies have gone before – Jennifer Hullick – Sunday Mail Sunday 22 March 2020
The biggest R&D for space-related collaboration in Australian history has chosen to pursue “a very strong diversity and inclusion agenda” from the outset. CEO and managing director Professor Andy Koronios says diversity has not featured well in the industry to date but the CRC intends to lead by example and encourage industry players to lift their game.
“(It’s) not only the staff of the CRC but also helping our partners and the wider space industry change and improve its diversity
and inclusion, which is currently not that positive at all,” Prof Koronios says.
SmartSat CRC initiated a survey of its partners and a literature review around diversity and inclusion.
“The space industry, like most engineering-type sectors, is very low on gender but also diversity ingeneral,” Prof Koronios says.
“We want to do the best we can to ensure we really improve those metrics.”
True to his word, the professor and his team – now based at Lot Fourteen – have appointed SmartSat CRC’s first board of eight
people, five of them women. “We took a very systematic approach to identify the best people that would lead this board,” he says.
After the first board meeting, director and scientist Margaret Harding said opportunities abounded for Australia fromSmartSat CRC’s work of bringing together the capabilities of member companies with universities, the CSIRO and the Defence Science Technology (DST) to generate game-changing technologies. “There is huge excitement and enthusiasm for what exploration of space will bring but, more importantly, in Australia what smart satellites in space, connectivity and telecommunications will bring to Australia,” she said. “It’s also enthusing a great generation of students at school, and scientists
and women in STEM.”
AUTHOR: Jennifer Hullick
22 MAR, 2020
Sunday Mail Adelaide, Adelaide