Professor Tanya Monro AC commenced as Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist in March 2019. As Chief Defence Scientist, Tanya is head of Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and Capability Manager for Innovation, Science and Technology within the Australian Department of Defence. In June 2022, Professor Monro was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in for eminent service to scientific and technological development, to research and innovation, to tertiary education, particularly in the field of photonics, and to professional organisations.
Other honours and awards include:
- South Australia winner of the Australian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership (2019)
- Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research (2015)
- South Australia’s Australian of the Year (2011), South Australian Scientist of the Year (2010)
- Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2008)
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. Her research in the field of photonics focusses on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres. 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 an inaugural Bragg Fellow of the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus). Professor Monro’s previous roles include Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia; inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014; and inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Bio Photonics (CNBP) at the University of Adelaide. Professor Monro is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She is a member of the Board of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).