This page belongs to: Australian Space Agency

People in the space sector

Learn about people working in Australia's space sector, including what they do and how they got there.
Commander, Defence Space Command
  • Air Vice-Marshal Catherine Roberts joined the Air Force in 1983. She studied aeronautical engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and completed her degree in 1986.
  • Her first posting was as a maintenance engineering officer, flight testing a range of aircraft.
  • She was then posted to Headquarters Support Command as a logistics engineer working with the F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet and the Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer. 
  • Her next post was flight line maintenance officer for F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet aircraft at No 77 and No 481 Squadrons.
Head of Division, Technology and Digital
  • Anthony completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Biotechnology) at the University of Queensland in 1999.
  • He then completed an honours year in immunology at the Australian National University in 2001.
  • Anthony’s first role was at the Australian Patent Office (now called IP Australia). He was a patent examiner for pharmaceutical patents before focusing on IP policy.
  • After six years in the patent office, he moved to a role at the Australian Research Council (ARC). In this role, he coordinated the ARC’s $700 million funding program.
Space Instruments Manager, ANU
  • Kirk completed a Bachelor of Science with honours at the Australian National University in 2002.
  • In 2008, he completed his PhD in experimental physics, looking at gravitational wave detection.
  • After completing his PhD, Kirk moved to California to be a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • He stayed at JPL for 11 years, holding positions as an Optical Engineer and NASA Instrument Manager. He worked on the LISA and GRACE Follow-On missions during that time.
Director, ANU Bushfire Initiative
  • Marta completed a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Alcala in Spain in 2003.
  • She then completed a PhD on the use of satellite imagery in bushfire prevention in 2008.
  • For the next few years, Marta worked as a researcher at the University of Alcala.
  • She then moved to Canberra in 2010 to take up a postdoc position with CSIRO.
  • In 2014, Marta joined the ANU as a Senior Scientist to lead a project for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC on Mapping Bushfire Hazards and Impact.
CEO, Electro Optic Systems
  • Ben trained as an electrical engineer, completing his degree at the University of Queensland in 1972.
  • He then joined the Australian Government’s science, technology, engineering and space program as a research scientist.
  • In the mid-70s Ben became the leader of Australia’s space program.
  • In 1980, Ben completed his PhD in Physics at the University of Hull (UK).
Earth Observation Scientist, Geoscience Australia
  • Bex grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. She first visited Australia as a NZ delegate for the National Youth Science Forum in 2003.
  • The following year, Bex moved to Sydney to enrol in the Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture with Honours at the University of New South Wales.
  • Bex graduated in 2008. The global financial crisis meant there was not a lot of demand for graduate yacht designers. Instead, she moved to Tasmania to do a PhD, but ended up bushwalking and sailing instead.
Lieutenant Colonel
  • As an undergraduate, Cameron studied at the Australian Defence Force Academy (otherwise known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA). He completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in politics.
  • He then completed his army officer training at the Royal Military College at Duntroon, graduating in 2006.
  • Cameron then joined to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. He completed his Regimental Officer Basic Course and Introduction to Satellite Operations in 2007.
Science and Technology Lead, Space Structures, DSTG
  • Crystal completed a double degree in physics and aerospace engineering at the University of Adelaide in 2009.
  • In 2007, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Texas. As part of her studies, she helped design a lunar rover and visited NASA in Houston.
  • Crystal did an internship at DST in 2006 and stayed on part-time while she completed her degrees. In 2010, she joined DST full-time.
  • Crystal has held a number of roles at DST over the past decade. She is now the Science and Technology Lead of Space Structures in the Aerospace Division.
Deputy Head, Australian Space Agency
  • Dara has undergraduate degrees in law and economics and a Master of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Dara was a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Dara was posted to Australia’s permanent delegation to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva from 1999 to 2002.
  • She held the position of minister-counsellor (political) at the Australian embassy in Tokyo from 2012 to 2015. 
CEO and Co-founder, Regrow
  • Anastasia studied a Bachelor of Science (Aerospace Engineering) at the National Aviation University in Kyiv, Ukraine. She graduated in 2012.
  • She then went to Poland to complete a masters at the Warsaw University of Technology.
  • Over the years, Anastasia also worked part-time in a number of startups.
  • In 2015 Anastasia arrived in Australia to start her PhD at the University of Sydney. She completed her PhD in 2018.
  • She worked as a STEM Educator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences during the first few years of her PhD.