CHDH Seminar Series 2020: Defence-oriented research opportunities — Intelligence & Information Operations and Human Performance

Presenter: Professor Len Sciacca, Dr Nicholas FitzGerald, & Ms Emily Ebbott

Date: Monday 25 May

Time: 12 - 1 PM

Location: Via Zoom. Please use this link at the time of the event to join: https://unimelb.zoom.us/j/98928987132?pwd=SzNtNXpwdGNTQ2xxdDIxWUVCWU9kUT09

Seminar Description:

The Melbourne Defence Enterprise (MDE) is a central point of contact for Defence Agencies and Industry to reach in to the world leading research capability at the University of Melbourne. With more than 50 years combined experience in the Defence sector, the MDE team engages heavily across the entire University to identify pertinent research, prime researchers for funding/engagement opportunities and ultimately build new and enduring research capacity.

This talk will focus on the MDE’s efforts and potential funding and engagement opportunities in areas of keen interest for the Complex Human Data Hub and the School of Psychological Sciences more broadly – Intelligence and Information Operations and Enhanced Human Performance.  Providing key insights on current Defence and National security context, strategy and planning in these areas, the MDE team will outline new internal initiatives as well as emerging  partnerships with external entities and associated funding avenues. Attendee’s should expect to leave the seminar with a clearer picture of where their particular research fits in with Defence’s stated imperatives and a strong appreciation for the internal resources available to support them should they wish to further explore Defence engagement.

Presenter Biographies:

Professor Len Sciacca has extensive experience in government, industry and research sectors. He has led several large research and development programs with large teams of scientists and engineers in partnerships between universities, industry and international government agencies primarily in the defence sector. While in the Defence Science and Technology Group he led the Electronic Warfare and Radar Division with over 250 scientists and engineers before taking on the role of Chief Science Partnerships and Engagement. He established the Centre of Expertise in Network Decision and Sensor Systems at the University of Melbourne. He was the architect of the first Defence Science Partnerships agreement scheme between over 30 universities and Defence. He has led large US-Australian research programs in electronic warfare and countermeasures (US Army CERDEC Program) and international cooperation programs in TTCP in Electronic Warfare Systems. Professor Sciacca is now an Enterprise Professor – Defence Technologies at The University of Melbourne and will facilitate the establishment and on-going running of the Centre.

Dr Nicholas FitzGerald is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne having completed a PhD within the School of Chemistry in the field of Crystal Engineering and X-ray crystallography. In 2010 he took a role at the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group in its Land Division. At DST Group, Dr FitzGerald was one of two founding members of Chemical Defence Sensor Development capability and a key enabler of the Human Performance Research Network (HPRnet). He is passionate about the safety of Australia’s military service men and women and has a particular interest in using his experience and linkages to enable Human-centred innovation. A patent holder in wearable technologies and previous holder of multiple large awards from advanced defence technology funding agencies in the US, Dr FitzGerald joined the University of Melbourne to spearhead efforts in the broad field of Defence Biotechnologies as part of the Melbourne Defence Enterprise.

Ms Emily Ebbott has a Degree in International Studies with a focus on Middle East politics and the Iran-P5+1 Nuclear Deal. In the Enterprise, Emily leads the information warfare and intelligence portfolios and manages the partnerships with Defence, several companies and leads the University’s international defence partnerships including ONR, AFOSR and University of Maryland. Emily develops strategy and plans for the defence enterprise and works closely with Chancellery and academics across all Faculties to develop a vibrant defence and national security research and education program. Emily works with the Defence Enterprise leader to develop entrepreneurial qualities in the academics and their teams. Through her interest in the wider international affairs community, Emily has led the Australian Institute for International Affairs Young Professionals Forum for the past 4 years, creating a professional development series for early careers, consistent seminar series engaging with current and former ambassadors, International leaders, and academic experts to share understanding and gain insight into interesting perspectives.

More information:

Link to Melbourne Defence Enterprise's regularly updated website https://eng.unimelb.edu.au/industry/defence#capabilities

MDE email: Defence Enterprise DefencePortfolio@groups.unimelb.edu.au ; Partnerships contacts: nicholas.fitzgerald@unimelb.edu.auemily.ebbott@unimelb.edu.au