Rebecca Brown - Director General, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI).
Jan Drobik - Program Leader, Innovation, Defence Science and Technology
Mr. Jan Drobik is currently the Defence Science and Technologies (DST) Program Lead in Innovation and International. The role covers a broad range of DST Innovation programs, including aspects of the Next Generation Technologies Fund and the broader Defence Innovation System. The role also includes International Engagement and oversight of the Australian Defence Science University Network.
Previously he was the Minister-Counsellor for Defence Science & Technology (MINCONDSAT) at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC and served as a representative for the Chief Defence Scientist. In this role he was responsible for deepening Australia’s Defence and National Security cooperation and collaboration with the United States and Canada in science and technology, research and development. Mr. Drobik also served as Australia’s Deputy Principal representative to The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) multilateral (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States) Memorandum of Understanding.
Mr. Drobik served as Research Leader Aircraft Performance and Survivability, and Research Leader Flight Systems. In these two previous roles, he led DST research in aerodynamics, weapons clearance, signatures assessment, systems assessment, and aerial autonomy.
Mr. Drobik earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautics from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1983. He was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies in 2000 and a Master of Strategic Studies in 2001 by La Trobe University. He has published in the fields of strategic studies, aerodynamics, communities of practice in aeronautical engineering, and modelling optimisation techniques such as genetic programming.
Russell Potapinski is the General Manager and Head of Intelligent and Autonomous Systems for Woodside Energy, responsible for leading the vision and implementation of these new technologies throughout the organisation.
He joined Woodside in 1998 and has held a variety of roles in areas including engineering, mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy, business unit leadership, artificial intelligence and robotics.
Russell understands the importance of technology transfer between industries and is leading translational research and development in the areas of space and the resource sector. Russell has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
Professor Simon Biggs is Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Australia. An internationally recognised chemical engineer and pioneer in the field of colloid and particle technology, he was, prior to his current appointment, Executive Dean of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at the University of Queensland, and was previously the Royal Academy of Engineering/BNFL Chair in Particle Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds. An author of over 270 refereed publications as well as 20 patents, Professor Biggs’ work has led to a substantial number of research partnerships with a wide range of industry bodies. Professor Biggs received the 2005 Beilby Medal from the RSC/IMMM/SCI, was elected as fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011, and fellow of the Australian Academy for Technological Services and Engineering in 2016. Professor Biggs undertook his undergraduate and doctoral education in the UK at the University of Bristol, where he received a PhD in Colloid Chemistry.
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