Former Chief Defence Scientist appointed to new Energy Chair at UNSW

Thursday, 12 July, 2012

Former Chief Defence Scientist Professor Robert Clark has been appointed to the newly created Chair of Energy Strategy and Policy at the University of New South Wales.

He will focus on evaluating the potential for unconventional gas (shale gas) to play a role in Australia’s reduced-carbon-footprint energy mix. This will include an assessment of the environmental impact of shale gas extraction and the development of responsible strategies and policy recommendations.

Professor Clark was appointed Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist (CDS) and CEO of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in 2008, a post he held until October last year. As CDS, he was a member of Australia’s Defence Committee and The Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

Professor Clark has had a long-standing relationship with UNSW. He gained his Bachelor of Science from the university and the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay in 1973, completed his PhD in Physics at UNSW and the University of Oxford, and in 1991, took up the Chair of Experimental Physics at UNSW. He has also previously been head of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology, which he established in 2000, based at UNSW.

UNSW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Les Field, said he was delighted to be welcoming Professor Clark back to the university.

“Bob is one of Australia’s most distinguished scientists, with an outstanding record of achievement,” Professor Field said.

“UNSW is a leader in the energy area; we see this new Chair making a substantial contribution to the ongoing debate about how Australia can best meet the challenge of a clean energy future.

“No one is better equipped to take on this challenge than Bob Clark. He brings to the role not only impeccable academic qualifications but an impressive track record in strategic management and policy development as well as a close knowledge of the workings of government and industry.”

Professor Clark is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, has the rare distinction of being twice named as an Australian Government Federation Fellow and has received both the Australian Defence Medal and the Australian Centenary Medal. In 2008 he was awarded the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his pioneering role in making Australia a world leader in nanotechnology and quantum computing.

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