Defence contract welcome boost for State and Uni research

Friday, 22 April 2016

The University of Adelaide has welcomed this week’s Commonwealth announcement of the construction of Offshore Patrol Vessels at Osborne, saying it brings enhanced research opportunities for the University.

"The patrol vessel work to begin in 2018, followed by the Future Frigate build in 2020, will excite our researchers," Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Warren Bebbington said.

"These projects present a long-term impetus for the education of engineers and scientists from the university sector.

"Our promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in schools is also key to ensuring the ongoing success of naval shipbuilding in South Australia," he said.

To help partner with government and industry on defence projects the University has appointed a Director of Defence and Security. Associate Professor Michael Webb AOSM will be the key interface for industry and government on all University defence partnerships.

"This signals the University's capabilities for defence research and education will play a leading role in the defence innovation agenda of the State and the nation,” Professor Bebbington said.

Associate Professor Webb is a 20-year veteran of the Defence Science and Technology Group (formerly DSTO), where he undertook and led research in over-the-horizon and microwave radar, signals intelligence and command and control.

He was awarded the Australian Operational Service Medal (AOSM) (Iraq and ICAT - International Coalition Against Terrorism) for his leadership of a mixed military and civilian team in the evaluation of defence communications in the Middle East in 2006.

In 2008 he joined the University of Adelaide where he continues in his role as Deputy Director (Defence) at the Centre for Defence Communications and Information Networking. In that role he is responsible for applied defence research and consultancy, and coordinates the University’s cyber security capabilities.

Associate Professor Webb said momentum is again building in defence in South Australia, which will have lasting benefits for the University and the State, including education at all levels.

"The University of Adelaide has had great strengths in defence research for many years, including fields such as radar systems, visual technologies, communications and information networking, and maritime engineering," Associate Professor Webb said.

"There are many other capabilities, including emerging technologies such as those being developed at our Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, which will be critical to the success of this industry well into the future."


Contact Details

Professor Michael Webb
Director, Defence and Security,
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0128
Mobile: +61 (0)409 770 925

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