Professor Robert Clark AO FAA FRSN

Professor Robert Clark was appointed Professor and Chair of Energy Strategy and Policy at UNSW Australia in 2012.  Prior to this appointment Professor Clark held the position of Chief Defence Scientist (CDS) of Australia and Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) from 2008 to 2011. He has twice been awarded the Australian Government’s Federation Fellowship, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was awarded the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his pioneering work in nanotechnology and quantum computing and the Boas Medal of the Australian Institute of Physics. He has co-authored 170 scientific journal publications and has given numerous presentations at international forums. He has also been awarded the Australian Defence Medal, the Australian Centenary Medal and most recently a US Government medal and award for distinguished service as CDS and the United States of America Secretary of Defense Medal. In the 2013 Australia Day honours list he was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to science and technology through leadership and governance of the scientific community of the Australian Defence Force.

Professor Clark joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at age 15 and undertook his BSc degree through the Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay and UNSW.  As a Seaman Officer and Ships Diving Officer he served in eight RAN ships, completed an Operations and Weapons course with the Royal Navy, UK and was promoted to Lieutenant before leaving the RAN after 10 years of service to complete a PhD in Physics at UNSW and the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford. He was appointed to the Faculty position of both University Lecturer at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Praelector (Member of Governing Body) of The Queen’s College, Oxford in 1984, heading a research group in experimental quantum physics at the Clarendon.  He returned to Australia in 1991 to take up the Chair position of Professor of Experimental Physics at UNSW, where he founded the National Magnet Laboratory and Semiconductor Nanofabrication Facility. In 2000 he established the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for Quantum Computer Technology and as a UNSW Scientia Professor served as its Director until he was appointed CDS. As CDS he was a member of Australia’s Defence Committee, served as the Australian Principal of the 5-nation Defence Technical Cooperation Program and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. In this role he led some 2500 DSTO staff in supporting ADF operations. He provided formal advice to Ministers of Defence, Secretary of Defence and Chief of the Defence Force and led advanced research and development for the ADF.