Defence Science Centre

The Defence Science Centre creates connections across universities, industries and Defence to develop Western Australia’s science and research capabilities.
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About the Defence Science Centre

The Defence Science Centre is the Western Australian contribution to the Australian Defence Science and Universities Network (ADSUN).  This network supports the national Defence enterprise through collaboration with state university researchers, industry, the Defence Science and Technology Group, and Defence end-users. This facilitates engagement of Australia's best research and development capabilities with real-world challenges in support of the Defence mission; to defend Australia and its national interests.

The Defence Science Centre provides value to Defence and defence-industry by:

  • Highlighting the local research capability to Defence
  • Facilitating collaboration on defence-relevant needs
  • Identifying opportunities for research and technology development
  • Advocating on Defence priorities, capabilities, needs and gaps
  • Promoting and showcasing Western Australian defence research and innovation
  • Cultivating relationships and linkages between universities, industry and Defence

Key partners

We receive funding from the Western Australian and Australian Governments and work with WA's 4 public universities.

The Defence Science Centre is funded by the WA Government and the Australian Government’s Defence Science and Technology Group. We work closely with WA's 4 public universities and combine the collective resources and capabilities of our academic sector to achieve our objectives. A summary of the defence-related capabilities is available to download from the Western Australian Defence Research Universities Capability Statement publication (PDF, 4.3 MB).

Defence Science and Technology Group logo, featuring the Australian coat of arms


Curtin University logo, yellow square with curtin emblem and the text 'curtin university'
Edith Cowan University logo, featuring the text 'ECU Edith Cowan University Australia'


Murdoch University logo, featuring the Murdoch emblem and the text 'Murdoch University'


University of Western Australia logo, featuring the university coat of arms and the text 'The University of Western Australia'

Defence Science Centre Advisory Board

The Advisory Board provides advice on strategies of the Defence Science Centre in achieving its objectives.

The Defence Science Centre Advisory Board provides advice on the centre's strategic direction in the support of achieving its objectives. The Advisory Board meets approximately 4 times per year. 

The Advisory Board is comprised of representatives from government, academia and industry. 

Photo Board Member Biography 

Philip Spedding, DSC AM, RAN (rtd)

Chair of the Advisory Board & Western Australian Defence Advocate

Biography of Philip Spedding (external link) 

A photo of Linda Dawson

Linda Dawson

Deputy Director General of the Department of Jobs Tourism Science and Innovation

Biography of Linda Dawson


Dr Melissa Laws

Chief Technology Officer Innovation and Strategic Research, Defence Science and Technology Group

Dr Melissa Laws is the Program Leader of the Australian Defence Science and University Network and is responsible for building cooperation and teaming across the State sponsored, and based Defence research and innovation networks.

As well as a diverse and extensive research background, with experience in university, industry and Government sectors, Melissa has significant experience in policy, program management and stakeholder engagement across the broader National Security enterprise. In her previous role, Melissa managed the Next Generation Technologies Fund program, a complex billion-dollar program focussed on understanding and developing emerging technologies for the future Defence force.

Her ability to delivery impact to Defence through the successful application of innovation, science and technology is well recognised and she is the recipient of several awards and commendations.

Melissa has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Melbourne, as well as formal qualification in Intellectual Property Law and Scientific Leadership. She is currently completing her Master of Public Leadership and Policy at UNSW.

Eve Clark

Manager Director, L3Harris Integrated Mission Systems Australia

Eve Clark is the Managing Director of L3Harris Integrated Mission Systems Australia Pty Ltd, a Defence Industry company headquartered in Fremantle WA. Eve provides leadership and direction to deliver innovative systems solutions and services to Australian and New Zealand Defence, and also for oil and gas security surveillance. Eve has worked for the Company for over 15 years and prior to that worked internationally in Canada, holding various engineering, programmatic and management roles. Eve is also a member of the Curtin University Science and Engineering Faculty Advisory Council.

Professor Melinda (Lindy) Fitzgerald

Professor Melinda (Lindy) Fitzgerald

Curtin Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Melinda Fitzgerald is the Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research at Curtin University and CEO of Connectivity Traumatic Brain Injury Australia.

Lindy is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies, frameworks, and activities to achieve the University’s strategic goals in research and IP commercialisation, including Curtin’s Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer funded by the federal government.

Professor Fitzgerald also leads a team of researchers and post-graduate students in nationally coordinated research focused around understanding and preventing the loss of function that occurs following neurotrauma.

Professor Caroline Finch AO

Professor Caroline Finch AO

ECU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice-President

Biography of Professor Caroline Finch (external link)

Professor Peter Eastwood Smiling

Professor Peter Eastwood

Murdoch Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation)

The DVC (Research & Innovation) has overall responsibility for the strategic direction and focus of research undertaken within the University. This position is active in developing closer research links and a funding base with both private and public sector users and providers. In addition, the DVC-R&I is responsible for ensuring the promotion of research for the public good and educating the public about the benefits of research and its contribution to society.

Anna Novak

Professor Anna Nowak

UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) 

Biography of Professor Professor Anna Nowak  (external link)

Commodore Ivan Ingham with sea behind

Commodore Ivan Ingham, AM, RAN

Senior Officer Western Australia

Brigadier Brett Chaloner CSC

Brigadier Brett Chaloner CSC

Commander of 13th Brigade