Aussie space entrepreneur, Adam Gilmour recognised for advanced manufacturing

Max Blenkin

Adam Gilmour, chief executive and founder of space company Gilmour Space Technologies, has been awarded this year’s Advance Award for Advanced Manufacturing.

Aussie space entrepreneur, Adam Gilmour recognised for advanced manufacturing
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The Advance Awards acknowledge Australians whose work is making an impact around the world, and span technological innovation to social impact, healthcare and the arts.

They showcase the work of Australian citizens or residents who have made a significant global contribution overseas across selected industries.

“We can all feel very proud that Australia produces many exceptional leaders and trailblazers who are making a significant impact around the world,” said Advance chairman Yasmin Allen.


“It’s critical that our expatriate community remains strongly connected to Australia while they live and work overseas. We want to recognise and support their contribution and help resettle them when they are ready to return to Australia.”

The Advance Award for Advanced Manufacturing recognises Gilmour's entrepreneurial streak, co-founding and operating one of Australia’s new wave of start-ups in the booming space sector.

His low-cost hybrid rockets support Australia’s growing satellite industry. Gilmour Space Technologies has partnered with the University of Southern Queensland to develop new rocket technology including space-grade composite materials.

In 2015, Adam Gilmour quit a 20-year banking career to pursue his lifelong passion for space. Working in Singapore, he founded Gilmour Space Technologies with his brother James, working with the Singapore University of Technology and Design's MIT-SUTD International Design Center on various space technology projects.


The company is now based on the Queensland Gold Coast and is one of Australia's leading space companies with over 40 employees. Gilmour has developed a hybrid rocket with 3D printed fuel, with the aim of developing a lower-cost satellite launch capability.

The latest test launch of the One Vision rocket from a property in outback Queensland at the end of July didn’t get off the ground when a component failed just before blast-off.

It was planned it would reach an altitude of 20-30 kilometres, about halfway to space and was intended as a flight test of the proprietary orbital-class hybrid rocket engine and to demonstrate mobile launch capability.

That would have been the company’s second launch. In July 2016, the prototype “reusable ascent separation article” (RASTA) reached a height of about 5,000 metres.

Other Australian space scientists have been recognised in the Advance Awards.

In 2014, US-based Dr Chris Boshuizen was chosen as the Advance Global Australian Advanced Manufacturing Award Winner as well as Overall Winner.

The winners of the Advance Awards are selected by a judging panel of renowned Australians and the 200 nominations for this year’s awards came from 28 countries.

“Through Advance events, academic ties, business networks and mentoring programs, we’re creating a global network of Australians. We want to promote their skills and knowledge which in turn builds Australia’s reputation internationally,” Allen said.

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