Australian Space Agency head Dr Megan Clark has made an extensive contribution to Australian science, and that is to be recognised with the award of an honorary doctorate.
Dr Clark, who started out as a mining geologist, will receive the University of Adelaide award of the Doctor of the University (honoris causa) for services to scientific research and development through leadership roles and to the development of public policy for technological sciences.
“The University of Adelaide is delighted to award Dr Clark an honorary doctorate for her lifetime of service,” said university vice-chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen.
“Dr Clark’s work at the Space Agency will transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry which will inspire and improve the lives of Australians as well as lifting the broader economy.”
Dr Clark’s term as head of the Space Agency ends mid-year. The government has already begun the search for a suitable replacement.
“I share this honour with our team at the Australian Space Agency,” she said.
“The University of Adelaide is leading exciting research in areas such as space law, machine vision and advanced communication technology for use in space and on Earth.”
Dr Clark came to the Space Agency after completing a review of the Australian space sector for the federal government. That recommended the formation of a guiding national agency, which was officially founded in July 2018.
The objective is to triple the size of Australia’s space industry by 2030 to $10-$12 billion per year contribution to national wealth.
Dr Clark has served as a trailblazer for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
As the first female head of the CSIRO, she supported major projects which are delivering knowledge infrastructure to Australia – the new Marine National Facility (RV Investigator), the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, the Pawsey Supercomputer and research precincts in Perth, Canberra and Melbourne.
Dr Clark also served as vice-president at BHP Billiton and non-executive director at NM Rothschild and Sons.
She has maintained a commitment to sustainability throughout her career with roles in this area in Rio Tinto as well as membership of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and World Economic Forum.
Dr Clark also has a commitment to improving people’s lives through active roles in community service and influencing global equality through her roles at St Vincent’s Hospital Foundation, Care Australia and the Mining for Development Advisory Board for AusAID.
Dr Clark will receive her honorary doctorate during the university’s graduation ceremonies in April 2020.
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