Monday, August 6, 2012

Dr David Williams to head CSIRO Information Sciences Group

In a major coup for both CSIRO and the Australian Space Industry, Dr David Williams has been appointed as the head of CSIRO's Information Science Division. The Information Science Division covers astronomical and space sciences, digital productivity and services, information and communication technologies and mathematical and statistical sciences and has around 1200 staff.

Dr David Williams (Photo Credit: CSIRO)

Dr Williams is currently the chief executive of the UK Space Agency and has been a key figure in the creation of the agency and growth in the space sector over the past few years.

Dr Williams comes with both major credibility and contacts within the international space industry - something that is sure to benefit the Australian Space Industry over the coming years starting with the release of the Australian National Space Policy later this year.

What will be of direct interest to Australia is that the United Kingdom previously operated British National Space Council, which was a collection of all UK civilian government departments that operated in the space domain. This arrangement left the BNSC with no ability to drive overall space policy within the UK, a scenario that Australia currently finds itself in. Dr Williams helped transition the BNSC to the current UK Space Agency, which has led to recent growth within the UK Space Industry, and widespread praise for the stronger economic and scientific benefits from the new arrangements. In  2010/2011 the UK Space Industry turnover grew to £9.1bn from £7.5bn in 2008/09.

Within his new role, Dr Williams will oversee Australia's Square Kilometer Array facilities, one of the world's largest scientific projects currently under development.

Welcome Dr. Williams, and we look forward to you helping to grow Australia's space capabilities.

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