Tanya Monro becomes Australia's first, female Chief Defence Scientist

Tanya Monro becomes Australia’s first, female Chief Defence Scientist

Professor Tanya Monro made history this week after being appointed Australia’s new Chief Defence Scientist and the first woman to ever hold the role.

Currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia, Professor Monro has had an illustrious career to date.

In 2012, she became one of the youngest living Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science, elected for ‘exceptional scientific contributions of international significance to optical glass materials and fibres, photonics and optical physics, most notably in nanophotonics for nonlinear optics and sensing’. She also won the Academy’s Pawsey Medal in the same year, recognised for her ‘outstanding research in physics’.

An advocate and champion for equal gender representation in STEMM, Professor Monro actively supported the Academy’s Science in Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative and spoke publicly about the need for greater diversity and inclusion in science. 

Her other achievements include, The Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2008), South Australian Scientist of the Year (2010), South Australia’s Australian of the Year (2011), and the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research (2015).

She takes up the position in March, replacing Professor Alex Zelinsky.





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