Geoscience, space and mapping leaders recognised

By on 29 November, 2021

Left to right: Professor Andrew Parfitt, Dr James Johnson and Professor Hugh Williams.

Three leaders in the geoscience, space and mapping worlds are among the latest group of experts to be elected Fellows of the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

Dr James Johnson, CEO of Geoscience Australia, is a geologist with more than 35 years’ experience, including private-sector mining and mineral exploration, and science leadership in government.

He has led numerous teams of geoscientists and recorded a diverse array of achievements, from the discovery of two million ounces of gold reserves while in industry, to the creation of national geoscience programs for government attracting significant exploration investment to Australia.

He is passionate about building a more diverse and inclusive Geoscience Australia, in particular by engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Professor Andrew Parfitt, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Technology Sydney, is a respected university administrator with a strong background in engineering and technology, including telecommunications and space science.

He has worked for over a decade at the intersection of education, research and industry to strengthen the performance of three universities: UniSA, Newcastle, and University of Technology Sydney.

Career highlights include leading the Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems, and stints with CSIRO and Defence Science and Technology.

Professor Parfitt is a champion of gender equity and increased academic participation by Indigenous Australians and students from diverse backgrounds, particularly in STEM.

Professor Hugh Williams, Enterprise Professor, Melbourne Business School, The University of Melbourne, is an international technology leader who has made a significant contribution to both the university and commercial sectors.

Professor Williams is admired across the Australian start-up scene, having worked in the top echelons of US tech, and now advises the next generation of disruptors and investment firms.

He is Melbourne Business School’s first Enterprise Professor, a role he commenced after leading Google Maps’ product and engineering teams. He also held executive roles at eBay and Microsoft.

In 2018, he co-founded a non-profit, CS in Schools, that is creating sustainable change in Australian digital technology secondary school education.

ATSE President, Hugh Bradlow, said the new Fellows are front-runners in growing Australia’s standing as a top technologically driven nation.

“ATSE Fellows are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to advancing engineering, technology and applied science: they are shaping Australia’s future,” Professor Bradlow said.

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