Dr Paul Scully-Power - Leadership - Australia’s first astronaut leading the char ...

Travels From New South Wales

Speaker Topics

A life well lived - so far!

Breakthrough Technologies

Implications of cyber for security, warfare and the fabric of the nation state

Merging Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Space 2.0

Space flight and what you can see from space

The emerging drone ecosystem, artificial intelligence and algorithms for everything

Dr Paul Scully-Power

Australia’s first astronaut leading the charge for innovative tech in all areas of government and defence

The first ever Australian in space, Dr Paul Scully-Power is a scientist with a passion for integrating tech into all areas of science, including nanotechnology, data analytics, defence programs and artificial systems. Paul has extensive experience working with innovative technology to different Defence, Government and Space institutions across the globe.

After graduating from the University of Sydney in 1967, Paul was recruited by the Royal Australian Navy to develop their first Oceanographic Section. Originally a scientific officer, Paul would later go on to lead the program as their first permanent head officer. Shortly after, Paul collaborated with the US Navy as an Australian Navy Exchange Scientist. He was also given the rare opportunity to assist on the Skylab Project where he developed expertise in Space Oceanography with the Earth Observations team.

In 1984, NASA selected Paul to be a Payload Specialist onboard their Shuttle missions in space. After qualifying for high-altitude full-pressure suit flying, Paul became Australia’s first ever astronaut. Launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, his Challenger mission was a valuable opportunity for him to study Earth Sciences by conducting research experiments on ocean spiral eddies.

Paul continues to lead and manage state-of-the-art tech across national defence and security programs. He has held executive appointments under American Presidents like President Carter, Reagan and Bush, and was also a major contributor to the US Navy’s warfare appraisal, surveillance strategies and ASW Technology Plan.

Outside of his role as a scientist and tech expert, Paul has also held many executive leadership positions in the corporate sector, including as CTO of Australia’s largest defence and tech contractor Tenix Group. He was also the co-founder of The Ripper Group, the leading Australian tech company for advanced flight operations involving drones.

With his leading expertise on a range of tech applications, Paul has been contributed his time to a range of organisations, including Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Queensland Premier’s Science & Technology Council, Australian Aviation Museum, the Royal Australian Navy Laboratory Association, and the League of Ancient Mariners.

He also serves on the Australian Defence Department External Review Board, the NSW Smart Sensing Network Board, and on advisory boards such as for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Water Initiative for Africa.

Having completed his Doctor of Science in Applied Mathematics, Dr Paul Scully-Power has published over ninety international scientific reports and journal articles on a range of contemporary topics related to innovative technologies.

In recognition for his leading expertise, Paul has been presented with several international awards, including the US Navy Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Space Medal, Casey Baldwin Medallion of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, US Presidential Letter of Commendation, US Congressional Certificate of Merit and the United Nations Association Distinguished Service Award.

Closer to home, Paul is also a Member of the Order of Australia, and holds Australia’s highest aviation award, the Oswald Watt Gold Medal. Currently, a life-size oil painting of Dr Scully-Power can be viewed in Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery.

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