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Coming together to defend against CBRN threats

10 September 2021

Defence has appointed inaugural members to the Operating in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Environments (OCE) STaR Shot Advisory Council from across the national science-and-technology ecosystem.

Drawing expertise from leading academic institutions, defence industry, publicly funded research organisations and the first-responder community, the Council will play an active role in the design, implementation and quality assurance of the OCE STaR Shot research and innovation program.

The OCE STaR Shot Advisory Council was formed after an open and competitive evaluation process. The foundation members of the OCE STaR Shot Advisory Council are:

  • The University of Adelaide;
  • The University of Melbourne;
  • The University of Queensland;
  • Queensland University of Technology;
  • The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation;
  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services;
  • Leidos Australia;
  • Explosive Protective Equipment; and
  • Defence Science and Technology Group.

Expertise covered by the OCE STaR Shot Advisory Council members includes: development and manufacture of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear sensor and protection systems; management of hazardous materials; first-responder training; radiation health; nuclear forensics; human biotechnologies; neuroscience; medicinal and biological chemistry; organic photonics; non-linear optics; organic electronics; biomedical engineering; sensor-data fusion; and autonomous systems.

The Council is chaired by former Victorian Lead Scientist Dr Leonie Walsh and Defence’s OCE STaR Shot Leader Dr Axel Bender.

“OCE STaR Shot Advisory Council members have been selected both for their deep domain knowledge and their capacity to provide key sector-specific insights,” says Dr Bender.

“These will be pivotal to the delivery of the OCE STaR Shot’s ambitious program and will ensure that the Australian Defence Force is equipped to deal with chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats through the realisation of next-generation technologies.”

The first co-design and implementation activity initiated by the Advisory Council is to stand up a new postgraduate research program that sponsors and supports young Australian talent to take up careers in fields of research that are relevant to the OCE STaR Shot.