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Paul Scully-Powers

Dr Paul Scully-Power, AM

Australia’s first astronaut; Special Envoy for Space & Defence, NSW Smart Sensing Network; External Contributor

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Dr Paul Scully-Power is an integrator, strategist and orthogonal thinker and is Australia’s first astronaut.

He has a unique international background in Industry, Government and Academia in the US, UK, Australia, and NZ, and is well known for his network of people and institutions around the world. He has broad expertise in defence, national security & intelligence, aviation & aerospace, cybersecurity, remote sensing, and systems analysis & ICT. A leader in applying technology, he is currently engaged in artificial intelligence (national iAward for innovation), microsatellites, UAVs, smart sensors, nanotechnology and Australia’s space and defence industries.

He has been Chairman, President, Executive Director, CEO and CTO in the private sector, and has served with the Royal Australian Navy, the UK Royal Navy, the US Navy, NASA, the Pentagon, US Military Intelligence and the White House, where he was Head of a Government-Industry national strategy partnership for the design, fabrication, and operational deployment of a highly advanced, ultra-broadband communications system. Dr Scully-Power has led and managed many high-tech, defence and security programs. He held executive appointments under Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, and was Deputy to the Associate Technical Director, US Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and also held the US Navy Distinguished Chair of Underwater Acoustics.

He was a Research Associate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Chairman of Membership of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, President of the Fort Trumbull Federal Credit Union, and served on the Universities & Colleges Accreditation Board and as a program manager at the US Office of Naval Research. He was the inaugural President of the UN International Commission on Space Oceanography and was the discoverer of the phenomenon of spiral eddies in the world’s oceans. He worked directly with the Royal Navy during Operation Corporate in the South Atlantic, and was inter alia an advisor to Hydrographer RN, and a liaison officer to the Chairman JIC, FOSM and CinC Home Command. Dr Scully-Power qualified for very high-altitude full pressure suit flying at Edwards Air Force Base California and was a flight crew technical instructor in the Astronaut Office, Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, where he became Australia’s first astronaut flying aboard Challenger on the 13th mission of the Space Shuttle.

From 2011 to 2015 he was a senior advisor to the US Government in Washington, DC, including the US Army G-2 (Military Intelligence), INSCOM, NVESD, MACE, ARIN, and to defence and intelligence companies ITT/Exelis, OpsWare, and nCap. On returning to Australia, he co-founded The Ripper Group (drones for the saving of lives). He currently serves on the Department of Defence External Review Board and is senior advisor to Defence Space Command. He is the NSW Smart Sensing Network’s Special Envoy and is the Adjunct Industry Professor in the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of Technology Sydney. Dr Scully-Power commenced his career as the inaugural Head of the Royal Australian Navy’s Oceanographic Section and qualified as a naval diver. He has served as Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (Australia’s FAA), Chancellor of Bond University, CTO of Tenix Group (Australia’s largest defence company), and Chairman of the Queensland Premier’s S&T Council. He was elected a Councillor of the Australian Institute of Company Directors for eight years and was a Director of the Australian Trade Commission for five years.

Dr Scully-Power is a Doctor of Science in Applied Mathematics and has published over ninety international scientific reports and journal articles, including the Royal Society’s Bakerian Lecture. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, Freeman of the City of London, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Senior Fellow of the International Strategic Studies Association in Washington, DC, and a Life Member of the Space Industry Association of Australia. He has had extensive involvement in community groups as Patron of the Australian Aviation Museum, the RAN Laboratory Association, and the League of Ancient Mariners; Senior Vice President of the RAN Naval Warfare Officers’ Association, and as a Director of the Australia Youth Trust founded by the late Princess Diana.

He has also served on the Australian-British and the Australian-American Chambers of Commerce. His awards include 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, United Nations Association Distinguished Service Award, Laureate of the Albatross in oceanography, Decibel Award in underwater acoustics, and Australia’s highest aviation award, the Oswald Watt Gold Medal. He is a Member of the Order of Australia and a Knight Commander of the Imperial Order of the Star of Ethiopia. A life-size oil painting of Dr Scully-Power hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.