ExpertiseDefence and national security strategy; capability and project analysis; energy security
Wing Commander Ulas ('Ulie') Yildirim is the Air and Space Power Centre’s Air Force Visiting Fellow at ASPI.
During his tenure Ulas is also fulfilling the staff officer for space strategy and concepts role in the newly established Defence Space Command.
Prior to this role he was the Deputy Director Force Structure Design within Air Force Headquarters. In this role he managed the Air Force’s input to Defence’s Capability Assessment Program.
Ulas worked as the Chief Engineer of the Joint Fuels and Lubricant Agency. In this role he was responsible in overseeing the technical integrity of the Defence Force’s fuel and lubricant stockholdings. Some of his highlights include authorising the Defence Force’s first flight which was powered with jet fuel produced from alternative feedstock (biomass) alongside the US Navy during Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in 2012. During his tenure he was part of the team which was awarded a Chief of Defence Force gold commendation for implementing the commercial arrangements for the provision of fuel to the Royal Australian Navy through East Arm Port of Darwin Harbour.
Ulas also worked as a flightline officer at number 36 Squadron overseeing technical personnel with expertise on C130H Hercules aircraft. During this time, has had had multiple deployments to the Middle East as the officer in charge of C130 Hercules maintenance operations.
Ulas has held multiple other staff and leadership roles over the years.
Education - Ulas holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering with Honours from UNSW, a Masters in Military and Defence Studies from ANU and a doctorate in engineering from RMIT University. The focus of his PhD was investigating the impact of alternative jet fuels on gas turbine performance. He has developed a first-of-type gas turbine capable of testing alternative jet fuels economically. Currently, Ulas is studying a Senior Executive Master of Business Administration through Melbourne Business School.
Ulas has a spouse Maria who is a scientist and works for Australian Red Cross Life Blood while conducting post graduate studies in Public Health in her spare time. They have two young children Alexander and Astrid.