A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series 

Tue 8 Dec 2020 (3:00pm - 5:00pm)
A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series 

Space Mining

Industry Sponsor: Thales Australia 

Like the internet, the space domain underpins many essential services to everyday life and is a critical part of the international infrastructure. The A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series aims to develop the conversation with a wider audience beyond the traditional space and defence sector, and build knowledge across the government/industry enterprise. 

The past decade, the space industry has seen a shift in how it does business with private enterprise. The concept of space mining has developed exponentially in recent years, and the mining industry is ready. Governments have implemented programs and legislation allowing them to join the race to mine space. However, the investment ventures of space mining and the development of new technologies and machinery will lead to further space exploration. The third of A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series will focus on Space Mining.
Swinburne University of Technology is at the forefront of collaboration with Australian companies embarking on the space race. Swinburne is recognised for its capabilities in space-related disciplines including  astrophysics, data analytics and visualisation, AI, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and human factors.

Webinar Moderator

/ Professor Virginia Kilborn | Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology

Professor Virginia Kilborn is Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology.  Her research focuses on understanding galaxy evolution through studying the neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies using next generation radio telescopes.  Virginia has 15 years of experience teaching astronomy - both online via the Swinburne Astronomy online program, and on campus as part of the Bachelor of Science. She is currently developing new education and research opportunities in the area of Space technology at Swinburne. Virginia champions multiple gender equity initiatives, co-leads the Swinburne Women’s Academic Network (SWAN), and is a founder of the WATTLE women in leadership program. 

Industry Speakers 

/ Professor Geoffrey Brooks | Research Director for the Mechanical and Product Design Engineering Department at Swinburne University of Technology

Geoff’s background is in extractive metallurgy and materials recycling. He has over 25 years of research experience into the  fundamentals of metals production and recycling and solar  hermal processing of minerals. Geoff has published over 200 papers on these topics and him and co-workers have won many international awards for their research including the 2018 Distingushed Lecturer Award from the The Metal, Minerals and Materials Society. Geoff’s research group is currently working on the processing of lunar minerals in collaboration with CSIRO, particularly studying how to make materials from the regolith using solar thermal energy.  To view Geoff's reseach click HERE

/  Matt Dawson | Director, Space Business at Thales Australia 

Matt has over 30 years’ leadership experience successfully delivering some of Australia’s largest and most complex Aerospace and ICT infrastructure and systems integration projects.  Prior to joining world-leading technology company, Thales, where he heads up the Space Business, Matt was Director and General Manager of the NBN Co’s Satellite Network, a program he established from scratch, NBN Co’s Fixed Wireless program; leading the digital transformation and optimisation of the Tabcorp Group’s IT systems and national network.  Prior to that, Matt successfully integrated Western Mining Corp’s IT service contracts with those of its new parent after BHP took it over. He was also a leader and engineer on the RAAF’s Air Operations Communication System upgrade , the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar project, the Jindivik drone jet as well as the Nulka naval anti-missile decoy (which is now one of Australia’s major defence export success stories). He also enjoys the privileges of his Private Pilots licence.

/ Nick Larcombre | Deputy Director Robotics, Remote Operations and ISRU at Australian Space Agency

Nick is the Deputy Director for Robotics, Remote Operations and ISRU at Australian Space Agency. Currently he is responsible for supporting this Space priority Area and other advance concepts.

Previously Nick co-founded Ripple Aerospace with a friend as a start-up that endeavoured to design and develop a family of oceanic launch rockets. 

In 2019, Nick ran as an independent candidate in the Federal Election. He put forward a vision of long-term investment in technology for our future. Space investment was a key pillar of his platform.

/ Joshua Letcher | Chief Executive Officer at Space Industries 

Joshua Letcher has been in the mining and resources industry for roughly 16 years and has vast experience from exploration through to mining, Mr Letcher has been an ASX board director for several companies and currently has battery mineral resource assets. Mr Letcher served in the Royal Australian Navy as a submariner which was the spark that lead to him founding Space Industries which incorporates knowledge from mineral resources and critical life support system, Mr Letcher with Space Industries are actively developing space technologies that solve problems in space and on Earth.


Who is invited 

In the spirit of keeping everyone connected, A/AA would like to extend complimentary attendance to all, not limited to our members.


A/AA, WA/AA and NGN members have the exclusive opportunity to submit questions before the event. Upon registration you will receive question submission instructions. 

How to join A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series

This event will be accessed via Webex details that will be emailed upon registration. If you need further information please contact us at [email protected] 


Aviation/Aerospace Australia

1300 889 459
[email protected]