A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series | Space Education and Training

Mon 24 May 2021 (3:00pm - 4:30pm)

A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series | Space Education and Training

Space Education and Training 

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 thrill of space exploration is an exciting context for the education and training sectors. Curriculums, policies and procedures have been developed exponentially in recent years, gaining popular uptake. Universities, training organisations and various other educational institutes have implemented programs allowing them to join the growing space industry. However, the investment ventures of space actives and the development of new technologies and machinery will lead to further space education and training. The fifth of A/AA & Swinburne Space Industry Virtual Conference Series will focus Space education and training. 
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 

/ John Best | Chief Technical Officer at Thales Australia

John Best joined ADI Limited in 2003. Initially responsible for the operations of Advanced Systems Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, he led the integration of this business into the wider ADI and its transformation into a centre for research and development. During this period he also directed ADI's bid to supply the Army with tactical unmanned aerial vehicles. In April 2005 John was appointed general manager strategy within the Electronic Systems business group. In this role his responsibilities included preparation of strategic business plans, analysis of business cases and acquisition opportunities and oversight of the research and development program, particularly working to improve its alignment with business objectives.

Following a brief period in the role of chief technologist, John was appointed vice president, Technology, Research and Development upon the formation of Thales Australia. In this role he has overall responsibility for the technical capability of the company, which encompasses technical strategy, research and development, innovation, engineering process, engineering development and technical audits.

John joined ADI following a 15 year career with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, during which he contributed to, and led, programs of work including underwater weapon effect modelling, mine warfare operations research, synthetic environments and naval combat systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with First Class Honours in Physics from the University of Queensland, a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Wollongong and an MBA from the University of Adelaide.

Kim Ellis Hayes | Scientist-Astronaut Candidate PoSSUM Project 2020 ,Director at International Earth & Space Technology. Adjunct Faculty International at Space University, Senior Lecturer Space Research & Law, Space Office, Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne University of Technology

Kim Ellis Hayes is an award winning International Lawyer & Space Research professional with a background in metals, mining and mineral processing. Selected to train as a Scientist-Astronaut for the Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere project,  Kim will be qualified to fly suborbital missions in the USA conducting astronautics research and education programs which study our upper-atmosphere and its role in our changing global climate.
Also the Chief Executive Officer of International Earth & Space Technology, a private Australian company which delivers a range of specialist consultancy services for Universities, Corporate business and Professional Education providers in Europe, Canada the USA and Australia. Kim and her team design and deliver Lunar, Interplanetary, Space Resource Utilisation, Innovation & Legal workshops in collaboration with NASA, STEM activities for students in the USA, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, France & Australia in addition to online technical education programs and career mentoring.

Additionally, Kim is the convenor for the Space Technology CoMajor and Aerospace Legal Lead for Swinburne University Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing and an Adjunct Faculty member of the International Space University. Her thought leadership in academic research related to Space Governance, Law and Space Applications led her to being selected by the World Economic Forum, The European Space Agency and MIT to contribute to creating the model for a new Space Sustainability Rating system designed to reduce new orbital debris creation. 

Serving on a number of advisory boards, review panels and executive committee's related to Aerospace & Technology in Australia, Europe and the United States. These include the American Bar Association Forum of Air and Space Law committee & International Defense & Aerospace Industries group, USRA NASA Postdoctoral Program and Monash University Aerospace Industry Advisory Group. As an official observer to the United Nations Hague Space Resource Governance Working Group she contributed to the development of the first Building Blocks for the development of an International Framework on Space Resource Activities.

/ Siân Keys | A/g Assistant Manager, Communications at Australian Space Agency

Sian Keys has an extensive background in science outreach and community engagement, having spent many years travelling Australia with science outreach programs. Sian also founded Scienceability, a program which runs hands on science workshops for and by young adults with intellectual disabilities, for which she was a finalist for ACT Young Australian of the Year, won the ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award for Volunteer Support, and was inducted into the ACT Women’s Honour Roll.

Through her career, Sian has worked across multiple outreach programs for Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre, and as Programs Manager for the National Youth Science Forum. She now leads community and school engagement for the Australian Space Agency.

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 Zoom 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]