Sydney, 13 December 2023

Defence Innovation Network (DIN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Robert Fitch as its new Director. Professor Fitch, a distinguished expert in robotics and a seasoned academic leader, brings a wealth of experience and innovation to the forefront of defence research and development.

With an illustrious career in academia, Professor Fitch has a proven track record in advancing cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the field of robotics and autonomous systems. He is currently Head of School of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney and Acting Head of the UTS Tech Lab.

Professor Fitch is stepping into DIN from the NSW Space Research Network, where he held the position of Co-Director in collaboration with Professor Stefan Williams at the University of Sydney. His expertise in facilitating research and industry collaboration was integral to establishing the network and supporting innovative space-related research and development projects.

Professor Fitch expressed his enthusiasm for the new role, stating:

I am honoured to join the Defence Innovation Network as its Director. The intersection of technology and defence presents unprecedented opportunities for innovation, and I am eager to contribute to the network’s mission of driving advancements that enhance our national security.

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, shared his thoughts on the appointment:

The Defence Innovation Network plays a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and driving innovation in defence technologies in New South Wales. Rob’s leadership and expertise will shape the future of the network as we move further towards future technologies.

Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist, also commented:

The Defence Innovation Network is a key node within the Australian Defence Science and Universities Network, the mechanism by which Defence Science and Technology Group connects Defence with researchers from universities, industry and broader research community. I look forward to Professor Fitch’s expertise and leadership further strengthening the connection between academia, industry and Defence, and fostering the culture of collaboration which underpins the success of the Defence Innovation Network.

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