Chief Executive’s Professional Development Award

By April 4th, 2022

Winners of the Chief Executive’s Professional Development Award (formerly the Chief Executive’s Study Award) since 2000.


Jasmine Fellows

Awarded to Jasmine for making significant and ongoing contributions to youth science publishing, communication, and education; inspiring hundreds of thousands of young Australians through CSIRO’s Double Helix magazines, children’s science publications, and outreach programs. 


Dominic Banfield

Awarded to Dominic for delivering impactful projects that help guide the national strategic direction on emerging technology and innovation policy.

Lauren Pedri

Awarded to Lauren for contributions made to the establishment of CSIRO-wide culture programs, and continuing to develop skills in stakeholder engagement, project management and change management.


Kate Wines

Awarded to Kate for her significant and ongoing contribution to the development and management of CSIRO’s financial strategy and performance.

Staci Lander

Awarded to Staci for her research into practices and procedures across a variety of comparable organisations to understand how to better prepare for, manage during and continuously deliver throughout national disasters and global pandemics.


Hayley McGillivray

In two years, Hayley has facilitated 24 Innovation Connections projects, driven an increase in WA kick-start projects, coached early-career-researchers, contributed to the SME Mission, and found time for professional development.

Max Temminghoff

Max has supported industry development through the delivery of several important scientific papers. He uses his deep technical comprehension and analysis to translate important information into key commercial insights.


Elle Shepherd

Elle Shepherd has made substantial contributions to CSIRO’s education and outreach programs. As a committed professional, she has combined her experience in communications with her project management skills to support the advancement of programs that assist students and teachers across Australia to develop and improve STEM skills.

Kopal Kapoor

Kopal Kapoor is an enthusiastic and talented lawyer in CSIRO’s Commercial Legal team, who demonstrates a genuine enthusiasm for cutting-edge digital technologies. As CSIRO drives towards digital growth and transformation, Kopal is keen to help CSIRO optimise its impact, and to increase awareness and the sophistication of CSIRO’s response to the legal and policy challenges presented by these emerging technologies. Kopal has a genuine thirst for increasing her knowledge and sharing insights and, through this award, aims to equip herself with specialised skills to become a domain expert in this area of legal practice.

Ayush Dutta

Ayush Dutta is creative and entrepreneurial in his approach to assist CSIRO teams to deliver complex, cross-organisation projects. Ayush has aided the implementation of CSIRO’s Impact Evaluation framework by developing case studies and pathways as well as supporting key global strategic initiatives; involvement with the Chilean office, growth opportunities and Global Showcase. He is a leading advocate for a vibrant and inclusive culture within CSIRO’s work environment and this Award recognises his potential as a future leader in CSIRO.


Patrick Gleeson

During his career at CSIRO, Patrick has always tried to improve the outcome of his work by being innovative. To improve the survivorship of introduced dung beetles following importation, Patrick will visit experts on beetle-microbiome interactions in the USA and learn techniques to manipulate gut microbial community and acquire skills applicable to the expanding field of microbiome research.

Becky Schmidt

Recognising Becky’s excellence in delivering interdisciplinary scientific information that meets customer needs, this award enables her to extend her understanding of principles of sustainability for business.

Bhawna Singh

Bhawna has supported the rollout of CSIRO’s planning, performance and impact framework through initiatives such as the Integrated Reform Program, Strategy2020, Performance and Investment Reviews and Business Unit reviews. Bhawna aims to use the award to engage with international innovation agencies and getting insights into the global best practice being adopted.


Emily Liang-yu Chang

Emily is an energetic and pragmatic member of the Learning and Development team. Through this award, she will learn new approaches and methodologies to designing, developing and facilitating innovation and collaboration thinking that can be embedded into workplace practices and culture.

Dr George Feast

A professional and highly-valued member of CSIRO’s SME Connect team, George will build on his expertise in facilitating business-research collaboration, and increase the impact of the SME Connect programs, by engaging with world-leading innovation ecosystems in Boston and Silicon Valley.

Katrina Spencer

Katrina is an accomplished Business Development Manager in Agriculture and Food. She is committed to expanding her expertise to combine innovation, impact and social entrepreneurship to address triple bottom line challenges in global communities.


Beth Maloney

For expanding legal expertise in legislative accountability and public governance.

Neil Webster

For building knowledge and enhancing international networks and Australia’s efforts in radioactive waste management.

Lydia Lopes

For building knowledge on how to better obtain, use, and communicate market and industry insights to make effective and strategic organisational decisions.


Janene Brown

Janene has been seeking and applying information and tools to enhance and streamline processes in CSIRO’s Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS), a volunteer partnership program for STEM professionals and educators. Through this award, she aims to further her understanding of the business value of employee volunteering programs in a corporate context and apply it to Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools, providing a unique participation opportunity for business partners and CSIRO employees.

Susan Burchill

Susan is a valued and highly-effective education manager in CSIRO Services. Through this award, she aims to enhance CSIRO Services’ strategic relationships while gaining a deeper knowledge through exposure to educational technology and online learning initiatives.

Hannah Scott

Hannah is a passionate, committed and enthusiastic member of the Internal Communication team, and is regarded as one of our highly skilled communicators. Through this award, she will investigate best practice communication campaigns, develop a network of contacts who she would not otherwise have the opportunity to liaise with, as well as expand her knowledge of current communication trends on a global scale.


Matt Bradford

Matt is a field botanist specialising in tropical forest dynamics and field based vegetation monitoring. Through this award he aims to further develop his field based vegetation monitoring skills, including plot and HSE management, and expand his networks for future collaboration opportunities with leading tropical forest researchers.

Adam Finch

Adam is a data analyst in the Science Excellence team. His focus is on the use of publication and other data to evaluate the volume and quality of CSIRO’s research (a field called bibliometrics), allowing the guidance of research management and advocacy of the organisation’s many strengths. This award will assist Adam to expand his expertise in bibliometrics to further contribute to the effective data analysis and evaluation of CSIRO research.

Emma Pyers

Emma is a valued and highly competent communication leader with the Biosecurity Flagship. She is committed to expanding her expertise and building strategic international partnerships to assist in enhancing CSIRO communication strategies and media campaigns. This award will assist Emma to broaden expertise in strategic communication and to foster global connections with world-class institutions whose biosecurity research programs are well aligned with ours.

Emma Woodward

Emma is an experienced cross-cultural researcher who has worked in close partnership with Aboriginal communities on water resource, climate change and livelihoods projects in far northern Australia, and has been instrumental in developing community-scale research protocols and agreements directly with Aboriginal research participants. Through this award Emma seeks to build her knowledge and expertise in creating ethical Indigenous research partnerships and to develop a best practice framework for Indigenous research engagement by CSIRO.


Ms Irene Ford

Irene is a Property Officer with Business and Infrastructure Services. Through this award, she aims to further develop her knowledge and expertise in property management practices. She will attend a Government Property Workshop to explore current property practices and international benchmarks. She will also visit the NASA Research Park to gain insights to assist in developing strategies for CSIRO in managing the property and tenancy aspects of our research relationships in regards to co-located and Precinct sites.

Mrs Priya Gwynne

Priya is a valued and high-potential Learning and Development professional. Through this award, she aims to expand her expertise in contemporary leadership practices to inform and extend CSIRO’s leadership development initiatives, as well as develop her own leadership capability. Through continued learning, Priya is keen to grow the leadership capability of CSIRO people and ensure the quality of CSIRO’s leadership development initiatives continue to meet the standards set in leading international organisations.

Miss Mikayla Keen

Mikayla is an enthusiastic science communicator who loves her job. She is keen to develop a global understanding of communication practices in research areas of high public interest and to apply this knowledge when supporting scientists to communicate their research. In addition to enhancing Mikayla’s professional knowledge and experience in CSIRO, this award supports the development of fruitful connections with organisations aligned with CSIRO’s values and science direction.

Mrs Vanessa Stott

Vanessa is the Executive Officer for the Biosecurity Flagship. Inspired by the direction and science of the Flagship she is committed to expanding her expertise and gaining international insights on innovation, best practice benchmarking, hands-on training and the use of new technologies for workplace integration for increased efficiency. Through this award, Vanessa aims to enhance the Flagship’s strategic relationships while gaining a deeper knowledge through exposure to the science of our collaborators.


Ms Elissa Dwyer

Elissa is the in-business HR manager for the ICT Centre. Through this award, she aims to stregthen the strategic relationship between CSIRO and VTT (Technical Research Institute of Finland) and connect with Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson. Her purpose is to understand what drives organisational culture, and motivates and engages employees. This study tour will assist in ensuring capability in the Information Sciences Group is well placed to support the needs of the new Digital Productivity and Services Flagship.

Mrs Emilia Gligorovska

Emilia is a member of the Governance group. She is committed to expanding her expertise in strategic governance practices that support investment decision-making processes in scientific research and the translation of research outcomes into national benefits. Through this award, Emilia will examine best practice and governance mechanisms that support innovation and strategic investment decision-making processes in the member organisations of the Global Research Alliance.

Mr Benjamin Mackey

Ben is a skilled software engineer working with real-time sensor data collected by sensor networks. His fields of expertise range from embedded programming of sensor network platforms to protocol development and most recently data management. This award will allow Ben to develop skills in the areas of data mining and information visualisation, allowing for greater insight and better presentation of the vast quantities of data collected by sensors across CSIRO.

Ms Sarah Merrick

Sarah is a member of the Astronomy and Space Science management team. Through this award, she seeks to enhance the strategic relationship between CSIRO and NASA through improving our knowledge of US Government contracting practices. Sarah will attend various US federal seminars and visit several sites included in the NASA-operated Deep Space Network. This study tour will provide enterprise-wide knowledge for future large-scale engagements, such as the Square Kilometre Array.

Miss Genevieve Perkins

Genevieve has provided a significant contribution to the field of ecological conservation and adaptation under climate change. She provides specialist technical skills undertaking complex spatial analysis and species distribution modelling. This award will enable Genevieve to develop new skills and techniques to complement and improve current ecological modelling practices. She will work directly with top research groups in this field to build capability, exchange ideas and develop deep collaborations with leading researchers on a global scale.


Mr Benjamin Alexander Aldham

Ben has been involved in number of CSIRO projects related to the renewable energy sector. He will use this Award to complete an MBA exchange program at IE Business School. This school is ranked in the top ten in the world and is one of the only schools to offer specialised subjects on the renewable energy sector. This experience should further expand Ben’s technical and market knowledge and enhance his business skills. Ben will use this knowledge to help inform CSIRO decisions in this field.

Ms Larissa Cordner

Larissa is a valued and highly-potential communication leader. Through this Award, she looks to nurture and expand her strategic communication and issues management expertise, to inform and build upon biodiversity leadership communication capabilities and initiatives in CSIRO. The learning’s will help foster the next stage of Larissa’s career, which includes leading biodiversity communications in CSIRO, leveraging community knowledge of biodiversity and creating impact for biodiversity science to inform policy.

Mr Rex Keen

Rex is a member of the Environmental Research and Monitoring Team based in Townsville. Through this Award, he seeks to develop his current expertise in the operation, maintenance and calibration of optical water quality instruments, and strengthen CSIRO’s involvement in the development of future sensor technology which forms the basis for international standards in marine monitoring.

Ms Suzanne S Metcalfe

Suzanne is a highly adaptable molecular technician based in Atherton who seeks to consolidate and expand her skills in laboratory techniques and build her network with other professionals in the fast moving field of molecular genetics. This Award will consolidate her existing skills and provide training and networking opportunities with active researchers in newly developed techniques, enabling Suzanne to extend the range of protocols and analyses she can offer to internal and external research clients.

Mr Glen Paul

Glen is a new-media communication innovator who has achieved outstanding success in the promotion of CSIRO science via platforms including CSIROpod and CSIROvod. This Award will allow Glen to further develop his expertise through the exchange of ideas and learning of new techniques from the most progressive and successful scientific pod and vodcaster in the world, NASA, plus other organisations.

Miss Laura Pearce

Laura is a passionate Human Resources professional who is highly valued within CSIRO for her strong client focus and enthusiasm for learning. This Award will create the opportunity for Laura to gain exposure to international benchmarks of Human Resources practices and in particular the worldwide issue of gender equity in the workplace. The learnings gained will assist Laura to draw conclusions around supporting the career progression of female talent into leadership roles.

Ms Anthea Roberts

Anthea is a graduate of the HR Leadership Academy and Group Human Resources Manager with the Information Sciences Group. This Award will further develop her skills in senior leadership development and coaching using the Zenger Folkman Extraordinary Leadership Program. Anthea will also gain insights into talent attraction and retention programs from global institutions that will assist in the development of such programs across CSIRO.


Tammy Alley

Tammy contributes to a large number of internal projects providing strategic communication advice with the aim of improving the flow of information between project initiatives and staff. A valued and highly-potential communication leader, Tammy looks to use this Study Award to nurture and expand her communication expertise, to explore new and innovative communication methods and tools, and to focus particularly on effective line/leadership communication practices.

Dr Kimberley Clayfield

Kimberley provides coordination for CSIRO’s space science activities. As Executive Manager of Space Sciences and Technology, this Study Award will enable Kimberley to undertake, through the International Space University, an Executive MBA specifically tailored for professionals in the space sector. Her participation in this unique program will benefit CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science by bringing additional space sector business expertise of an international standard into the division.

Sarah King

With CSIRO since 2005, Sarah will use this Study Award to provide a global, best-practice perspective on how CSIRO could further incorporate sustainability principles into its R&D strategy. She will benchmark CSIRO against high-performing international organisation GE, and give consideration to strategy implementation and the strategic fit of new research capabilities. This study will help advance CSIRO’s strategic goal in the Manufacturing and Materials outcome domain, complements our Environmental Sustainability Strategy and further supports CSIRO’s strategy on sustainable/green manufacturing.

Paul Walker

Paul Walker is the Human Resources Manager in one of CSIRO’s largest Divisions. Focusing on internal workplace mediation, this Study Award will see Paul become an accredited mediator recognised by the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia. This will assist Paul further provide CSIRO people with strong and professional support in conflict resolution.


Dr Rebecca Carter

Rebecca has been integral to the development and implementation of high quality intellectual property (IP) management education initiatives. These initiatives are helping CSIRO’s researchers to better understand the value of incorporating IP management strategies in their research planning. This Study Award will increase Rebecca’s existing expertise to inform and build upon IP management education and related initiatives in CSIRO.

Cris Kennedy

Cris contributes to a large number of innovative programs that engage with the public to improve understanding of the role of CSIRO and its contribution to Australian society. This Study Award will assist Cris nurture new and expansive thinking in cultural management and explore innovative practice in public engagement and science communication.

Anna Marcora

Anna has shown great initiative and independence in expanding her taxonomic knowledge. Her USA study tour is the only bee and wasp short course of its kind in the world. This Study Award will strengthen Anna’s capability in invertebrate biodiversity, improving the delivery of CSIRO science.

Chi Phuong Huynh

Chi synthesises carbon nanotube forests which can be spun into continuous yarns for a range of applications. This Study Award will see Chi gain experience in the fundamentals of carbon nanotube growth mechanisms to expand CSIRO expertise in this field. It will also enhance her leadership and collaboration skills.

Tanya Doody

Tanya’s research is advancing our understanding of the ecohydrology of natural and introduced riparian vegetation, through water savings by removing invasive willows and improving riparian vegetation health through environmental flows. This Study Award will further develop Tanya’s skills and provide new information which may benefit floodplain research in Australia .


Mark Hepburn

Mark will be undertaking a study program at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, London which will significantly benefit his research career in the area of bioinformatics health research and allow him to develop software approaches with potential application to the Preventative Health Flagship’s research goals in tackling colorectal cancer.

Fanny Boulaire

Fanny’s study at Ecole Des Mines de Paris in Fontainebleau, France will allow her to analyse methods of geostatistics (linear, multivariate, non linear geostatistic, and simulation). These methods will empower Fanny with a good understanding of the spatial representations and inferring rules about causes of observed phenomenon through sound statistical methods.

Lesley Clementson

Lesley has been invited by Professor Stramski of Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, USA to gain further knowledge on innovative methods for the post-analysis processing of bio-optical data.

Julian O’Grady

Julian will be visiting UNESCO-IHE, DELFT in the Netherlands, to enhance his knowledge of wave and coastal process modelling.

Yong Yi Peng

Yong will be visiting research institutions in the US, UK and Austria to learn about the development of bioscaffolds for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.


Donald Gaydon

Donald will be visiting Wageningen University in Holland for joint international development of modelling capacity for farming systems.

Jennifer McEachem

Jennifer will be visiting Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in USA to Obtain essential training in production and purification of key reagents (soluble receptor binding proteins) used in a novel Henipavirus antibody detection assay and to transfer the reagents and technology to AAHL.

Catherina O’Leary

Catherina will be attending a conference with follow-up consultations with keynote speakers and other representatives. These consultations will focus on measurement of communication impact, communicating across a global organisation and implementation of social media.

Lesley Pearce

Lesley will visit GE Healthcare in Sweden and Germany to attend Aktaxpress and unicorn system control training courses.

Anders Siggins

To visit University of British Columbia in Canada to study the development of new methods to analyse low point density LiDAR data for quality assessment, terrain and vegetation structural information.


Tim Cowan

To visit USA (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Asia-Pacific Data Research Center) to develop skills in processing and managing climate datasets and to gain knowledge in handling coupled climate model output, disseminating, and generating data products.

Jennifer Powell

To visit Austria (University of Salzburg), Switzerland (PSI Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry) and Germany (Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research) to gain knowledge through research and data analysis in aerosol microphysics.

Bella Robinson

To visit USA (San Diego Supercomputer Center, the 2007 SIGGRAPH Conference, and the Duke University in North Carolina) to develop further knowledge and skills in IT in the water resource domain and apply this knowledge to the Water Resource Observation Network theme.

Sonia Sankovich

To visit USA (Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory) and Austria (University of Graz) to gain specialised knowledge in the field of yeast biology and genomics.

Gabrielle Tramby

To visit USA (Liberty Science Center, Steve Spangler Boot Camp, Exploratorium and three science magazines) and England (to visit two magazines, Teachers TV and attend a Science Communicators Conference) to gain new ideas and practices for producing CSIRO education publications, developing careers based projects and moving forward with out electronic communication.


Mr Stephen Cook

Mr Cook will be taking part in a short course on Integrated Basin Management at the Cranfield University in the UK. This course gives particular attention to EU Water Framework Directive and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) approaches.

Ms Veronica Glattauer

Ms Glattauer will be undergoing a vigorous overseas trip to the US and Germany to expand her skills, knowledge and access to specialist techniques for collagen/basement membrane – cell interaction research and to apply this to the Food Futures Flagship activities and to future directions in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Read her report

Dr Donna Green

Dr Donna Green will be undertaking a 2-month international study tour to gain a range of research skills not currently available in the area of climate change impacts on indigenous and remote communities.

Mr Bill James

Dr James will be visiting the world leading authority of insect embryo cryopreservation, Dr Roger Leopold, (USDA, North Dakota, USA) and learn the techniques of cryopreservation of dipteran and lepidopteran species.

Ms Sarah Lawson

Ms Lawson will be attending the European Research Course on Atmospheres in Grenoble France which will broaden and enhance her scientific knowledge of atmospheric processes, allow her to build relationships with other young scientists from around the world and inspire her to propose and pursue more ambitious research goals within CMAR and CSIRO.


Karen Barry

To present a paper at the 5th international Symposium on Management of Aquifer Recharge and undertake technical training at the Free University Berlin. Read her report

Paul Krummel

To visit UK (School of Chemistry, University of Bristol) and Switzerland (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research) to study developments in GC/MS techniques for atmospheric trace gas measurements and their application in estimating regional emissions

Jessica O’Meara

To visit the USA (SRI, HP, 3M, IBM and SHRM) to attend the SHRM Conference and study how other organisations develop strategies for identifying future capability needs and ensuring availability of skills.

Karen Robinson

To visit various organisations in the UK to work on National Science week and further develop marketing and communication products. Read her report

Ross Stevens

To visit the USA (NASA, Battelle, US Dept of Energy and other property groups) to attend a property conference and study property management approaches and practices including condition assessment, information systems & space utilisation.

Marcel van der Schoot

To visit Germany (Max Planck Institut for Biogeochemie, France (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement), The Netherlands (Wageningen University & National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and UK (University of East Anglia) to study regional atmospheric GHG research.


Mark Collier

To visit the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and the National Center of Competence in Research to broaden scientific abilities and awareness which will bring significant and tangible outcomes to the climate modelling efforts of CSIRO.

Richard James

To visit Cambridge University to learn and use radioactive sodium labelling and flux techniques to measure control mechanisms of sodium transport in crops.

Deborah Shapira

To attend the XXII ISAC International Congress and visit Unipath Ltd to observe and learn high-speed sorting of micro organisms.

Vicki Stavropoulous

To visit various organisations in the UK to assist in the further development of CREST.


Christine Cansfield-Smith

To visit UK’s Wellcome Wing British Science Museum and present a paper at the 7th International Conference on Public Communication of Science and Technology (South Africa).

Suzanne McIntosh

To visit TNO (Amsterdam) and CSIR (South Africa) to examine leadership in a comparable R&D environments.

Katherine Damcevski

To visits the University of California to carry out research on ethyl formate.

Lynne Griffiths

To attend an enterprise web conference in Boston and visits various other organisations in the USA, Canada, Norway and France.

Deborah Lau

To visit the Institute of Chemistry, Academy of Fine Arts Austria to look at the method development for practical application of external beam, in-situ X-ray fluorescence.

Melanie Sellars

To visit the UK to attend a Shrimp pathology short course and the Oceanic Institute Oahu to visit a world-class biosecure aquaculture research facility.


Melissa Climo

The study trip enables attendance at a seven-week summer course ‘Microbial Diversity’ at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The course allows participants to acquire skills in microbiological techniques working with a broad range of microbes.

Mark Collier

A study tour to the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton and CSIRO Marine Research. The tour will further develop skills with the Modular Oceans Models (MOM) that is an important component of the Ocean Modelling Team at Atmospheric Research.

Sally Curtis

A study tour to work with the HR Director at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and attend the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) HR Director’s Network meeting.

Tricia Larner

Study models of delivery for library and information services to both researchers and external clients with particular attention to electronic information resources, client feedback mechanisms, marketing and competitive intelligence.

Anne McKenzie

To study how electronic branding in the US and elsewhere, is being used to create powerful web presences.

Cindy Ong

A study trip to the Spectroscopy Laboratories in the USGS, Denver and CCRS, Ottawa to further develop her scientific skills in hyperspectral sensing techniques used for monitoring the mining environment.


Jody Armitage

To study the latest techniques in isotopic methods at two of the world’s leading laboratories.

Kathryn Boxsell

To visit the USA to attend the Strategic Human Resource Management Conference and review human resource practices.

Laura Castelli

To visit the USA to attend the Cold Spring Harbor yeast genetics course and visit collaborators at the University of Michigan to study FAS activity assays.

Harry Higgins

To attend the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Conference, USA and visit laboratories in the USA, Canada, Belgium and France.

Arthur Langston

To attend a Summer School on Complex Systems Behaviour at the Santa Fe Institute, USA.

Russell McCulloch

To attend a short course in shrimp pathology at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Jonian Nikolov

To visit the Mintek laboratory in South Africa and present a paper in Italy.

Gregory Roberts

To conduct research at the Frank Wise Institute, Kununurra, WA. To allow the adaptation of the NutriLOGIC program for Northern Australian Cotton crops.

Stephen Speer

To visit a range of teacher/scientist network programs in the USA and the UK. These programs involve partnerships between the educational sector and the scientific and industrial communities.