02/11/2017 - 13:11

ECU shoots for defence capability

02/11/2017 - 13:11

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Edith Cowan University is hoping to bolster its presence in defence industry research, with the appointment of former air vice-marshal Andrew Dowse as director of defence research and engagement today.

ECU shoots for defence capability
Cyber security research will be a major frontier for ECU's defence industry work. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Edith Cowan University is hoping to bolster its presence in defence industry research, with the appointment of former air vice-marshal Andrew Dowse as director of defence research and engagement today.

Dr Dowse will report to the deputy vice-chancellor for research John Finlay-Jones, with ECU saying it was to be the only role of its kind at a Western Australian university.

The new role’s ambit will include strengthening relationships between the university and the defence industry, and is expected to work with the university's Office of Research and Innovation.

One example is that the university will be working to build a relationship with Defence West, the state government’s body devoted to winning more defence contracts for local businesses.

ECU vice-chancellor Steve Chapman said Western Australia had a wide range of possible collaboration opportunities with the defence industry, including in the field of cyber security.

“ECU is committed to expanding its world-leading capabilities to deliver research and innovation outcomes that build sovereign capability,” he said.

“The university is already world-renowned for its cyber security research and key staff within the university have very good relationships with the defence sector.

“Dr Dowse will now take a strategic approach to identify those research areas across the whole of ECU with significant defence capabilities and develop stronger partnerships with the defence sector.”

Potential areas of collaboration included engineering, electron science and human movement, which could work to improve outcomes for infantry.

Dr Dowse, who will commence in the role in February 2018, served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 37 years.

He is now head of ICT operations and strategic J6 at the Department of Defence, after serving as RAAF director general strategy and planning and Department of Defence director general of capability development.

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