Defence Research Institute

Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) rover-drone travelling under water surface to survey offshore pipeline

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Defence research at UNSW

As an initiative of UNSW’s 2025 Strategic Plan, the Defence Research Institute at UNSW Canberra was established to stimulate, unify and support all defence-related research within the UNSW community while striving to build and maintain a network across Australian and international defence industries. 

We operate at the frontiers of science and technology to help deliver transformational innovations that advance Australia’s global capabilities, redefine the modern defence landscape and change the world for the better.

UNSW excels in defence research areas such as cyber security, space, systems engineering, artificial intelligence, logistics, hypersonics, defence-related public sector management and conflict studies.

Key functions

Identify research opportunities
Coordinate research collaborations
Facilitate stakeholder partnerships
Support to source new funding


UNSW Defence research and technology capability portfolio

This portfolio showcases UNSW’s excellence in defence research and technology and highlights our work across academia, government and industry, as well as with global policymakers, to create a hub of defence-related knowledge.

Publications & media

Read through our latest news and updates, discovering the latest DRI discoveries and innovations as well as details of partnerships and where we’re headed.

Education portal

Explore the breadth of UNSW’s expertise in defence education, with many more courses available through our Sydney and Canberra campuses as well as online delivery mode.

About us

We work with UNSW’s experts and trusted partners in academia, industry and government to translate world-class research into defence capabilities. Learn more about our goals and how we operate.

News & media