About us

AI is going to fundamentally transform how nations wage far. By failing to address it, the defence review leaves Australia unprepared for the future of war.

The Defence Research Institute (DRI) at UNSW Canberra works with the university’s experts and trusted partners in academia, industry and government. We translate UNSW’s world-class research into defence capabilities that enable Australia and its allies to meet the demands of a constantly changing security environment.

Our mission 

Aiming to deliver the best defence research to enhance Australia’s security, we build solid and lasting partnerships with Defence and defence industries around the world. We also share our knowledge with global policymakers and across academia, government and industry. 

The DRI plays a critical role in enhancing UNSW’s already enviable defence reputation by galvanising our research clusters across the university’s Sydney and Canberra campuses. We advance Australia’s global capabilities through education, innovation and engagement.

Meet our team

Paul Maddison

Director, UNSW Defence Research Institute

Tracey Hanley

Institute Manager
(02) 5114 5323

James Morrison

Business Development Manager – Defence
(02) 5114 5351

Joshua Sherman

Business Development Manager - Defence
(02) 9348 1333

Matthew Hand

Business Development Associate - Defence
(02) 5114 5338

Nick Day

Institute Administrator, UNSW Defence Research Institute
(02) 5114 5256

DRI Advisory Council

Paul is Director of the UNSW Defence Research Institute. Although located at the UNSW Canberra at ADFA campus, Paul is responsible for enabling, facilitating and integrating UNSW’s ground-breaking defence research capacity across the whole of the university in both Sydney and Canberra. With a mandate to build deeper relationships and increased collaboration with Commonwealth, State, industry and international partners, the Defence Research Institute aims to strengthen UNSW’s position as Australia’s leading defence university, and to play a defining role in accelerating the delivery of capability for the Australian Defence Force.

Paul is a graduate of Canada’s Royal Military College and served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 37 years. He commanded at all levels, both at sea and ashore, and retired in 2013 from his appointment as Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Paul returned to public service in 2015 and served until 2019 as High Commissioner of Canada to Australia, with accreditation to seven Pacific island countries. In this role, Paul was tireless in his pursuit of strengthened bilateral relations between Australia and Canada, with a focus on collaboration in the public policy, trade, social and security sectors.

A newly minted Australian citizen, Paul is an (ice) hockey (Toronto) and Aussie Rules (Essendon) fan, who also enjoys running (slowly), swimming, gardening, and reading. He is married to Fay, who hails from Darwin, NT, and who was the strength behind his uniform in Canada for over 25 years.

Dr Katerina Agostino is the Chief of Aerospace Division within the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), Fishermans Bend, Victoria. The Aerospace Division is responsible for delivering innovative and effective application of science and technology in the Australian military aerospace domain.

Katerina’s current external roles include membership of the University of New South Wales Defence Research Institute Advisory Council; the Monash University Aerospace Engineering Academic-Industry Advisory Board; the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory Senior Leadership Committee; and the DSTG-Boeing Defence Alliance Management Committee. She also continues to work as an Australian Research Council Assessor.

With over 20 years of post-doctoral experience as an academic and as a DSTG scientist Katerina lead the growth of transdisciplinary research programs to address Defence and national security problems through the integration of social science, mathematics, computer science, engineering and linguistics. Some notable research highlights include the development of conceptual frameworks and software tools that better enable social network analysis; target audience analysis; understanding of social influence, and multi-modal discourse analysis.

Her previous roles within DSTG include Program Leader National Security, where she coordinated the national security Science and Technology program for whole of government. Here she worked with senior stakeholders to identify common science, technology and research investment opportunities and built strong engagement with the national and international innovation sectors. In this role Katerina established the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Research and Development International Partnership to coordinate CVE research across the international five eyes community. This five nation partnership saw the reduction of duplication in efforts in research and development; greater efficiencies across current research activities; as well as the emergence of new strategic collaborative programs. Whilst in this role, Katerina established the National Security Publically Funded Research Agency Round Table a government research collective that worked towards meeting the national security science and technology needs; and developed the National Security Science and Technology Regional Engagement Strategy to help shape aspects of Australia’s National Security research collaborations with regional neighbours.

Katerina also served as the Scientific Advisor Intelligence where she represented DSTG to Defence stakeholders to identify the science technology and research requirements for the Intelligence Domain. While undertaking this role, Katerina led the development of the inaugural Science & Technology Strategy in the Intelligence Domain 2016-2026. This strategy has been used to guide science and technology activities across the intelligence domain and drive investment.

Katerina holds a PhD (Sociology) James Cook University (1997); an MA (Sociology) University of Wollongong (1992); and a BA University of Canberra (1988).

Brad has a career spanning over 30 years in the Defence Industry, working in Australia and the UK and on many international programs, including a number of US Collaborative Weapons Development Programs.

After graduating as an Aerospace Engineer, Brad Joined the Government Aircraft Factories as part of the Hovering Rocket Concept Development program, the program which eventually became Nulka

In Jan 1988, when the Hovering Rocket Program became Nulka - a Project of Record for Australia and the US, the Nulka Project moved to AWA Defence Industries, and Brad moved from GAF to AWA as part of the core project team.

After 12 years on the Nulka Program, having contributed to the design of most elements of the Nulka Missile and Launch Systems, Brad became the Engineering Manager of the Australian contributions to the NATO Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Development Program.

After a further 7 years as the Guided Weapons Engineering Manager for BAE Systems Australia, Brad grew the BAE Systems Australia guidance and control capability into an Integrated Autonomous Systems capability.

Brad was seconded to the UK in the early 2000s to establish a UAV capability within the UK business, returning to Australia to lead the Australian Integrated Autonomous Systems Business.

In 2008 Brad became the General Manager of the Aircraft Systems Integration and Development Line of Business.

In 2013, Brad was then seconded to BAE Systems Head Office in the UK as the Global Head of Engineering for the company.

Brad returned to Australia to become the CTO and Engineering Director for BAE Systems Australia, and Director of the Red Ochre Labs – BAE Systems Australia’s Centre for Disruptive Technology with a primary focus on Autonomy, Advanced Sensors, Data Sciences, Hypersonics and High Speed Weapon development.

Brigadier Alison Creagh (Retd) AM CSC is a Chair, Non-Executive Director and Strategic Adviser in areas including defence industry, cyber security, veteran community support, sport and health research. She is Strategic Defence Adviser - Land for the Queensland Government, Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Veterans and their Families and member of the AustCyber Canberra Node Industry Advisory Group. She is also on Advisory Committees for UNSW’s Defence Research Institute, the Capability Systems Centre and the Institute for Cyber Security. She also holds board roles with, and provides advice to, Defence Industry.

Alison retired from the Australian Regular Army in 2015 after a 30-year career that included specialisation in ICT and information security. She remains engaged with the Army and the Australian Defence Force as an Army Reservist and as Representative Colonel Commandant for the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. 

Jonathan is currently Chief Strategy Officer at CEA Technologies. CEA is a world leading Australian firm specialising in the design, development and manufacture of advanced radar and communication technologies.

His time in the ADF was punctuated by a number of operational and strategic appointments including Australian representative to the United States Central Command Forward Headquarters in the Middle East; The Deputy Director Global Military Commitments and Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA. Additionally, he was the Director of Naval Continuous Improvement leading the RAN response to the Strategic Reform Program; the Commissioning Commanding Officer of HMAS CANBERRA (LHD 02); and the Australian representative at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom. His final posting was Chief of Staff Navy Strategic Command. He remains a Commodore in the RAN Reserves.

On completion of his military career he took up a position as the Chief Operations Officer of a firm specialising in optimising manufacturing, mining, oil and gas process and planning. He is on the Board of directors for both the Banting Foundation in Canada, CEATI in the USA, the Australian Military Bank and is a member of the University of New South Wales Defence Research Institute Advisory Committee. 

Jonathan has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a Graduate and lifelong Member of the Royal College of Defence Studies UK (Strategic Studies) and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is the recipient of a Maritime Commander Australia Commendation whilst Executive Officer of HMAS ADELAIDE, a Vice Chief of Defence Force Commendation whilst Deputy Director Global Military Commitments and a Commendation for Distinguished Service in warlike operations whilst in Command of Task Group 633.1 and PARRAMATTA in the Middle East. Under his Command, PARRAMATTA was awarded the Gloucester Cup by the Governor General as the premier Fleet Unit. Jonathan was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.

Partner with us

The DRI delivers across operational areas as diverse as Autonomous Systems, Hypersonics, Sensors and Space. Our UNSW Defence Capability Portfolio showcases our defence research and technology excellence across academia, government, industry and policy. We translate our knowledge into direct impacts to transform Australian and global societies.

Work with us

We’re constantly on the lookout for new talent to work on upcoming projects, with a focus on defence or security. If you’d like to be considered, please send us your details.