Former Chief Defence Scientist Professor Robert Clark has been appointed to the newly created Chair of Energy Strategy and Policy at the University of New South Wales.


Professor Clark will focus on evaluating the potential for unconventional gas (shale gas) to play a role in Australia's reduced-carbon-footprint energy mix. This will include an assessment of the environmental impact of shale gas extraction and the development of responsible strategies and policy recommendations. 


Professor Clark was appointed Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist (CDS) and CEO of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in 2008, a post he held until October last year. As CDS, he was a member of Australia’s Defence Committee and the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. He had previously been head of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology, based at UNSW.


Professor Clark gained his Bachelor of Science from UNSW and the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay in 1973. After 10 years Navy service he completed a PhD in Physics at UNSW and the University of Oxford and went on to hold the combined faculty position of a lectureship at Oxford and Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.


Professor Clark headed a research group in experimental quantum physics at Oxford’s Clarendon Laboratory before returning to Australia in 1991 to take up the Chair of Experimental Physics at UNSW. In 2000 he established the ARC Special Research Centre for Quantum Computer Technology, one of the world’s largest centres devoted to this new science, which became an ARC Centre of Excellence in 2003. 


Professor Clark is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, has the rare distinction of being twice named as an Australian Government Federation Fellow, and has received both the Australian Defence Medal and the Australian Centenary Medal. In 2008 he was awarded the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science for his pioneering role in making Australia a world leader in nanotechnology and quantum computing.