Professor Tanya Monro

Chief Defence Scientist and Physicist

2019 South Australian Award Winner

Professor Tanya Monro was appointed Chief Defence Scientist on Friday 8th March, 2019. Prior to this, she was Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation and an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia. Prof Monro was also the inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014 at the University of Adelaide and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.  Her research is in the field of photonics, with a focus on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres.

Tanya’s awards include: Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, the Bragg Gold Medal (best Physics PhD in Australia), South Australia’s “Australian of the Year”, Scopus Young Researcher of the Year, South Australian Scientist of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.

Tanya is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Optical Society of America and the Australian Institute of Physics, and serves as a member on boards including the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Economic Advisory Council.

She is a tireless advocate for women in science and was a founding sponsor of the SAGE initiative, which is focussed on increasing the proportion of women in senior roles in Australian Universities. At UniSA she personally funded the scheme Research momentum during maternity leave to support new mums to stay research active.

Photo: Randy Larcombe