Flying robocops; cyber security; and what space robots are next for NASA?

Media releases, National Science Week

Tech highlights from National Science Week

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Local and international talent, researchers, experts, and other interesting people available for interview and photo opportunities around the country.

  • Robots in NASA’s search for ‘Terra-Nova’? – SA, NSW and ACT
  • Flying robocops! Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – Adelaide, SA
  • Cryptic questions on cyber security – Adelaide, SA
  • What do robots and the Space Age represent for minerals and wealth? – Newcastle, NSW
  • All things quantum, from computing to transport – Carlton, VIC
  • Teaching with technology in the 21st Century – Melbourne, VIC

… and there’s more on each below.

Find more National Science Week events online at  

What space robots are on the cards for NASA? ‘The Future of US Planetary Exploration’ – SA, NSW and ACT

Inn 1Excited about Juno and the Mars Curiosity rover? American astronautics expert Dr Randii Wessen knows the technology we will be excited about in 20 to 30 years.

Randii has been an employee of the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1984 and is the A-Team Lead Study Architect for JPL’s Innovation Foundry. He’s in Australia for two weeks to discuss the robotic planetary missions currently in operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and those planned for the upcoming decades. The public talk will include the search for ‘Terra Nova,’ an Earth-like planet outside our Solar System.

Randi will be hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as part of the 2016 Distinguished Lecture Program.

Adelaide: Tues 16 Aug Event details

Sydney: Thurs 18 Aug Event details

Canberra: Mon 22 Aug Event details

The Space Age: minerals, wealth and robots – Newcastle, NSW

Exponential technological development within robotics, space exploration, transportation, and remote mineral processing techniques are leading us headlong into the ‘Space Age’. These space age developments directly affect every global citizen in ways that will surprise you.

Speaker Kim Ellis is a ‘Space Lawyer, Science and Technology Expert’. She is a qualified resource industry research scientist, lawyer, and is an Adjunct Faculty for the International Space University.

Tues 16 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Simone Meakin, or 02 4931 6720

Flying robocops! Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – Adelaide, SA

What are Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and why are they useful for SA Police? How do they compare with other policing techniques?

Join Officer Charles Theakstone from SA Police as he shares his expertise on SAPOL’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and examples of real case work at an evening event hosted by the SA Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society. See real RPAS on display.

Wed 17 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Secretary SA Branch, or 0417 864 463

Cryptic questions on cyber security – Adelaide, SA

A lecture followed by a Q & A session where audience members will have the chance to ask questions about the mathematics of cryptography and issues surrounding computer security and privacy in the digital age.

Jennifer Seberry is a cryptographer, mathematician, and computer scientist. At the University of Wollongong, she established the Centre for Computer Security Research, which has contributed significantly to Australia’s security research and is part of the reason why she is regarded as “the mother of Cryptography in Australia”.

Wed 17 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Brad Cameron, or 0417 419 269

Teaching with technology in the 21st Century – Melbourne, VIC

Can a computer algorithm assess students’ reading responses more accurately and consistently than a teacher? How might computers and data analytics support teachers in the future to improve the active learning experience for students?

Join Harvard physics professor Eric Mazur to hear how how data analytics and computerised assessment can support teachers to improve the active learning experience for students.

Fri 19 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Yildiz Djelal, or 03 9919 1981

All things quantum, from computing to transport – Carlton, VIC

tech 2The world’s economy is dominated by science and technology in a way that it never has been previously. The ultimate technology is quantum mechanics. The race to develop quantum technology will determine the winners and losers in the coming ‘quantum economy’.

Professor Andy Greentree will talk about some of his work in quantum computing, quantum transport, quantum sensing, and quantum communication. He’ll discuss concepts such as the limit of information, and some of the technologies and opportunities that will shape the 21st Century.

Fri 19 Aug Event details

Enquiries: Nick Besley, or 0419 107 278

About National Science Week

First held in 1997, National Science Week has become one of Australia’s largest festivals. Last year saw a staggering 1.3 million people participate in over 1,500 events and activities.

In 2016, National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia—from astronomy at Uluru to a science film night in the Antarctic—with everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, expert panel discussions, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities.

The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government; partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC; and sponsors Cosmos, Discovery Science, New Scientist and Popular Science.

National Science Week 2016 will run from 13 – 21 August. Event details can be found at

National Science Week general media enquiries:

Tanya Ha – or call 0404 083 863