New iLAuNCH Hub announces leadership appointments


The University of Southern Queensland-led Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) Hub has announced leadership team appointments in the roles of COO, CTO and Executive Director.

iLAuNCH was supported under the former Coalition federal government’s $362.5 million Trailblazer Universities initiative, with $50 million in federal funding announced in May before the election. Among its goals are translating public research outcomes into commercially viable products.

Darin Lovett will begin as Executive Director this month following a role as Director Space for the South Australian Space Industry Centre. His resume includes time as an RAAF test pilot, senior manager at Boeing Phantom Works, and Chief of Strategy for the Executive Agent for Space at the US Department of Defence.

Aerospace engineer Dr Joni Sytsma has been named CTO, and has previously worked at organisations including US Air Force Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Group, and Gilmour Space Technologies.

Dr Milica Symul joins as COO via a role as Associate Director at RMIT University’s Space Industry Hub.

“The University is delighted to have secured such a capable and enthusiastic team to take the vision of iLAuNCH forward,” UniSQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor John Bell said in a statement on Monday.

“With their guidance, the program will ensure the growth of Australia’s space sector well into the future.”

iLAuNCH’s federal funding covers a four-year term, with the total value given as $180 million, and partnership with Australian National University, University of South Australia, and 21 industry organisations.

According to an announcement from UiSQ last May, its industry partners had identified $3.65 billion in economic benefits associated with the 18 core commercialisation projects.

Picture: Credit UniSQ


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