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Dr Kimberley Clayfield

Space Research Program Director and Space Technology Future Science Platform Leader


Dr Kimberley Clayfield is Director of CSIRO's Space Research Program, including oversight of the CSIRO Centre for Earth Observation and development of the AquaWatch Australia Mission. Kimberley is also the Leader of the CSIRO Space Technology Future Science Platform (Space FSP). Under her leadership, the Space FSP was established in Nov 2018 to build capability, identify and develop innovative new space technologies and applications, and support the growth of Australia's space industry. This multidisciplinary program carries out a wide range of space technology research and development activities in areas including small satellite technologies (such as imaging sensors, power systems and materials), Earth observation data analytics and applications, space communications, space object tracking and signal processing, robotics, remote operations and in situ resource utilisation, and space life sciences.

Kimberley was also Program Leader of DMTC's High Altitude Sensor Systems Program (on part-time secondment) from the HASS Program's establishment in early 2017 through to Dec 2019.

Prior to the establishment of the Space FSP Kimberley was Executive Manager Space Sciences and Technology within CSIRO, in which role she focused on space strategy, industry development, and the implementation of new space-related activities and capabilities within CSIRO. Her previous experience includes time as the CSIRO SKA Consortium Officer (2014-15), managing CSIRO’s obligations as lead organisation of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Dish Consortium - the largest of the 11 international consortia responsible for designing the world’s biggest radio-telescope.

Prior to joining CSIRO, Kimberley was Assistant Manager of Space Policy within the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. There she co-authored the policy proposal which led to the four-year $40 million Australian Space Research Program (2009 – 2013).

Dr Clayfield holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons I) and PhD in mechanical engineering, a Master of Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the International Space University, and additional graduate qualifications in space science and public policy.

In 2014 Kimberley became the first Australian to receive the prestigious Lawrence Sperry Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She has also served as Chair of Engineers Australia's National Committee on Space Engineering, and as a member of the Australian Academy of Science's National Committee for Space and Radio Science. In 2013 she was the first Australian to be recognised with the International Astronautical Federation's Young Space Leader award.

Current Roles

  • Director
    Space Research Program, Space & Astronomy

  • Leader
    CSIRO Space Technology Future Science Platform

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-2020

    Research Organisation of the Year (CSIRO)
    Inaugural Australian Space Awards

  • 2020-2020

    Finalist, Innovator of the Year - Individual
    Inaugural Australian Space Awards

  • 2014-2014

    The James McWha Award of Excellence
    The University of Adelaide

  • 2014-2014

    Lawrence Sperry Award
    The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

  • 2013-2013

    IAF Young Space Leader
    International Astronautical Federation

  • 2013-2013

    NAB Women's Agenda Leadership Award - Emerging Leader in the Public or Not-for-Profit Sector
    Women's Agenda

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2012-current

    Member, National Committee for Space and Radio Science, Australian Academy of Science

  • 2015-2017

    Chair, National Committee on Space Engineering, Engineers Australia

  • 2000-2015

    Volunteer coordinator/advisor, South Australian Space School & National Space Camp