Dr Sarah Pearce

Deputy Director, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science

Contact details:

  • PO BOX 76


Dr Sarah Pearce joined CASS as Deputy Chief in February 2011. Prior to this role, she was Project Manager for GridPP, the UK computing grid for particle physics. Sarah's previous experience includes time as a science advisor in the UK Parliament.

Sarah holds a PhD in X-ray astronomy from the University of Leicester and an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Oxford (Worcester College).

She is currently the Deputy Director of CASS, where she chairs the CASS Executive. Sarah has particular responsibility for CSIRO's role in the Square Kilometre Array project, and manages the CSIRO SKA Centre that co-ordinates CSIRO SKA activities. She has been Australian Science Director on the SKA Board, and part of the negotiating team for the SKA Convention.

Sarah also leads CASS's new Space Research Programme. This includes the CSIRO Centre for Earth Observation, which co-ordinates activity in EO across CSIRO and manages CSIRO's share of our new national facility, the NovaSAR satellite.

Current Roles

  • Deputy Director

  • Project leader
    CSIRO SKA Centre

  • Research Programme Leader
    Space Programme

Academic Qualifications

  • 1997

    PhD, Astronomy
    University of Leicester

  • 1994

    Graduate Summer Session
    International Space University

  • 1993

    BA (Hons) Physics
    Oxford University

Professional Experiences

  • 2011-Present

    Deputy Director
    CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science

  • Oct 2012-March 2013

    Acting Director
    CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science

  • 2008-2011

    Project Manager
    GridPP (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • 2004-2008

    Dissemination Officer
    GridPP (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • 1999-2003

    Physical Sciences and IT Adviser
    UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

  • 1997-1999

    Fast Stream
    UK Civil Service

Achievements and Awards

  • 2017

    Inclusion, Trust and Respect Award (joint recipient)
    CSIRO Digital, National Facilities and Collections

  • 2014

    Chairman's Medal (joint recipient)

  • 1993

    Worcester College Society Science Prize
    Worcester College, Oxford University

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-Present

    SKA Science Data Processor Consortium Board

  • 2016-2017

    SKA Cost Update Subcommittee

  • 2015-2017

    Director, SKA Board

  • 2015-2017

    Chair, Working Group on Operations and Access, SKA Convention

  • 2015-2016

    SKA Data Flow Advisory Panel

  • 2015-Present

    CSIRO Science Council

  • 2015

    SOC, OzSKA 2015

  • 2015

    SOC, Women in Astronomy Australian annual meeting 2015

  • 2014-2016

    Women in Astronomy Steering Committee, Astronomical Society of Australia

  • 2014-2015

    Astronomy Decadal Plan Working Group (International Facilities)

  • 2014-Present

    CASS Diversity Committee

  • 2013-Present

    Australian and New Zealand SKA Co-ordination Committee

  • 2013-Present

    SKA Signal and Data Transport Consortium Board

  • 2013-Present

    SKA Dish Consortium Board

  • 2012-2013

    CSIRO eResearch Advisory Committee