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Biographical entry Sackett, Penny D. (1956 - )

Born
28 February 1956
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A.
Occupation
Astronomer, Chief Scientist and Physicist

Summary

Penny Sackett was Chief Scientist of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. Her research interests include dark matter, galactic structure and the search for extrasolar planets using gravitational microlensing, and involved managing large and complex science projects across broad international partnerships. After a research career in the United States and the Netherlands, Sackett was appointed Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University in 2002. Here she strengthened the connections between astronomy, astro-engineering, and the Australian industrial sector, as well as raising the international profile of Australian astronomy. She was responsible for the management Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, New South Wales and Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra. After Mt Stromlo was destroyed in 2003 by bush fires she led the multi-million dollar effort to rebuild the Observatory, restoring it to its place as an international centre for research, training, and high-tech instrumentation, and initiating its partnership in the Giant Magellan Telescope. As Chief Scientist Sackett worked to introduce long-term, cross-portfolio and cross-disciplinary policy discussions into the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. In 2011 she founded Strategic Advisory Services as a provider of strategic advisory services in sustainability, science and science communication.

Details

Events

1978
Education - BSc, University of Nebraska at Omaha, U.S.A.
1979 - 1981
Award - Andrew Mellon Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.
1984
Education - PhD, University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.
1991 - 1992
Career position - Program Director of Education, Human Resources and Special Programs Division, Astronomical Sciences, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
1992 - 1995
Career position - Research member and J. Seward Johnson Fellow, Princeton University, U.S.A.
1995 - 1997
Career position - Visiting Research Member, School of Natural Sciences, Princeton University, U.S.A.
1995 - 1997
Career position - Assistant Professor, Kapteny Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Netherlands
1996 - 1998
Career position - Member, Facilities Program Committee, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
1998 - 2000
Career position - Associate Professor, Kapteny Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Netherlands
1999 -
Career position - Visiting Scientist, Anglo-Australian Observatory
2000 -
Career position - Visiting Member, Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies, U.S.A.
2001 - 2002
Career position - Professor of Extragalactic Optical and Infrared Astronomy, University of Groningen, Netherlands
2002 - ?
Career position - Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University
2002 - 2007
Career position - Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University
2002 - 2007
Career position - Member, National Committee for Astronomy, Australian Academy of Science
2002 - 2007
Career position - Member, Board of Management, Australian Astronomy Major Research Facility Award
2002 - 2007
Career position - Member, Australian Gemini Steering Committee
2005 - 2010
Career position - Member, Board of Directors, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)
2006 - 2008
Career position - Member, Board of Directors, Giant Magellan Telescope
2008 -
Career position - Adjunct Professor, Australian National University
2008 - 2011
Career position - Chief Scientist, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
2011 -
Career position - Founded Strategic Advisory Services
2015 -
Career position - Deputy Chair, ACT Climate Change Council
2016 -
Career position - Board Member, ACT Renewable Energy Innovation Fund

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Bhathal, R., 'Some Aspects of the Scientific Development and Astronomical Research of Penny Sackett', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 146, 2013, pp. 142-52. Details

Online Resources

Helen Cohn