Innovation Lecture Series 2014

Beyond Earth

Innovation Lecture 2014

Part One: Enrico Palermo

The Warren Centre’s 2014 Innovation Lecture Series, Beyond Earth, highlights the significant role that Australia and Australians play in global space industries.

Sub-orbital space exploration is opening up exciting new frontiers for space science. The main lecture event, which took place in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide in September 2014, provided insights into how space tourism is evolving and the opportunities it can provide for new science and exploration.

The lecture was presented by Enrico Palermo, a young and dynamic Australian engineer responsible for running spaceship development activities for Virgin Galactic. Enrico talked about his journey from Perth to the Mojave Desert via University of Western Australia and the International Space University, and the future of space travel.

Find out more by watching the lecture highlights above, and also in the event booklet, which includes an essay by Enrico on the future of space travel (PDF, 3.25MB).

Enrico’s lecture featured on the Thursday 16 October 2014 edition of ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas program, which is available to download as a podcast or to stream online.

As Vice President of Operations for The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s spaceship building arm, Enrico leads operations for the world’s first company building a fleet of commercial manned spaceships. He directs and leads engineering, production, supply chain, quality assurance and business support functions for vehicle delivery at TSC.

The Beyond Earth series encompasses various events with themes including satellites and communications, earth observation systems, astronomy and space exploration. Nobel Prize winning Professor Brian Schmidt AC will give a presentation on Astronomy & Astrophysics in Sydney on Tuesday 10 February 2014.

Innovation Lecture Series

The Warren Centre’s Innovation Lecture Series puts successful Australian innovators in the public spotlight, showcasing innovation across the engineering universe. We are privileged to present an exemplary selection of Australian achievers and to recognise great individual accomplishments in innovation.

Part Two: Professor Brian Schmidt

Professor Brian Schmidt is a revolutionary in the field of astrophysics and co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. His team’s discovery countered all established thinking about our universe, discovering that it is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate.

Professor Brian Schmidt AC FRS is a Nobel laureate, leading advocate for Australian science and education, and a thought-provoking speaker. He delivered The Warren Centre’s Beyond Earth: Exploring the Last Frontier lecture on Tuesday 10th February 2015 at the Law Lecture Theatre, University of Sydney.

Astronomy has made remarkable progress over the past century but remains a frontier science, and Australia has played a pivotal role in our current level of understanding.

Professor Schmidt’s lecture showcases the Universe as we know it, highlights Australia’s unique contributions to this knowledge, and speculates as to what the future might bring.

View more photos from the event

About the Last Frontier

Professor Schmidt currently leads the Skymapper telescope program, which is automatically mapping the entire southern sky.

Physicists have known for almost a century that the universe is expanding due to the effects of the Big Bang billions of years ago.

However, Professor Schmidt’s study of Type Ia supernovae, released in 1998, provided the first clear evidence that this expansion is accelerating. This revived Einstein’s 1917 proposition about lambda, which the great scientist had rejected from his General Theory of Relativity.

The universe’s acceleration is believed to be driven by dark energy, which makes up three quarters of the universe – but we still do not understand what dark energy is. This puzzle, which came directly out of Professor Schmidt’s work, is considered to be one of the greatest in physics today.

Along with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter in the US, Professor Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery.

Professor Brian Schmidt AC is an astronomer at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Australian National University. He now leads the SkyMapper Telescope Project and the Southern Sky Survey.

Together with his team at ANU, Professor Schmidt demonstrates Australia’s capability to participate and lead at a global level in astronomy and astrophysics.

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