[Skip to Content]

ICRAR’s Executive Team is responsible for the day-to-day management of ICRAR’s research, administration and outreach, education and communication programs.

Mr Tom Booler

Director, Engineering

E: tom.booler@icrar.org

P: 08 9266 9471

Tom is a program and operations specialist with experience in complex project development and procurement, as well as remote area operations. Tom led the procurement and construction of the MWA and now leads ICRAR-Curtin’s Engineering Operations program, which includes responsibility for activity on the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory site. Tom has also led ICRAR-Curtin’s successful industry engagement throughout SKA preconstruction, helping local companies to understand and engage with the project.

Professor Luca Cortese

Interim Director, Science (UWA)

E: luca.cortese@icrar.org

P: 08 6488 3663

Science Units: Multiwavelength and Spectroscopic Surveys; Gas and Feedback with Radio Surveys.

Expertise: Star formation cycle, interstellar medium and environmental effects in nearby galaxies.

Current and past large surveys: The SAMI Galaxy Survey, The GALEX Arecibo SDSS Survey, The Herschel Reference Survey, The Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey.

PhD, 2005, Universita’ degli Studi di Milano Bicocca (Italy) and Universite de Provence (France).

Professor Simon Ellingsen

Executive Director

E: simon.ellingsen@icrar.org

P: 08 6488 4553

Professor Ellingsen holds a PhD in Astrophysics and has consistently demonstrated a passion for advancing the frontiers of radio astronomy. Before joining ICRAR, he served as Dean of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Tasmania, where he played a central role in expanding the University’s radio antennas from a single antenna to seven across five sites in Australia. It is the only continental-scale radio interferometry array owned and operated by a University anywhere in the world.

He brings a wealth of physics and astronomy experience, contributing to nearly 200 publications and winning over $15 million in competitive grants. He is a Fellow of the Astronomical Society of Australia and the Australian Institute of Physics. He has served on several committees and advisory groups for Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL), the Australian Space Agency and the Astronomical Society of Australia.

His passion for physics and radio astronomy began with his Bachelor of Science (Hons) project, where he mapped radio emissions from Centaurus A, the Magellanic Clouds, and the centre of the Milky Way. His PhD focused on radio spectroscopy, discovering many 6.7 GHz methanol masers and using them to study the formation of stars. This research led to the identification of new star formation regions and has been pivotal in galactic surveying, resulting in the discovery of numerous new high-mass star formation regions. He continues to use these techniques to solve astrophysical problems to this day.

Professor James Miller-Jones

Director, Science (Curtin)

E: james.miller-jones@icrar.org

P: 08 9266 9141

Professor James Miller-Jones received his DPhil from the University of Oxford. Following a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Amsterdam, he spent three years at NRAO Charlottesville as a Jansky Fellow, before joining the Curtin node of ICRAR as a Curtin Research Fellow in 2010. In 2014 he won an ARC Future Fellowship to study the process of low-luminosity accretion onto stellar-mass black holes. He took on the role of Science Director at ICRAR-Curtin in 2017, and was appointed as a Professor in 2019.

His work investigates the nature of relativistic jets from stellar-mass compact objects and their connection to the process of accretion, using many of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes in concert with facilities from across the electromagnetic spectrum to determine how such jets are launched, and their impact on the surrounding environment. The Square Kilometre Array and its precursor facilities, including the Murchison Widefield Array and MeerKAT, will allow him to study jet-producing radio transients in unprecedented detail.

Dr Renu Sharma

Director, Translation and Impact (UWA), Chief Operating Officer

E: renu.sharma@icrar.org

P: 08 6488 7871

Dr Renu Sharma has extensive leadership experience in advancing education, research, innovation, and inclusivity and she joined ICRAR in 2009 as a founding Executive team member. As the current Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation and Impact at ICRAR, along with team ICRAR she is contributing to building the cutting-edge Square Kilometre Array project in Western Australia. Dr Sharma is dedicated to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusivity through various roles, including the Vice Chancellor’s Equity and Diversity Committee at UWA and the Chair of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Working Group. Renu is a Fellow of Leadership WA, and a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Director.

Her management responsibilities include strategic and operational planning, finance and human resource management, safety, health and risk management, marketing and promotion and supporting teaching, research and research training activities through a culture of continual improvement. In addition to her management experience in Australia, Renu has nearly two decades of experience working in the Science and Technology sector in India.

Ms Aoife Stapleton

Director, Translation and Impact (Curtin)

E: aoife.stapleton@curtin.edu.au

P: 08 9226 5209

Aoife (pronounced ‘Ee-fah’) is the Director of the Translation and Impact Program at the Curtin University node of ICRAR.

A recovered corporate and banking lawyer, Aoife has worked at Curtin University since 2016, advising on the establishment and management of research collaborations, strategic alliances and training centres with industry and government stakeholders.

She brings to ICRAR her experience in commercial negotiation, corporate governance, talent management, and client relationship management, lowering the barriers to ICRAR collaboration with industry, government, non-profit organisations.

Passionate about career and personal development, one of Aoife’s core areas of interest is in enabling radio astronomers to recognise and communciate the value of their skillsets beyond radio astronomy. Through the Translation and Impact program, this can be harnessed for impact across Western Australia’s economy, society, environment, and culture.


Professor Steven Tingay

Deputy Executive Director

E: s.tingay@curtin.edu.au

P: 08 9266 4908

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Steven Tingay is the Deputy Executive Director of ICRAR and leads the Curtin University node of ICRAR. He is an expert in astronomy and astrophysics, in particular radio astronomy. His areas of expertise encompass building and using radio telescopes, as well as astrophysical interpretation. Tingay likes designing challenging and novel experiments to answer fundamental questions about the Universe. Prof. Tingay has been at Curtin University since 2007. Before 2007 he was at Swinburne University of Technology, CSIRO, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. He has a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the Australian National University and an Honours degree in Physics from The University of Melbourne. Recently Tingay was on secondement in Italy for 18 months, as Director of the INAF Instituto di Radioastronomia in Bologna and Head of Section II of the INAF Science Directorate. Previously, he was the Director of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) project, the only fully operational precursor telescope for the Square Kilometre Array. He has authored or co-authored over 200 papers in international refereed journals and has attracted over $100m of research funding as Principle or Co-Investigator.

Professor Andreas Wicenec

Director, Data Intensive Astronomy

E: andreas.wicenec@icrar.org

P: 08 6488 7847

Professor Andreas Wicenec is a Research Professor and head of the Data Intensive Astronomy (DIA) program at ICRAR. Andreas is leading research efforts directed at the challenges of transmitting, storing and processing the enormous amounts of data generated from the radio telescope arrays being developed in Western Australia. He leads work on three main projects: (1) SKA Science Data Processor Data Layer design (2) Science Survey Support (3) High Performance Computing systems. Andreas joined ESO in 1997 as an archive specialist and was involved in the final implementation of the archive for ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and then became ESO’s Archive Scientist and led the ALMA archive subsystem development group.. During his early career he was involved in the software development and reduction of photometric and astrometric Tycho data from the Hipparcos satellite. Prof. Wicenec is also involved in the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). His scientific interests and publications include high precision global astrometry, optical background radiation, stellar photometry, dynamics and evolution of planetary nebulae and observational survey astronomy and the related scheduling and computational concepts.