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Welcome to the April 2024 newsletter

In this month’s newsletter you can read about the latest research news, register for events, hear about our recent CSIRO Alumni panel for CERC Fellows and find out about courses and opportunities to get involved with CSIRO programs.

Our ‘Secrets of Healthy Ageing’ series returns
Professor Cassandra Szoeke is one of our CSIRO Alumni members and Director of the Healthy Ageing Program at the University of Melbourne.

CSIRO report sows seeds for Australia’s farming future
The Ag2050 Scenarios Report examines the question; what does a productive, resilient and sustainable farm look like in Australia in 2050?

CSIRO invests $20 million to drive SME innovation
The funding will allow CSIRO’s SME Connect team to support up to 750 SMEs through a range of programs and initiatives that provide facilitation, training, dollar-matched funding and support to start-ups and SMEs seeking to engage in company-led research projects.


Many presentations and seminars are now being held online – so you can attend from the comfort of your own home. Our alumni calendar lists both CSIRO and external events, so you can find out about a wide range of events.

Promote your own events
To help connect alumni with one another, we encourage you to list your own events on our website. Let us know if you are organising, presenting or attending events and we can help promote it to the alumni network – please email

Upcoming events

News from alumni

We feature a range of alumni stories on our website celebrating the achievements of our members. We encourage members to get in touch and send in their stories of trials and tribulations – all in the name of scientific research!

So, if you have received an award, written a book or have any stories that you’d like to share with the alumni network, please email

CSIRO Alumni share career advice with CERC Fellows
We’d like to thank the CSIRO Alumni members who recently joined a panel to talk to our current CERC Fellows. Four panellists talked about their career journeys after working at CSIRO. This was a great opportunity to hear about roles outside of the organisation and potential career options. They shared insight, advice and tips on life after CSIRO and gave our CERC Fellows inspiration to plan their own scientific careers.

If you would be keen to join a future panel and share your experience and expertise with our CERC Fellows, please contact

On a sadder note, if you would like to let the alumni network know about the passing of one of our members, please email us and we can post a notice to the news page and also feature an obituary within our stories section.

We invite alumni members to add their own tributes, so please contact if you would like to share your memories of them.

Vale Karl Armstrong
Sadly Karl Armstrong, longstanding retired CSIRO enquiries team member, has passed away at 75, following his heavy battle with advanced Parkinson disease.

Loving father of Erin and Liri (dec) and father-in-law to Steve. Adoring grandpa to Willow. A man with a huge heart who lived life with passion, activism, intellect, warmth, humour, cheekiness, and resilient spirit. You were deeply loved and will be missed greatly.

Vale Rodney (Rod) Hayes
Rod worked at the Belmont site on Henry Street (where he also lived) for 26 years starting as Turner and Fitter in the wool division and making his way through workshops, laboratories and later computing. 1989 saw Rod leave the CSIRO and move to Telstra moving the family to Canberra. Rod wrote many papers while working at CSIRO for many Australian / South Pacific symposiums.

The move didn’t last long and the family were back in Geelong before finally moving back to Canberra another year later and Rod starting his own business in his late 50’s – Rod Hayes Computer Management Consultants.

Rod passed suddenly aged 85 years in Ballarat where he moved back to from Canberra in 2018.

Vale John Connolly
John commenced working for CSIRO in 1957 in radiometry (astronomy/solar studies) and then thermometry, working in the NML building in Sydney University and then came to Lindfield when it opened in 1978. John studied Science at UNSW, instructed by a professor in his office with two other students.

He specialised in Platinum Resistance Thermometry, travelling to Singapore, India, Thailand and Korea sharing his knowledge and skills across South-East Asia. His team would often host people from these and other countries at Lindfield.

He was an active member of the CSIRO Ski Club and was President for several years. He retired in the early 2000’s and was thrilled when his niece Leah Lucas commenced working at CSIRO Lindfield in May 2023.

He was “A man big in stature, spirit and generosity”.

Vale Bruce Ayling
Bruce Ayling worked at CSIRO in North Ryde from at the early ‘60’s until his retirement 30 years ago. He died on 13 February 2024 at age 95, peacefully after a very active and fulfilled life.

He was a radio / electronics wizard / engineer with very little or no formal training, who invented many pieces of equipment for the team. He was an acknowledged mentor to many and loved chatting and ‘holding court’. He was acknowledged internationally for his work. Following his retirement, he worked for another twenty years repairing specialised medical equipment for hospitals, that, it seemed no-one else could do.

Vale Dr John Middleton
John spent his entire working life at CSIRO, having joined the Division of Organic Chemistry at Fishermans Bend, Victoria in 1965.

Over succeeding years he worked in the Divisions of Applied Chemistry and Applied Organic Chemistry which eventually became the Division of Molecular Sciences. John was recruited to CSIRO to work on the insect hormone project. This was a project to identify, isolate, characterise and synthesise insect hormones for possible use in controlling insect pests. He was a co-author of 26 papers from 1966 until the project ended in 1976.

John made a major contribution to CSIRO through his work on the new laboratories at Clayton. Over several years he worked with the architects to design buildings that have aged well. After his work on the building was completed he joined the Division’s medicinal chemistry project working as a synthesis chemist to develop novel anti-viral compounds.

Opportunities and courses

Support our internship programs

Stay in touch

We love to hear from our alumni members, so get in touch and let us know what you are up to – reach out to the network for help or promote your events, research or successes. Please email