CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has announced two key leadership appointments for its Energy and Services Business Units.

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Dr Marita Niemelae has been appointed as Director of Energy, heading up research and development to support the delivery of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for the nation.

Ms. Gail Fulton has also been appointed Director of Services, overseeing a number of CSIRO’s commercial areas, Publishing, Futures, Education and Outreach, Infrastructure Technologies and SME Connect.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said that he was thrilled that internal appointments were made for both positions.

"It's extremely rewarding seeing our own people step up into these roles and it certainly reinforces the depth of talent we have right here at team CSIRO," Dr Marshall said.

"One of the key shifts we have seen over the course of Strategy 2020 has been our adaptability in becoming more market facing; increasing our capacity to help reinvent existing industries and create new ones for Australia.

"While CSIRO's purpose, to solve Australia’s greatest challenges with science, hasn’t changed, how we do it and how we deliver those solutions has changed dramatically.

"The appointment of Marita leading Energy and Gail leading Services takes us even further on this journey – reflecting a leadership style grounded in innovation and real-world application."

Dr Niemelae joined CSIRO 12 months ago as Deputy Director of the Energy Business Unit and has been pivotal in shaping CSIRO’s new energy strategy, focused on supporting regional energy security, while enabling Australia’s transition to lower emissions energy.

"Marita will be stepping into the Director role at a crucial time, as we help Australia navigate to a net zero emissions future," Dr Marshall said.

"This is a complex challenge that will need a collaborative approach to solve – drawing on expertise from across CSIRO and beyond, whether it be environmental research, manufacturing capability, or expertise in artificial intelligence.

"Marita brings impressive leadership experience and a strong track record in using science to solve real world problems, and I know she will be up for this challenge."

Ms Fulton has been at CSIRO for 10 years, including three years with the Services team, most recently as Acting Director.

"Gail is an exemplary leader and is known for harnessing opportunities to connect our science with society, communities, government and industry," Dr Marshall said.

"Leading our Services group, she will play a critical role in supporting a better future for Australia’s industries, whether it be helping SMEs embrace science and innovation to grow faster or igniting a passion for science in the hearts and minds of our next generation of STEM professionals."

During her time at CSIRO, Ms Fulton has been integral in establishing the Generation STEM initiative, the Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy, the Main Sequence Ventures Fund, and setting up CSIRO’s operations in Chile.

Dr Niemelae and Ms Fulton will commence in their new positions in the coming weeks .

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