Dr Edward Simpson, 2021–22

Ed Simpson

Dr Edward Simpson

Ed’s research focuses on nuclear physics, with applications as diverse as nuclear fusion, astrophysics, the resilience of satellites, and cancer therapy. Ed holds two ARC Discovery Project grants on nuclear collisions, helped establish the National Space Qualification Network, and is a member of the Australian Space Agency Space Medicine and Life Sciences Technical Advisory Group. He was winner of the inaugural UK Institute of Physics Nuclear Physics Group Prize and winner of a Young Tall Poppy Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.

What were you researching before you started as a Science Policy Fellow?

I was a researcher in nuclear physics. My research focused on the quantum mechanics of nuclear collisions, aimed at understanding nuclear fusion and processes that occur on timescales of one thousandth of a billionth of a billionth of a second. Whilst my research was in fundamental science, I’ve also applied nuclear reactions to areas as diverse as energy production in stars, radiation effects on satellites and helping improve hadron beam cancer therapies.

How has your research background helped you contribute to policy development?

The transferable skills acquired through a career in research are directly applicable to policy development, and the ability to communicate complex information clearly and concisely has proven very valuable. For my particular role, my understanding of National Research Infrastructure and the wider research sector in Australia and has been very beneficial.

How has the program changed your career aspirations?

The program has highlighted the diverse range of careers available within the APS – I had no idea just how many things the APS does! Though I don’t yet know where it will take me, I’m excited about the year ahead and the career pathways the program has opened.

What is your favourite part about working in a policy role in the Australian Public Service?

My favourite part of working in the APS is the talented team I am working with, who are really dedicated to working for the public good. I am also fortunate to have a brilliant manager who is very supportive and has already facilitated invaluable opportunities for career development – just two months into role, I’ve had the chance to take a secondment to another Department and get broader experience of policy development.