Katherine Bennell

Assistant Director PCD
Australian Space Agency

As Assistant Director for the Program and Capability Directorate of the newly established Australian Space Agency, Katherine leads a team to develop the Australian Space Agency’s first roadmaps, which will guide the advancement of the country’s space capability over the next decade. 

Katherine is an experienced space systems engineer, business developer and project manager. She has recently returned home following more than a decade abroad across six countries developing spacecraft, mission architectures and technologies. Through various roles at Airbus, she contributed to Lisa Pathfinder as a thermal architect, advanced ISRU technologies and an associated novel Martian vehicle design, developed an InSAR mission concept to measure ocean surface currents, led a team to design Orion mission concepts and associated add-on kits, and ran multiple innovation projects. 

Katherine holds a BEng Aeronautical (Space) (Hons) and BSc (Adv) Physics both from Sydney University, an MSc Space Technology from Lulea Technical University and an MSc Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University. In the course of her studies she also attended ISU SSP09.

Katherine is passionate about space utilisation and exploration as a vehicle to advance society, human knowledge and quality of life. Her hobbies include scuba diving, hiking, basketball, tennis, and looking at the sky through a hobby telescope in her backyard with her husband and two young daughters.