Col is an Electronics Engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in the defence sector, much of it specialising in the acquisition and sustainment of airborne surveillance systems. Col retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2013 at the rank of Air Vice-Marshal after 5 years as Head of Aerospace Systems, responsible for the acquisition and sustainment of all Australian Defence Force fixed wing aircraft. He went on to a senior role in the Australian Public Service, leading naval shipbuilding and repair, and the acquisition and sustainment of combat vehicles, weapons, munitions and soldier systems.
Col was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) by the Australian Government for his contribution to the leadership of the Airborne Early Warning and Control Project (Project AIR5077), Australia’s largest ever developmental aerospace project. In 2014, he was further awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition to his contribution to aerospace in Australia. Col holds a Masters of Science in Military Electronic Systems Engineering, and continues to serve as an Air Vice-Marshal in the RAAF Reserve.