MOD Chief Scientific Adviser

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte



Hugh joined the Ministry of Defence in April 2017 as Chief Scientific Adviser.

Hugh moved to Australia in 1995 where he established and led (as its Director) the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at the University of Sydney until 2010.

Hugh became CEO of National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) Australia at the end of 2010, and over a 5 year period, he drove innovation in ICT for Australia.

Returning to the University of Sydney in 2015, he established and led the Centre for Translational Data Science, a major university wide initiative to apply machine learning and data science methods to research and scientific discovery across all fields of academic endeavour, before returning to the UK to take up his current post.

MOD Chief Scientific Adviser

The Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) is MOD’s principal adviser on science and technology, with responsibility for directing research through the MOD’s core S&T research portfolio. The CSA reports to the Permanent Secretary, is a member of the Joint Requirements Oversight Committee (JROC) and the Investment Approvals Committee, and is Co-Chair of the Research Technology and Innovation Board (RTIB).


The MOD Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for:

  • ownership of MOD’s core S&T research portfolio which keeps the armed forces at the cutting edge of new technological developments
  • heading the defence science and technology area in MOD
  • advising ministers and senior officials on science and engineering matters
  • international strategic science and technology collaboration
  • support to procurement activities
  • working with the wider community of chief scientific advisers on cross departmental matters

The MOD Chief Scientific Adviser (Nuclear) post is currently held by Professor Robin Grimes.