Minister for Defence Materiel and Science - Scientist awarded for improved soldier performance

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The Hon Mal Brough MP

Minister for Defence Materiel and Science

Special Minister of State in the Australian Government

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25 November 2015

Dr Mark Patterson is this year’s recipient of the Minister’s Award for Achievement in Defence Science.

Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, the Hon Mal Brough MP, congratulated Dr Patterson on his contribution to the Defence Science and Technology Group in enhancing the protection and performance of ADF personnel.

“Dr Patterson’s primary work has been in the area of human physical performance. His expertise has been critical to improving protective combat armour for soldiers, reducing heat injuries and establishing a framework that match individuals to tasks, helping to remove gender restrictions across ADF employment categories,” Mr Brough said.

“Dr Patterson’s work has demonstrated novel approaches to meeting the increasing demands for the continued protection and wellbeing of Australian soldiers who are at the heart of ADF capability. He is a thoroughly deserving recipient of this award.”

Dr Patterson has made a major contribution to the integration of the soldier combat system under the Diggerworks initiative. The development of the Tiered Body Armour has reduced the weight soldiers need to carry while improving their survivability and effectiveness in the field.

Australian soldiers have also benefited from Dr Patterson’s research into the prevention and treatment of heat injuries. His team developed an inexpensive hand-held device for ADF personnel to monitor environmental conditions in remote locations and reduce exposure to heat stress.

Dr Patterson also led the ground-breaking research program that introduced objective physical performance criteria for the selection and training of Defence personnel, opening opportunities for women to undertake tasks from which they were previously excluded.

The Minister’s Award for Achievement in Defence Science, presented annually since 1988, recognises original and outstanding contributions capable of enhancing Australia’s defence effectiveness and efficiency.

Media note:
Imagery will be available tomorrow through the Defence Image Library:

Media contacts:
Chloe Petch (Minister Brough’s Office) 0477 395 356
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

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