Work that impacts industry, the community and the environment, and ultimately benefits the nation

Marcus Zipper

Materials Science alum Marcus Zipper, Director of CSIRO Services delivers work that impacts industry, the community and the environment, and ultimately benefits the nation. With all that fueling you, what more could you need!?!

Over the past decade, Dr Marcus Zipper (BSc/BE, PhD, MBA) has assumed a range of significant roles at CSIRO. First he evolved from Strategic Business Development and Marketing Manager to Chief of the Minerals Division. I went from leading three people to over 300 people, he explains. Then about three years ago, the whole organisation went through a major change and we switched from divisions led by chiefs to business units led by directors. And that’s how his current position came about.

Marcus names a few important ways in which his business unit contributes to Australia: CSIRO Education & Outreach delivers national education programs to raise the STEM literacy of students. SME Connect links researchers to small to medium Australian enterprises. And CSIRO Publishing is Australia’s largest publisher of science journals, books and magazines. Not to mention the achievements of CSIRO Futures (the company’s strategic advisory arm) and Infrastructure Technologies (a service supporting the development of products and systems in our built environment).

With projects like that, it’d be hard not to be highly motivated.

Clearly, Marcus himself has embraced change and the opportunities it brings. He has shown great flexibility at CSIRO. He also values interpersonal relationships, and stresses the importance of cultivating contacts through committees and working groups. These attributes underpin his success.

Thinking ahead, Marcus points out the need to adapt to automation and artificial intelligence. Quite a number of current jobs are predicted to be gone within the next 15 to 30 years, he shares. New jobs and job categories will be created, but we need to be ready for these changes.

Data analytics, artificial intelligence, automation, sensor networks, robotics and cybersecurity will continue to be major parts of all our lives, he adds. This means the current and next generations of students will need to be more comfortable, literate and skilled in these technologies, as well as in STEM overall.