Simulation and defence expert

Dr Mike Brennan (BSc(Hons) ’82, PhD(PhysSc) ’86) is the principal of Brennan Advisory which was established as an independent professional service provider to organisations in the Defence & National Security and related domains, with a focus on Simulation and ICT strategy and governance, military experimentation and analysis.

Mike is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Simulation Australasia, an Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research at Deakin University and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He is the co-author of influential papers on strategic policy and capability requirements for contemporary land tactics.

Mike served as Chair of Simulation Australasia, the peak association for the simulation community in Australasia, having previously been a Board Member and an expert adviser to the CEO and Chair. External to Simulation Australasia, Mike’s career spans appointments to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland, the Research School of Physical Sciences & Engineering at the Australian National University, the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO), and attachments to Army and Defence Headquarters in Australia and the US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL).

Mike joined Defence in 1995 and is one of the seminal contributors to the methodologies and outcomes of the Australian Army’s military experimentation capability – heading the analytic capability over a four year period and playing an influential role in defining the capability needs for the ADF’s Amphibious capability, Army aviation and close combat.

As part of Defence’s international engagement in military experimentation and analysis, he was the first civilian exchange officer to the US’ MCWL. After his return to Australia he supported Army’s development of the Future Land Warfare 2030 directions document, before leading the Operations Analysis cell as part of the Land Operations Analysis Team’s deployment to Darwin and subsequently East Timor.

He was appointed Science Adviser–Army, supporting the Chief of Army in 2003, before returning to Adelaide to lead the science and technology support to the acquisition programs for Soldier Modernisation, Special Operations and biometrics. As Research Leader Human Systems Integration he led Land Operations Division’s Human Sciences Capability and Army support programs.

Mike was selected as Director General Simulation (DGSIM) in Defence headquarters, providing senior specialist advice on simulation to the Department of Defence from 2009 to 2013. In this role he was responsible for coordination of strategic governance and development of the Defence simulation capability, including the major Defence program Joint Project – Simulation Core Services; then one of the most significant Defence ICT based capability programs managed outside of the Defence Chief Information Officer Group.

Dr Mike Brennan was awarded a Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017 for his significant contribution to the community, the state, the nation, and internationally in the areas of simulation and defence.

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