Mars Buttfield-AddisonComputer Scientist
University of Tasmania
I’m a computer scientist who works on systems that track satellites and prevent debris-forming collisions in space. These satellites provide services that are critical to our everyday lives—including navigation for ships and planes, warnings for extreme weather events, and connectivity and communications for people in remote areas.
My background spans all kinds of specialist software, from machine learning to high-performance computing, for diverse applications ranging from public health to visual design, but one common thread ties them together: tinkering and problem-solving.
I'm obsessed with knowing how things work, and I immerse myself in various fields and teams so that I can understand the complex historical, social, interpersonal, political and technical aspects of the wicked problems they face. Only with that deep understanding can I formulate solutions that will be fit-for-purpose, and develop tools that will empower those that use them.
But where there is science or innovation, there must be communication. So, on the side, I'm an avid freelancer and volunteer for all things technology and STEM outreach—writing books, apps and teaching materials; organising and speaking at events; offering workshops and private tutoring; working for companies towards ethical use of technology and artificial intelligence; contributing to free-to-use software used by scientists around the world; and involving myself in every effort to inform the public about the benefits and dangers of advanced technologies.
If you're in need of a specialist in technology, space technology, or issues regarding satellites or space debris, I'm your gal. So get in touch!