NBN satellite engineer wins Australia Day honours


news One of the key engineers who helped guide the NBN company’s first satellite into orders has been awarded Australia Day Honours.

In the Governor-General’s announcement documents relating to this year’s Australia Day honours, Mark Harman Thompson is listed as becoming a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for “For significant service to science as a satellite communications engineer through program management and design.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Thompson has been a satellite engineer and system architect at the NBN company since December 2011, in which role he has managed the communications payload for the company’s satellites, the first of which launched successfully in late 2015.


Thompson’s other roles include running his own company — Focal Communications — since January 1997. Focal, according to Thompson’s LinkedIn profile, ” provides services and support in areas of telecommunications consultancy, contracting, training and software development. Clients include multinational corporations, small to medium enterprises and several Australian government departments.”

In addition, Thompson was a Senior Communications Engineer at the Department of Defence from 1999-2011, working on projects including Australian Defence Satellite Communications Capability (ADSCC) – the first space-based asset to be owned by Department of Defence; and selection of US Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS System; and UHF Hosted Payload (Intelsat-22 satellite).

Thompson also worked at the International Mobile Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT), UK from 1990-1996, as well as being a Principal Communications Engineer, at AUSSAT (Australia’s National Satellite System), from 1982-1990.

The engineer holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Communications Engineering) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which he graduated from in 1981, but he also has never stopped learning.

Thompson grained a Masters in Systems Engineering from the University of NSW in 2014.

Image credit: NBN company, Mark Thompson


    • Indeed, he’s actually done something beneficial for the nation. As opposed to aiding and abetting the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the Australian ppl.

  1. If only I spoke pidgin english and had a degree from some backwater country, then I too could work at NBNco…

  2. Congratulations, it is nice to see the technical folk gaining some recognition for a change!
    I can’t say I’m a big fan of satellite broadband, but this is a great step forward, and rural people will certainly appreciate a better service, even if it’s not their dream internet connection just yet.
    It will certainly take some of the stress away from those living and working in isolated areas that have suffered with communications woes!

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