Jack Hopgood grew up in the Adelaide Hills, with dreams of a career working with animals. Attending Urrbrae Agricultural High School, he had all that he needed to achieve his goals.

“As much as I loved animals, I realised through my study that science and maths were a real strength for me, so I ended up leaning heavily into those subjects rather than agriculture,” Jack reflected. “Going into University, I had no clear expectation of where I would end up, but I wanted to make the most of the high ATAR I achieved,” he added.

Jack chose to study at the University of Adelaide, completing a Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a focus on high performance computational physics. The degree not only took advantage of his innate skills, but also brought the defence industry into his line of sight.

“When my degree was coming to an end, the space industry was really taking off in Adelaide. While I could have continued down the path to a PhD, my study unlocked the space industry as an option, and the opportunities were available on my doorstep,” Jack commented. “That really excited me.”

Now employed by Inovor Technologies, Jack works as an Electronic Warfare Engineer. Based both at Inovor HQ and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), he is contracted to the Australian Government’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) to work in the Sensors and Effectors division.

Established to ‘lead the science and technology for all sensing for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance and the delivery of physical effects’1, the division sees Jack deploying his science skills with a focus on research.

“Initially I had applied for any available engineering role at Inovor,” Jack reflected. “The team there were very good at identifying that my skills in modelling, simulation, tactics and trials fit with the Electronic Warfare engineering role, and I’ve been in the role ever since,” he added.

Jack is currently working on the Modernisation of Maritime Electronic Warfare (MMEW) Project, improving the electronic war capability of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships. The Project intends to deliver enhanced capability to the RAN using existing and emerging technology in innovative ways to control and operate in a congested Electromagnetic Spectrum.

Before working on the MMEW project, Jack was given the opportunity to work on Inovor’s satellite and space projects.

“I started with very little real-world engineering experience and was given an amazing opportunity to learn on the job from the team,” Jack said. “I was surrounded by a team of intelligent people from all sorts of backgrounds, with experience in electrical, aerospace and software engineering and more. It allowed for cross-pollination of skills and lots of learning and growth,” he added.

When asked about any advice for others looking to get into the defence or space industries, Jack focused on the ability to utilise his skills while also learning and growing.

“There’s a wide range of people from many backgrounds in the industry, and the variety of work and experiences that can be accessed is vast. There is so much opportunity to learn, and so much room to grow, and that’s really exciting.”


1Defence Science and Technology Group. Sensors and Effectors. Available at: https://www.dst.defence.gov.au/division/sensors-and-effectors (Accessed: 27 November 2023).