Kat Zyga

Freelance Writer & Business Writer

Location:Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2 Skills


? PhD - Intelligence Image Analysis
? MBA - Tech Mgmt & Op Research
? BS – Elect. Engineering/Sig. Proc.

? Program & Portfolio Management
? Business and Technical Expertise
? 20+ yrs International Experience

? Strong Communication Skills
? Persuasive Negotiator
? Expert Team Builder


July 2015 – Present
Delivery Director

Reporting to the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive Officer, I am responsible for delivering a portfolio of projects in the application of Big Data analytics in the defense intelligence and law enforcement domains, with a total value of approximately $60mil, and a combined team size of approximately 50 individuals across multiple disciplines. This includes planning and scheduling in an Agile development environment and with sensitive data; defense, industry, and university stakeholder engagement; program and project oversight; contract negotiation and management; strategic planning; risk management; Board reporting; and executive leadership.

I have also played a leading role in the Training and Education Program of the CRC. This includes developing plans for a skills and competencies framework for data roles, and a plan for skills certification through Badging, that have been accepted by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and will form the basis of a nationwide data uplift strategy. I’ve been requested to work closely with the APSC and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to fully develop and embed this framework. I have also developed short course offerings to fill identified gaps, particularly in defining the value of data analytics for defense intelligence managers. I’m engaged by the University of South Australia to develop and present an MBA course on data analytics for managers.

While in this position I have continued to manage the Cross-Industry Data Analytics Community of Practice, including expansion into Melbourne and Sydney, and the development of a web site for the sharing and distribution of case studies and collaboration, funding, and training opportunities.

December 2014 – July 2015
Senior Data Scientist, Business Insights
With access to petabytes of operational data and a wide variety of analytical tools, responsible for the development of Business Insights to improve Operations at Australia's largest Telecommunications company, with a primary driver of improved customer service and advocacy. This includes finding better ways to source needed data, development and sourcing of algorithms and analytical tools, development of predictive models, and making recommendations for improvement actions to the Senior Leadership Team. Responsible for building an internal Big Data Community of Practice for the identification and consolidation of analytical skills within the organisation, as well as mentoring staff and advising on training needs.
While in this position, also established a highly regarded cross-industry Big Data Analytics Community of Practice targeted at mid-level managers who are ultimately responsible for delivering benefits to the business. This forum has enabled sharing of challenges, presentation of solutions, and opportunities for partnering in issue resolution. Members are from multiple sectors, including utilities, resources, defence, retail, banking, government, education, and consulting. Started locally, there is strong demand for this to become a national forum, and this is currently in planning.


May 2011 – November 2014
Portfolio/Program/PMO Management

Primary roles included:
? Santos – Program Manager for Enterprise Systems Group, responsible for all aspects of management and delivery for portfolio with approximately $25mil annual budget. Responsibilities include resourcing; management, coaching, and leadership of project resources; ensuring compliance with PMO standards; planning and designing the sub-portfolio and monitoring overall progress, resolving issues and taking corrective action when necessary; ensuring adherence to architectural principles via the Architecture Governance Board; and ensuring that all projects deliver agreed scope and business outcomes under agreed schedule and budget limits, have identified dependencies, risks and issues with appropriate mitigation plans, and transition effectively to support teams. Also contributed significantly to process improvement within the PMO and technical stream, including improved risk management, scope change management, resource management, portfolio reporting, standardized testing, lessons learned, and organisational change management. Led two project recovery efforts, including dismissal and restaffing.
? SA Health – Conducted a Benefits Review of the Bedside Computers project, including current status, recommendations for remedial action, and a recommended framework to improve future benefits identification and tracking.
? University of Adelaide – PMO Manger. Greenfields engagement to establish and embed processes for a new IT PMO in an environment with little project management maturity. Designed and tailored processes to suit the organisational requirements, including a complete project management framework, technical and programmatic governance, vendor engagement, risk management, change management, and stakeholder management. Conducted all portfolio gate reviews, and made recommendations to management regarding further process and organisational structure improvements. Conducted two project recovery efforts, including project status evaluation and recommendations for recovery, as well as implementing those recommendations.
? Bendigo and Adelaide Bank – Conducted a large Program Health Check on the Basel II accreditation program, incorporating multiple subprojects and executive level interviews.
? SA Police (SAPOL) – Contributed to the ICT Future Directions strategy for the next 3 to 5 years. This included an analysis of business requirements, current state of systems and processes, and technology opportunities. This strategy formed the foundation of a technology roadmap to guide SAPOL’s move into modern policing methods.
? BHP Billiton – Conducted a number of project Health Checks, providing insight and recommendations to improve project management processes. Developed the methodology for related Health Checks, including Program, Quality Assurance and Testing, and PMO Services.
? Telstra – Responsible for all aspects of IT Project Management with Australia’s largest telecommunications company, including project planning and control, scheduling, estimation, document control, stakeholder management, budgeting and financial control, team leadership, SOW preparation, domestic and offshore vendor management, and management reporting. Successful projects included rollover to IPv6, Managed Network Service Enhancements to deliver a new product range for Managed Data Networks, business application virtualization, and the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

July 2007 – April 2011
Director, Operational Data Exploitation, DSTO Operations Support Centre
Responsible for all aspects of leadership for the Operational Data Exploitation (ODE) team, whose mission was the acquisition, effective organization and storage, analysis, and understanding of all operationally relevant data, as well as researching new techniques in these areas. Major duties and accomplishments included:
? Built the ODE team from the ground up, including defining the vision and goals, hiring and training staff, developing operational data management policies, establishing links with Defence units around the world and pioneering data analysis techniques for operational data.
? Reported to the Head of DSTO Operations Support Centre (DOSC), with responsibilities encompassing strategic planning, scheduling, operational data management, stakeholder liaison, policy development, technical direction, research leadership, staff management, corporate governance, quality assurance, compliance and management reporting. Major contributor to DOSC Executive committee, defining strategic policy and responsible for overall governance.
? Led the research, development, and application of data analysis tools for the purpose of gaining insight into operational issues affecting Defence. This included managing a suite of projects encompassing knowledge management, data extraction and organisation, trend and pattern analysis, visual analytics, and threat anticipation. Delivered many analysis products and tools, including innovative temporal geospatial capability, natural language processing and extraction techniques, and agent based modelling for predictive modelling of group behaviour.
? Liaised with other Divisions within DSTO regarding technical resourcing and delivery issues, frequently negotiating the loan of specialist staff for short term projects and advocating collaborative effort on related projects where possible.
? Led the ODE team in the development of the largest Sharepoint system in the Southern Hemisphere, containing sensitive force protection information and analysis tools in a classified environment. This site was utilised by numerous organisations domestically and internationally, including operational troops.
? Assisted Defence clients at all levels in defining information and analysis requirements. This included the development of Operational Science and Technology Support Requests (OPSTSRs) and program management plans to ensure properly staged delivery of complex phased projects, as well as extensive knowledge of DSTO and commercial capabilities to meet those requirements.
? In April/May 2010, deployed to Afghanistan at the request of Joint Operations Command to study current Information Management systems, data sources, data clients, analysis requirements, hardware infrastructure, and dissemination practices in theatre, and to make recommendations for improvements. The resulting recommendations formed the foundation of a plan to revolutionize Intelligence Information Management for deployed forces, as well as international data sharing.
? In April 2011, deployed to East Timor at the specific request of the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to assess requirements and initiate improvements to the intelligence and logistics data management capabilities of the command staff. While managing a highly political environment, delivered successful logistics dashboard and intelligence visualization projects that are still in use. Also provided scoping documents for other identified deficiencies that have led to additional projects.
? Led the ODE team in developing a comprehensive Information Management plan, including data models and unique schema for specific client database requirements, with a view to providing federated search and an information fusion capability for a deeper level of analysis. The ODE team design of a human terrain data model is being adopted by US Defense and the International Security Assistance Force as a best practice model.
? Authored several classified reports detailing current intelligence data management and analysis deficiencies, and proposed solutions.
? Have briefed all levels of Defence and industry personnel, and international partners, on technical plans and the results of DOSC and ODE team work. This has included Theatre Commanders, the Governor General of Australia, Chief of the Australian Army, and the director of JIEDDO in the USA, as well as broad audiences, such as at monthly DOSC briefings, CIED TF workshops, and symposia.


May 2006 – July 2007
Systems Research Engineer, Maritime Operations Division

Systems Research Engineer providing advice on development of a new maritime surveillance radar system for the ANZAC class frigate.
? Reported to the Head of Group, Anzac Systems Research.
? Responsibilities included stakeholder management, policy development, systems integration research, capability advice, compliance, and management reporting.
? Supervised a small team and contributed to all stages of the system lifecycle, including requirements analysis, system design, specification, development, testing, and implementation.
? Developed simulations to investigate and mitigate technical risk for the planned Anzac frigate Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrades, including detailed system-of-systems modeling in CORE and Simulink/MATLAB.
? Advised on project cost control, scheduling all project activities and quality assurance.
? Identified and advised on project risks from an engineering perspective, including technical, financial, schedule and delivery risks.
? Joint recipient of DSTO Achievement Award for exceptional work on technical risk mitigation for Combat Systems Integration and Phased Array Radar upgrade.
? Authored regular reports for executive management, and several internal technical publications.
? Advised on the technical details of contracts developed for the design of the new radar systems.
? Maintained a sound understanding of combat management systems, surveillance radar, fire control platforms, target indication radar, RF design and capability, message passing and internal communications, hardware integration, software simulation, and open systems architecture.


April 2003 – December 2005
Program Manager & Electronics Engineer

? Technical advisor for a suite of classified projects such as the Sensors to Shooters program, providing expertise in the area of image analysis and data mining for the formation of an addressable database of radar, visual, and land use/land cover image data.
? Supported the PING program by analysing signal reflectivity data using neural networking techniques, which assisted in verifying the utility of this technique for weapons detection and revealed inadequacies in data collection methods.
? Seconded to AFRL Information Directorate to advise on projects aimed at enabling visualization of event information from unstructured text and fusion of entity information from textual data sources such as human intelligence.
? Analysed project tasks from syntactic, semantic and discourse perspectives, with an emphasis on inter-document and intra-document co-reference disambiguation and interface representation to facilitate user event and relationship understanding.
? Concurrently undertook private research in completing Ph.D. thesis for Logo Recognition in Document Imagery Using Neurophysiological Models.


September 1998 – March 2003
Exchange Research Engineer, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), South Australia

As a selectee in AFOSR's Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP), purpose was to promote international cooperation in military research and development by gaining insight into foreign R&D methods, encouraging technical interchange at a researcher level, and cultivating future international cooperative endeavours.

Assignments included:
? Information Technology Division September 1999 - March 2003
Initially responsible for developing and implementing neural networking techniques for automatic logo recognition in document processing for military intelligence applications. Also acted as local expert on neural networks for voice signal processing applications. Presented results in Freiburg, Germany, Washington DC, and Brighton, UK. Granted an unprecedented second exchange term in conjunction with funding from host government to continue research in novel methods of logo recognition in document images while pursuing doctorate at the University of Adelaide. Resultant software package demonstrated rotation and scale invariant logo recognition, robust in the presence of noise and partial obscuration, generated international interest, and has been cited in numerous technical publications
? Surveillance Systems Division September 1998 - August 1999
Responsible for analysis and characterisation of sea clutter affecting the DSTO Ingara synthetic aperture radar system. Developed algorithms for sea reflectivity, statistical models for sea clutter, and required radar cross section for target detection in clutter. Participated in planning and conducting field tests for data collection and operational evaluation. Also acted as technical consultant on GPS navigation and recording, and advised on interaction with US government and contractors for Global Hawk intercommunication link. Presented research results in Paris and Munich.


June 1989 – August 1998
Electronics Engineer

Technical Program Manager for design, implementation, and testing of Advanced Airborne Surveillance Radar Systems. Experienced in managing multi-million dollar, multi-phased, high visibility technical programs, including researching and defining customer requirements, program development, establishing budgets and manpower requirements, vendor management, risk analysis, proposal evaluation, scheduling, control of funds, technical and financial tracking, directing technical personnel, and management reporting. Projects included: Joint Advanced Distributed Simulation of Joint STARS, to emulate complex ground battlefield data for operator training and tactical planning; Concealed Weapons Detection, to support local and federal law enforcement in crowd control using diverse passive and low-power sensors for non-invasive location and identification of weapons; Terrain-Scattered Jamming Characterisation and Mitigation; and Sensor to Shooter Technology, using SADL to relay updated mission data to fighter pilots without verbal communication. Extensive experience in ground and flight testing of experimental RF systems, and evaluation of resultant data, including the development and verification of bistatic radar tactics and geometries. Technical advisor for the Static Wing Testbed and Conformal Array Radar programs, providing expertise in the area of numerical analysis, noise mitigation, and pattern detection. Design of software for the investigation of phased array radar performance, evaluation of adaptive beamforming techniques, and the statistical characterisation of noise and terrain scattering effects.

1992 –1994
Adjunct Instructor of Physics

May 1988 – August 1988
General Electric Company, Aerospace Division, Utica, NY
Junior Engineer


? Doctor of Philosophy, Electrical Engineering, December 2005 - The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia - Thesis title: Logo Recognition in Document Imagery Using Neurophysiological Models
? Master Of Business Administration, May 1994 - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY , emphasis in Technical Management and Operations Research
? Bachelor of Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, May 1989 - Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY - Emphasis in Signal Processing and Communications
? Associate of Science, Engineering Science, May 1987 - Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, NY


? Proficient in a variety of Program Management applications, including CA Clarity, SAP, CORE, and IBM Rational ClearQuest
? Advanced user of all MS Office applications, including MS Project and MS Visio
? Prince 2 Project Management Practitioner certification
? Agile trained and experienced
? Familiarity with SQL, Lavastorm, JMP, C++, and ability to easily learn new techniques and tools when required
? Highly proficient in MATLAB
? Current Australian Top Secret NV clearance
? Previously held USA Secret clearance


? The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
? Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society
? Computational Intelligence Society
? Big Data Community
? Technical Committee on Intelligent Informatics
? The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)
? The Project Management Institute (PMI)

? Professional references are available upon request. ?
Skills (2) Rating
Business Writing