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Former US ambassador Sinodinos appointed chair of Hypersonix

written by Jake Nelson | April 4, 2024

Arthur Sinodinos served as Australia’s ambassador to the US from 2020–23. (Image: US Army Medical Center of Excellence)

A former Coalition minister and ambassador to the US has been appointed chair of the board at Australian aerospace firm Hypersonix.

Arthur Sinodinos, former chief of staff to former prime minister John Howard, also served as minister for industry, innovation and science from 2011–19 and as Australia’s US ambassador from 2020–23. He took over from co-founder David Waterhouse last month, with the latter taking up the role of deputy chair.

Hypersonix, which specialises in hypersonic technology and scramjet engines, was selected by the US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) last March for a program testing aircraft that can fly faster than five times the speed of sound and was awarded a US patent for its “Spartan” scramjet in June.

“Hypersonix is a great Australian success story and I am grateful to have led the company through the early startup stage, establishing our first foothold in the US Defence market and laying the groundwork for where we are now,” said Waterhouse.

“I’m excited to see the heights Arthur’s extensive experience will help us reach and I look forward to continuing my work with Arthur and my fellow board members as we embark on the next chapter for the company.”


During his time as ambassador, Sinodinos played a role in finalising the AUKUS agreement between Australia, the UK and the US, which includes hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities as a designated advanced technology.

Hypersonix CEO Matt Hill said Sinodinos brings a “wealth of knowledge” and connections.

“The executive team is very excited to draw on his experience and extensive insight into government, defence, and industry,” he said.

“Arthur’s time as Ambassador to the United States will be invaluable to inform and guide our global growth strategy. We have big plans, commencing with the upcoming first flight of our DART hypersonic flyer with the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit.”

In a statement, Sinodinos thanked Waterhouse for his stewardship of Hypersonix.

“When I first learned about Hypersonix in 2022, I was amazed by the access-to-space technology and ‘green-fuelled’ launch vehicles that they were developing,” he said.

“There is a critical need for hypersonic technology in defence, and an equally significant potential for commercial applications.

“Hypersonix has the right leadership team in place and I look forward to guiding and supporting them to maximise growth potential and bring the product line to market.”

Sinodinos took over from Waterhouse, who co-founded the company with Michael Smart, on 18 March.

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