Kimberley Abbott has recently been named as one of Engineers Australia’s Top 30 Most Innovative Engineers 2018. The nomination resulted from her work at Thales as the Engineering Innovation Team Lead for product development, strategy and business commercialisation of an operations software platform for a digital civil unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on a software as a service package (SaaS) platform. Kimberley took the project from an initial high-level strategy and value proposition through to a validated proof of concept.


Working across a spectrum of tasks in user-centred design and with operators and enterprise customers, Kimberley built concepts as well as business models and delivered market analyses. “I have been fortunate in my career so far to work with so many talented innovative people and had the chance to work on and lead innovative projects. For me it has been a process of learning to think big, bring together the ideas of others, and deliver something that makes an impact,” she said. The software is now positioned to become a new product line and develop a new market for Thales.


Kimberley has recently left Thales to join start-up Social Impact Innovation Ltd, a social enterprise company located in the UK that seeks to create impactful, sustainable and scalable social innovations that change the world. “Engineering is ultimately just problem-solving. We can try to solve the problems we face using traditional tried and tested methods, or we can reach outside the box and really push the boundaries and come up with innovative solutions that make life better. It’s really about how we approach the problem.

“In my new start-up, we are solving problems as vast as food wastage and data-driven peace-keeping. We are not driven by tech, but we understand it, and we know by adding our tech knowledge to the mix, we can potentially multiply impact and uncover even greater opportunities,” she concluded.