Paul Kirton (June 2000 - June 2001)
Paul Kirton

Paul Kirton was appointed Director of TRL on 1 July 2000 when TRL became part of the Technology Solutions group within Telstra.

In Paul's own words .......

"I have had a keen interest in telecommunications from when I was very young. I studied at Monash University, obtaining BEng (Hons), and PhD degrees in electrical engineering. I was pleased to join TRL in 1978 as it has always been the premier telecommunications research organisation in Australia. Although my PhD was in circuit theory I joined the Signalling and Control Section because it was on the ground floor - being a paraplegic this was an important consideration as there were no lifts in the building! This sudden change of discipline prepared me well for the many changes and challenges that I have dealt with throughout my exciting and enjoyable career in Telstra.

My first job involved the design and development of monitoring instruments for computer controlled telephone exchanges. I then worked on computer communication protocols which was a growing and exciting field - and still is!

From 1982 to 1984 I was a Visiting Scientist at the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute where I investigated computer network interconnection and implemented internet gateway protocols for unix systems.

On returning to TRL in 1984 I joined the Data Switching Section. My initial job was the development of the protocol architecture for Telstra's first electronic funds transfer network.

In 1985, I initiated research into fast packet switching for voice and video as well as data. This work rapidly expanded both at TRL and internationally. We developed an experimental fast packet switch for switching voice, video and high speed data. Our TRL team played an important role in the development of international standards for ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) and Telstra's strategies and technology selection for high speed data switching. I am joint holder of a patent for the virtual path techniques that has been incorporated into ATM standards.

I was appointed manager of the Switching Section in 1988, with responsibilities for research into network management communications, data networks and broadband switching.

In 1992 I was seconded to Corporate Strategy for about six months to help develop Telstra's first technology strategy.

In 1993 I was appointed the inaugural manager of Network Services Integration Section within this section we initiated new research projects in the fields of economic and tariff modelling and computer telephony integration.

From 1995 to 2000 I have done various General Manager jobs at TRL leading: Customer Services and Systems, Products and Services, Consumer Services and Next Generation Infrastructure. During this time I have always promoted close linkage of our research program with Telstra's business objectives and close working relationships with the business units who commercialise our outputs. One of the highlights was our contribution to the development of Telstra's cable modem broadband internet service. This involved more than thirty TRL staff from a variety of disciplines and included network architecture and design, end-to-end protocol performance optimisation, transmission network design, security, multimedia capabilites, web site design and useability. This was leading edge technology and Telstra had the first commercial service in Australia and one of the earliest in the world.

I was appointed Director of TRL on 1/7/2000 when TRL became part of the Technology Solutions group within Telstra.

Outside work, I was a scout leader for eight years and have been involved in various child welfare groups as well as family activities".

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Last updated: 22 April 2002