Dr Pigram trained as a geologist (UNSW and ANU) and has been a senior research manager since 1993. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Australia, the national geoscience agency, from 2010-2017.  As CEO he was the architect of several major programmes and successful funding bids. Dr Pigram has served on the Executive Management Boards of several Government Departments (Department Resources, Energy and Tourism and Department of Innovation, Industry and Science).  Dr Pigram was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Dr Pigram is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).  From May-December 2017 he was the interim Director of the National Computation Infrastructure, Australia’s research supercomputing facility. Dr Pigram was a member of the 2018 Australian Government Resources Taskforce that delivered a report containing 29 recommendations designed to ensure the future of the resources sector in Australia.

Dr Pigram is Chair of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee that advises government on water issues related to large coal mines and coal seam gas developments.

He is Chair of the MinEX CRC which will deliver the next generation of fast, safe drilling technology to make Australia internationally competitive by enabling deep mineral exploration in Australia.

He is Chair of AuScope Limited a company that manages research infrastructure funds for the geoscience research community on behalf the Australian Government.

He is Chair of the GNS (NZ) Strategic Science and Users Advisory Panel and a member of the Advisory Panel for CSIRO’s Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform. Dr Pigram is also Chair of CSIRO Minerals Resources Advisory Committee and was recently appointed to the Australian Space Agency Advisory Group.