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Damien graduated from the Australian National University in 1977, after completing a Bachelor of Science Degree, with Honours and a Physics major.

From early 1978 until early 1981 he worked with CSIRO as an Experimental Atmospheric Scientist, concentrating on Instrument Design and Construction to support air-pollution and plume dispersion field-work, both ground-based and airborne.

From late 1981 until late 1985 Damien joined the Antarctic Division as a field Glaciologist, spending the winter of 1982, and the summers of 1983/84 and 1984/85, at Casey in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

1986 and 1987 were spent completing a Master of Applied Science Degree at RMIT whilst supported by what was then CSIRO's Division of Materials Science and Technology [DMST], just north of Monash University at Clayton, Victoria. The Master's Project work was in essence a crash-course in the fundamentals of Optical Design. Optical Design programs were in their infancy at the time and the priority project work was the successful interpretation and use of Buchdahl's Aberration Coefficients for the design and numerical optimization of Optical Systems.