An Australian Navy Lieutenant has snatched the top honours at the No 48 Aerosystems Course at Royal Air Force base Cranwell, in Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom.
Lieutenant Chris Broadbent graduated with a Masters in Science – Aerospace Systems, with Commendation, from Kingston University London and took away the coveted Humphrey Memorial Gold Medal, which, since 1978, has been awarded to the top overall student on course.
The course traces its heritage back to 1921, where it was originally a specialist navigation course, but has transformed into an intensive 11-month postgraduate-level residential in which students are educated in advanced avionics, sensor systems, aerospace concepts, acquisition practices and test and evaluation.
It consists of a rigorous course of study on a wide variety of aerospace theory subjects, a practical flight trials phase, and an extensive visit program to UK and international defence industry, culminating in the delivery of a syndicate-based capability development paper and an individual Masters thesis.
The course includes a wide range of UK and international students.
The Humphrey Medals were commissioned by Lady Agnes Humphrey in memory of her husband, Marshall of the Royal Air Force Sir Andrew Humphrey, following his death shortly after being appointed UK Chief of the Defence Staff.
Sir Andrew, a Battle of Britain veteran and aide-de-camp to Her Majesty the Queen, was at one time a senior instructor at the Royal Air Force Flying College, where he was involved in multiple world-record breaking expeditionary flights.
Both he and Lady Humphrey were keen supporters of the Aerosystems Course.
The Royal Australian Navy has a proud history of high achievement on the Aerosystems Course with Lieutenant Broadbent joining the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett (No. 22 Aerosystems Course) as one of five Royal Australian Navy Humphrey Medal winners.
Lieutenant Broadbent returns to Australia to take up a posting with the Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit based in HMAS Albatross, in Nowra.
With his newly learned specialist skills, he will join a team of aviation flight test experts to conduct a range of intensive aircraft and aviation systems trails, including determining operating limits for various combinations of helicopters and ships, known as First of Class Flight Trials.