Collective cogs turn at annual Naval Engineering conference

Published on Ms Rachael Reynolds (author)

Topic(s): Navy Engineering

Director General Engineering, Commodore Colin Dagg speaks at the 2019 Naval Engineering Community Conference. (photo: )
Director General Engineering, Commodore Colin Dagg speaks at the 2019 Naval Engineering Community Conference.

More than 300 members of the Navy Engineering Community came together in June for the annual Naval Engineering Community Conference.

Attendees were from across the Royal Australian Navy, Defence Australian Public Service and Industry.

In a nod to its growing reputation, this year saw the event held in two locations – first in Perth and then in Sydney a week later.

A number of speakers gave presentations across a range of subjects, while a series of panel discussions gave those in attendance an insight into Navy Engineering in 2019.

Presentations covered a variety of subjects, including:

‘Acting together with Purpose’ – delivered by Commander Surface Force, Commodore Stephen Hughes.

‘Engineering in the Royal New Zealand Navy’ – delivered by Chief Engineer of the Royal New Zealand Navy, Captain Richard Walker.

‘Luerssen and the Continuous Shipbuilding Partnership’ – delivered by Mr Peter Croser and Mr Jens Neilson.

‘A Thinking Approach to Remediation’ – delivered by Mr Bob Love and Mr Phil Baldwin.

‘Fleet Support Unit Update and How Leaders Inspire’ – delivered by Captain Greg Laxton.

Brendon Anderson and Warren Smith from the Defence Science and Technology Group and Dr Ahmed Swidan from the University of New South Wales also spoke.

Captain Walker said it was a valuable opportunity to get together and discuss common issues and better understand how others within the engineering community were dealing with them.

“The conversations and relationships are critical to us,” Captain Walker said.

The Assistant Secretary Ship Acquisition - Specialist Ships, Mr Peter Croser said the conference presented the opportunity to present a more uniform Navy Engineering approach to Seaworthiness, looking at the engineering function not just from an acquisition or sustainment sense, but also from whole of life perspective.

“Rolling into lessons learnt from projects such as Landing Helicopter Docks and now Offshore Patrol Vessels means we can have a discussion on how to be more collaborative across the enterprise (Industry, Navy and Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group) and to focus on being agile.

“Adapting the way to do business to achieve the outcome of keeping our ships and sailors at sea with more reliability on entry into service and through life.

“To meet realistic usage and upkeep cycles matched to the design intent for mission and support systems,” Mr Crosser said.

Commodore Hughes said his main motivation for attending and presenting at the conference was to tell the Navy Engineering Community how valued they are and to thank them for all the hard work they do.

“You can’t have an Engineering Community Conference without knowing why the Community exists,” he said.

For more information about the conference and the presentations contact the event coordinator at