General Industry
Capt. Mona Shindy
Rethinking defence leadership Head, Guided Missile Frigate System Program Office, Royal
Australian Navy.
BE (Elec), University of NSW

Captain Mona Shindy was last year named the Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, largely in recognition of her work in charge of the availability, maintenance and upkeep of front-line warships, associated logistics and engineering enhancements.

“Effecting necessary change, in business practice or community attitudes, requires strong leadership by example,” says Shindy.

“It requires creating environments where people are encouraged to collaborate and innovate, where all contributions are respected and valued, where there is a strong sense of belonging and personal responsibility, then people and organisations are empowered to be their best and to give their best.”

“It requires creating environments where people are encouraged to collaborate and innovate.”

Jeremy Stone
Innovation in infrastructure Group Manager Innovation, GHD
BE (Civil), Monash University

Jeremy Stone is responsible for the design, implementation and management of GHD’s global innovation program.

The program has both an internal and external focus. Not only does it build GHD’s capacity to innovate, but equally it assists and supports other organisations with their innovation journeys.

To support the engineering profession and inspire the next generation of leaders, Stone also led in the establishment and now manages Smart Seeds, an annual industry supported innovation program for young professionals.

This year it is running in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Newcastle and Auckland.

Andrew Bull
Smart Communication Tool Senior SATCOM Engineer, Nova Systems
BE (Systems), Australian National University

Based on an idea he has been developing over the past decade, Andy Bull is developing a new way for visual Satellite Communication (SATCOM) network monitoring systems for new-generation aircraft and mobile terminals.

The concept allows intuitive visual network monitoring of mobile and deployable satellite terminals to ensure that there is sufficient link power available to achieve the client’s operations.

It identifies  the number of satellites/frequencies, coverage areas and the quality of satellite link available. It also maps mobile terminals movement over time, showing alternative satellite choices and resulting costs. Previously, this was a ‘mandraulic’ exercise that would take weeks and operators may have needed to buy emergency coverage at premium rates.

“Previously, this was a ‘mandraulic’ exercise that would take weeks.”

The tool allows the user to predict usage in a matter of hours and the ability to plan operations so that bandwidth can be allocated.

Michael Roberts
Innovative Autonomy in Defence Senior Aeronautical Engineer, Nova Systems
BE (Interdisciplinary), Australian National University


Over the past two years, Michael Roberts has pioneered two defence autonomous systems – an offroad autonomous land vehicle and an instrumented maritime radar target.

While both technologies are impressive in their own right, he has taken the knowledge from the intersection of innovation and engineering and transferred the lessons into certifying highly-complex aerospace systems for manned aircraft.

On the ‘Nova Rova’ project in 2014, Roberts was challenged to develop an unmanned off-road ground vehicle capable of 100 kph, controlled from 80 km away, with a product cost to be 1/5 of other systems on the market.

The second project was a low cost, instrumented maritime radar target capable of remote operations.

The result was that the entire development and deployment costs were considerably less than one day of previous methods.

”Both projects provide significantly greater flexibility for testing and training.”

Simon Brandi Mortensen
Ship Grounding Risk Mitigation Head of Department Coastal & Marine,
DHI Water & Environment, MSc (Hyd Eng), Technical University of Denmark

On behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Simon Brandi Mortensen designed a sophisticated numerical modelling system capable of accurately predicting and mitigating the risk of large vessels grounding in Australian waters.

Every year, 10% of the world’s maritime traffic (35,000 vessel visits) passes through Australian waters, with an 80% growth expected over the next decade. The model can simulate historic and future traffic while evaluating the detailed hydrodynamic response of each vessel. It allows for more accurate route planning and emergency response strategies.

Dr Derek Rogers
Unmanned Surface Vessel Head, Centre of Excellence in Autonomous Vessels,
Saab Australia. BE (Elec), University of Adelaide

Dr Derek Rogers has developed a flexible, low cost, reliable mission system for an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV), with applications such as fighting oil rig fi res, clearing mine fields, performing oceanography and hydrography, shark patrols and port security.

It works within existing maritime safety regulations. They have moved away from custom boats to rigid hulled inflatables, making it easier for the navy to trial and adopt the technology.

“Independent market research reports estimate the USV market at between US$3.8 bn and US$6.1 bn,” says Dr Rogers. “But my own market validation suggests this could be an underestimate.”