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Judging Panel

In 2021, the DisTec Undersea Challenge welcomed innovators and progressive organisations to showcase their solutions which can positively impact the future of undersea defence. This had to be a product that launched within the last 18 months or a concept currently in development.

Our expert judging panel was then able to evaluate entries in a competitive 'digital' environment, based on the innovation assessment criteria below. Judges graded each domain out of 10, yielding a total score of up to 30 points.

Find out which of our three finalists was crowned the winner, alongside the recipient of the People's Choice Award. Available to watch on demand now. 

Meet the judges

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

Jeff graduated in Maritime Technology, and has spent 35 years working in the maritime domain on projects across the globe. His initial roles focused on research and development projects in hydrodynamics and naval architecture, involving both theoretical and experimental work into vehicle hydrodynamics, propulsor design and towed systems.

Since that time he has played a significant role in the integration of payload systems into a number of platform (surface ships and submarines) programmes, with an involvement in 6 different first of class submarine designs and a number of surface ship programmes. Alongside these platform programmes he has contributed to a large number of maritime R&D projects. In his current role as an Independent Consultant, he is involved with a number of organisations, from small startups to large companies, helping them grow their business globally.

Nick Beer

Nick Beer

Nick is an electronics engineer and in his career so far has worked in retail, education and broadcasting. He has also written a number of books on electronics and for the industry press.

Stints with the BBC, running his own business internationally and lecturing preceded his arrival at BFBS in 2012 where he has held a number of technical management roles.

He is now responsible for setting the strategy for the future distribution of our services, Innovation and development of new technologies to achieve these and all commercial development of our technologies.

Nick also manages several of our key stakeholder relationships with customers and the industry.


Peter Wilkins

Peter Wilkins

After a degree in Aeromechanical Systems Engineering, Peter completed a PhD in the aerodynamics of insect flight at the Defence College of Management and Technology, Shrivenham in 2008. He joined Dstl to conduct modelling relating to time-sensitive targeting.

He has since worked across a range of areas, mainly related to unmanned air vehicles both large and small, collaborating across UK industry and academia and with international partners.

He was seconded to MOD's Operations Directorate to conduct counter-IED analysis during the closing days of Op HERRICK (Afghanistan), and more recently spent 18 months at the Maritime Warfare Centre working on issues related to the introduction of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the UK's return to a Carrier Strike capability.

Since the end of 2019 Peter has been a regional Innovation Partner for the Defence and Security Accelerator, working across the UK's South East to support DASA's mission of finding and funding exploitable innovation to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively.

Assessment criteria

See below the assessment criteria our judges used to evaluate and base their votes before deciding the overall winner of the DisTec Undersea Challenge. 

1) Desirability

Does the customer want it; do you have evidence of end-user buy-in? 

How is it linked to known challenges in defence or security domains?

What impact will it have on performance?

Do benefits significantly outweigh associated costs?

2) Feasibility 

Is it technically, scientifically and practically achievable?

Is it scalable?

Is it novel and unique within the defence and security arena?

Does your team possess relevant expertise and experience?

3) Viability

Can it reach the market in a realistic timeframe, factoring in testing, accreditation and trialling requirements?

Has it been designed in a sustainable way?

Can it be integrated with existing systems?

Does it have dual-use capability to meet needs of multiple market segments? 

About the challenge

About the challenge

Watch on demand

Watch on demand

People's Choice Award

People's Choice Award


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