Conference Committee

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Conference Chairman for 2018

Mr James Kelly, ATLAS Elektronik UK

Mr James KellyMr James Kelly
Chief Technology Officer
ATLAS Elektronik UK

James is a physicist and Chief Technology Officer of Atlas Elektronik UK. After graduation he initially worked on the development of helicopter based ASW systems. In 1994 he joined the MCM department of DRA specialising in novel mine countermeasure systems research. As CTO at AEUK his responsibilities include leading the development of its maritime technology products and directing the underpinning R&D programmes. Recent project highlights include the creation of the ARCIMS products for unmanned MCM and ASW.

Dr Peter Beerens, TNO

Peter BeerensDr Peter Beerens
Senior Scientist

Dr. S. Peter Beerens graduated in theoretical physics at the University of Amsterdam and received his PhD in 1995 at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. In he joint 1996 the Sonar Department of TNO. Currently he is senior scientist and programme manager. He has specialised in sonar signal processing and sea trials.



Mr Aymeric Bonnaud, Naval Group

Mr Aymeric BonnaudMr Aymeric Bonnaud 
Deputy CTO for Energy and Underwater Systems

Naval Group

Aymeric Bonnaud spent his first 25 years in the French Armament Corps in R&D projects for submarines. First Sonar designer and underwater systems teacher at ENSTA graduate school, he then managed the development of propulsion and weapons systems before joining the strategic marketing team of DCNS. He chaired at that time the NCOIC maritime IPT. He is now deputy CTO for energy and underwater systems. 



Dr Simon Colby, BAE Systems

Dr Simon Colby
Chief Technical Authority – Mine Warfare and Unmanned Systems
BAE Systems

Simon leads the BAE Systems’ work on the integration of autonomous and unmanned systems with warship combat systems. In 2016 he led the engineering work of the MAPLE consortium to a successful conclusion at Unmanned Warrior 16. Prior to this, he worked as the Technical Lead for MCM and Above Water research for Dstl’s Martime Collaborative Environment (MarCE). He has worked in the early lifecycle systems engineering, technology and analysis fields for nearly 30 years.

Dr Jan Tadeusz Dobkowski, R&D Maritime Technology Centre

Dr Jan Tadeusz DobkowskiDr Jan Tadeusz Dobkowski
R&D Director
R&D Maritime Technology Centre

Jan T Dobkowski, Capt. Polish Navy (Ret.), Ph.D., graduated from the Naval Academy of Gdynia, where he then took up post as a Research Scientist from 1974- 1982. During this time, he received his Ph. D. degree in Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Lodz, Poland. Dr Dobkowski joined the R&D Marine Technology Centre of Gdynia in 1982 and currently serves as the Centre's R&D Director.



Eur Ing Peter Don-Duncan, Independent ASW Sonar Expert

Eur Ing Peter DON-DUNCANEur Ing Peter DON-DUNCAN
Independent ASW Sonar Expert

Peter graduated in Electronics from the University of Manchester followed by a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Open University. He has worked in the Maritime sector in various engineering and technical roles for over 38 years. During this time he has been a technical leader for the development of several large and complex active and passive ASW Sonar systems. He has previously led a number of UK MoD/Dstl research programmes frequently working with academia and SME’s on innovative future technology solutions.


Dr. Jerome Gormley, General Atomics

rDr. Jerome Gormley
Director for Undersea Business Development
General Atomics 

Dr. Jerome Gormley received degrees in nuclear engineering from Penn State University (BS) and the University of Michigan (MSc, PhD). He earned his dolphins as an officer onboard US Navy nuclear submarines. He has held various technical management positions in government, startups, and large government contractors, including Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer. Currently he is the Director for Undersea Business Development at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group.


Mr Jack Green, Leonardo Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division UK

Jack GreenMr Jack Green
Head of Campaigns, Naval Programmes
Leonardo Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division UK




Dr Jörg Hurka, Atlas Elektronik

Dr Jörg HurkaDr Jörg Hurka
Senior Systems Engineer
Atlas Elektronik GmbH

Dr. Jörg Hurka works as a systems engineer at the Submarine Systems Department of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH, Bremen, Germany. He is a member of the UDT Technical Programme Committee since 2011.

Mr Holger Isbrecht, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH

uMr Holger Isbrecht
Vice President, Sales
thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH

Holger Isbrecht is a Naval Architect and has been working in the underwater business since 25 years. He is a former submariner  having served 12 years in the German Navy as Technical Officer. In 2003 Holger joined Nordseewerke, Emden now thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as an R+D Manager responsible for the development of AIP Systems for Submarines. After moving to HDW, now thyssenkrupp Marine Systems in 2006 Holger has been nominated as Head of Conceptual Design Submarines. In 2015 Holger was appointed as Area Sales Manager Italy, Spain and The Netherlands.


Mr Stéphane Jespers, DGA Techniques Navales

Mr Stéphane JespersMr Stéphane Jespers
Head of UWW Department
DGA Techniques Navales

Stéphane Jespers graduated in 1979 as a Civilian Electrical Engineer in Telecommunications and Hyperfrequencies at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. His carreer started as a researcher in the field of satellite communications and TV. In 1983, he joined SACLANTCEN, La Spezia (Italy) as a scientist of the “activate adjunct to the towed array” project, which later led to the development of the Low Frequency Active Sonar concept. In 1990, he joined DCN at Le Brusc in France, working on several passive and intercept sonar projects for submarines. In 2000, he returned to La Spezia as Head of the ASW systems Department and led the creation of the Cooperative (AUV-based) ASW concept project. In 2007, he joined DGA at the Paris headquarters as an expert in UWW sensors and launched the anglo-french cooperation project on wideband multistatic active sonar. In 2010, he became chaiman of the NATO capability group in ASW and in 2012, he chaired the merger of three NATO capability groups in order to form the UWW capability group. In 2013, he returned to Toulon to head the UWW Department at DGA Techniques Navales. Stéphane Jespers has given numerous papers in international conferences such as UDT and ECUA and he has also chaired sessions mainly in the field sonar. He is a member of the Société Française d’Acoustique (SFA) and a reviewer for the IET journal.  

Mr Bert Johansson, Saab Seaeye

Bert JohanssonBert Johansson
Sales Director, Defence
Saab Seaeye

Bert Johansson has a masters degree in "applied physics and electronics" from Linköping university in Sweden. He has worked 28 years in the underwater business for Saab in areas such as Electronics and software design, Integrated Logistic Support, marketing and business development, the last 10 years with AUV's and ROV's. Bert was posted in Australia 1999-2000 as project manager for the Mine Disposal Vehicle contract for the Houn class minehunters. He now holds the post as Sales Director for Saab Seaeye Ltd.

Dr Alain Maguer, 

Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), NATO Science and Technology Organisation (STO)

Dr Alain MaguerDr Alain Maguer
Director Programme

Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), NATO Science and Technology Organisation (STO)

Dr Alain Maguer has been working in the maritime domain for around 30 years. He shared his working experience between THALES Underwater Systems in France and Australia and the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) in Italy. He led both technical manager and project manager positions in the fields of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Mine Warfare and Maritime Security. He is currently Director Programme at CMRE. His fields of interest and expertise are ASW and mine warfare underwater capability, maritime security, system architecture, autonomous vehicles, underwater communication, gliders and towed arrays.

Commodore Dave Matthews, Royal Navy 

rCommodore Dave Matthews
UK Submarine Delivery Agency
Royal Navy

David Matthews has recently been promoted to Commodore in the newly formed UK Submarine Delivery Agency.  Previously Submarine Combat Systems Team Leader in DE&S, he led the roll-out of the revolutionary Flotilla-wide Common Combat System, underpinning a single spiral development programme across all Submarine Classes, and the associated formation of the team as an independent Budgetary Area.

David joined the Royal Navy in 1985.  He studied Electronic & Communications Engineering at the University of Birmingham & the Design of Information Systems at Cranfield.  Sea appointments have covered the full spectrum of SM roles from training in an SSK, through SSBN Tactical Weapons Engineer to Weapon Engineer Officer or an SSN.  Ashore he has largely focused on Warfare, Acquisition (SM & C4I) and Training, from Tactical Development, through Requirements & Programme Management to Submarine Sea training, and a tour as Fleet Weapons Engineer Officer.”

Mr Ron Melampy, Lockheed Martin


dMr Ron Melampy
Business Development- Submarine Communications and Surface Countermeasures
Lockheed Martin

Ron Melampy is a Senior Staff Business Development Analyst for Lockheed Martin Corporation.  His portfolio includes submarine communications antenna systems, surface ship anti-ship cruise missile countermeasures, and the Stinger missile fuze.  He has worked at the Marion, Massachusetts facility since joining Lockheed Martin in August 2012.

Ron previously served for twenty eight years as a submarine officer in the US Navy.  Highlights of his career include command of TRIDENT Training Facility, Kings Bay; command of USS KENTUCKY (SSBN 737)(BLUE); and Director of Plans and Policy for Commander, Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.

Mr Jeff Owen, Babcock International Group

Jeff OwenMr Jeff Owen
Vice President Global Growth

Babcock International Group

With a background in Maritime Technology and Naval Architecture, Jeff has been working in the maritime domain for over 35 years.

In 1989 he joined Strachan & Henshaw (now part of Babcock), and since that time he has played a significant role in the integration of payload systems into a number of platform (surface ship and submarine) programmes. He's been involved 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 commercial and military R&D projects, as well as led the strategy development for the Babcock Marine business.

In his current role as Vice President Global Growth – Marine, he is involved from the earliest stages of international programmes and campaigns, ensuring Babcock is positioned to effectively address new international markets and has the capabilities in place to meet customer requirements.

Mr. Nick Sheppard, Thales UK

Mr. Nick Sheppard,
Technical Director - Maritime Mission Systems,
Thales UK

Mr Nils Størkersen, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)

sMr Nils Størkersen
Director of Research, Division for Maritime Systems
Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)

Nils Størkersen graduated in Physics from the University of Trondheim, Norway in 1980. The same year he joined FFI and has since then been involved in various research and development activities, first as a research scientist, later also as project manager and since 1999 he holds the position as Director of Research at the Maritime System Division. Most of the research topics in his scientific career have been related to underwater technology and unmanned systems.

Dr Geoff Williams, Thales UK

Geoff WilliamsDr Geoff Williams
Technical Advisor, Maritime Mission Systems
Thales UK

Geoff Williams has been involved in underwater systems research and development for over 40 years. He has been responsible for the planning and management of several large sensing system projects, including some with international partners, that have informed the design of operational ASW sonar systems. He currently provides technical advice on projects aimed at future underwater sensing systems.

Mr George Zvara, NUWC

Mr George ZvaraMr George Zvara, 
NUWC International Cooperation

Mr. George Zvara holds science and political science degrees from Boston University, Boston College and the U.S. Naval War College. He has been in U.S. Government service as an Electronics Engineer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (and its predecessors) since 1984, with prior experience in private industry as an exploration geophysicist. While at NUWC, Mr. Zvara has conducted research on sonar signal processing, Massively Parallel Computing and served as a Systems Engineer in the development of the AN/BSY-1, AN/BSY-2 and AN/BYG-1 U.S. submarine combat systems. In 1994 Mr. Zvara was an ONR exchange scientist to the then U.K. Defence Research Agency conducting research with British colleagues on parallel signal processing for sonars. Since 2004, Mr. Zvara has been the Director of International Cooperation at NUWC with responsibilities to identify and to promote USW Science, Technology and Engineering collaboration with U.S. partner nations as well as to coordinate the Center’s International activities at-large.

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