Conference Committee

Hero image

2020 Conference Chairmen

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.



Captain Herman de Groot, Royal Netherlands Navy

HermanCaptain Herman de Groot
Commanding Officer Submarine Service Netherlands
Royal Netherlands Navy

Captain de Groot joined the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1982, completing the Royal Netherlands Naval College in 1985. In 2008 Captain de Groot studied at the Naval Command College, Naval Warfare College of the United States Navy completing a study in Political and Military Strategy. He is also a Stockdale fellow. From August 2009 until February 2012 He was in command of the surface ship HNLMS Zuiderkruis including 2 operational deployments. After promotion to captain he served as Head of the Military Strategy Department at the Netherlands Ministry of Defense from 2013-2016. Captain de Groot currently serves as the Commanding Officer Submarine Service Netherlands at Royal Netherlands Navy.

2020 Committee Members

Commander Craig Ballantyne, Defence Nuclear Organisation, MoD UK

Cdr Craig Ballantyne
Defence Nuclear Organisation |SubCap-DreadnoughtPlat
Ministry of Defence UK

Bio coming soon!

Mr Aymeric Bonnaud, Naval Group

Mr Aymeric BonnaudMr Aymeric Bonnaud 
Director of the CEMIS within “Naval Research”

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 was deputy CTO for energy and underwater systems. He is now director of the Centre of Expertise for Mastering Information engineering and Signatures (CEMIS), part of "Naval Research", technological research centre of the group. 

Dr Simon Colby, BAE Systems

Simon ColbyDr Simon Colby
Chief Technical Authority - Mine Warfare and Unmanned Systems
BAE Systems

Simon leads the BAE Systems’ work on the integration of autonomous and uncrewed 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.

Eur Ing Peter Don-Duncan, Independent ASW Sonar Expert

Eur Ing Peter DON-DUNCANEur Ing Peter DON-DUNCAN
R&D Director
Advansys Solutions Ltd.

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.


Mr Matthew Gleed, BAE Systems

 Mr Matthew Gleed 
Senior Technologist
BAE Systems Submarines

Mr Matthew Gleed, a Chartered Engineer and Underwater C4I specialist, is a Senior Technologist at BAE Systems Submarines in the UK and consults on technology strategy and research for investment into underwater programmes covering submarines, strategic systems and off board systems technology; both crewed and uncrewed. Previous experience as a scientist in government and other appointments as an engineer in industry, he has over 15 years working on a wide range of research and development activities for UK, US and European underwater defence and technology programmes.

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.


Captain Anders Järn, FMV

 Captain Anders Järn
Director Underwater Warfare Department

Defence Materiel Administration, FMV

Captain (N) Anders Järn currently working as Director Underwater Warfare Department at the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

He graduated from Swedish Naval Academy 1982. He has made a complete career in the Swedish Submarine Service and finalizing the career as CO of HSwM Uppland. Thereafter he worked with acquisition in the Joint HQ, and has been Military Advisor in the Ministry of Defence. As an additional career, he has specialized in submarine rescue and diving and is still an active diver.

After graduating from Naval war College in 2003, Newport USA, he took command of Swedish Submarine Service. Under his command the training of the last Singaporean submarine crew to the Challanger class was completed in 2004. Also the deployment of HSwM Gotland to San Diego and the operations in the Pacific together with US Navy 2005-2007 was conducted under his command.

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

Bert Johansson
Director Business Development & Strategy


Bert Johansson has a masters degree in "applied physics and electronics" from Linköping university in Sweden. He has worked in the underwater business since 1986 in areas such as Electronics and software design, Integrated Logistic Support, marketing and business development, the last 15 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.

Dr Alain Maguer, CMRE


Dr Alain MaguerDr Alain Maguer
Head, Engineering and Information Technology
Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), NATO Science and Technology Organisation (STO)

Dr Alain Maguer got his PhD in underwater acoustics and signal processing in 1986 from the University of Lyon in France. He has been working in the maritime domain for around 30 years. After his PhD, for 15 years, he worked as a signal processing scientist in Thales and the NURC and was also in charge for three years of the research team in Thales Australia. From 2002, He led both technical manager and project manager positions in the fields of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Mine Warfare and Maritime Security. He came back to CMRE in 2007 where he is currently the Head of Engineering and Information Technology Division at CMRE. His fields of interest and expertise are ASW, mine warfare, maritime security, underwater acoustics and signal processing, autonomous vehicles, underwater communication, gliders and towed arrays, scientific IT networks and data management.

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.

Dr Susan Metcalff, Atlas Elektronik

 Sue-MetcalffDr. Susan Metcalff
Chief Technology Officer, Head of MOD Research and Advice Division,

Dr Sue Metcalff is a Chartered Physicist with a first class degree in physics. She has spent over 20 years in maritime defence research, specialising in simulation and modelling in the undersea domain, and holds a PhD in efficient numerical methods for predicting the performance of sonar arrays. Sue sits on the Senior Management Team at Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) as both Chief Technology Officer and Head of MOD Research and Advice Division. Her responsibilities include shaping the business’s innovation, science and technology strategy and running a research and development portfolio that aims to push innovative maritime S&T into service.

Mr Jeff Owen, Independent Consultant 

Jeff OwenMr Jeff Owen
AtebTec Ltd

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.

Mr. Nick Sheppard, Thales UK

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

Nick has over 20 years’ experience in Maritime systems and system architectures covering underwater and above water platforms. Through a career which started in UK government and now in industry Nick has been involved in the research and development of sensors, command systems and new autonomous vehicle capabilities. Nick’s current role is Underwater Communications Solution Architect within Thales UK, a role which involves development of advanced underwater communications solutions and their integration within complex systems-of-systems, including addressing the through air-sea interface and connectivity into wider above water networks.

Captain Ivan Stace, Royal Navy Defence Nuclear Organisation 

  Captain Ivan Stace,
Submarine Capability – SSN Pillar Lead Ministry of Defence,
Royal Navy Defence Nuclear Organisation

Captain Stace was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1984.  Following academic and professional training, he qualified as a submarine weapon engineer and has seen service on a number of Fleet submarines engaged in ‘special operations’.  Following 2 charge appointments, he headed the Submarine School’s engineering department before being promoted to Commander in 2004 and serving as the Devonport Flotilla’s staff weapon engineer.

A graduate of the Joint Services Command and Staff College in 2002, he has since specialised in project, programme and portfolio leadership and management and has served as the Military Assistant to both Director Land and Maritime in the Defence Procurement Agency and Director General Ships in the subsequent Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation.  He has been the capability sponsor for future submarine communications in the Ministry of Defence and the Underwater and Electronic Warfare (UEW) Team Leader within the DE&S Ships Operating Centre responsible for a predominantly civilian staff of 120 with a broad equipment portfolio covering ship and submarine systems along with all MOD diving and life support capability.  His last appointment was in JFC where he was responsible for the delivery of capability associated with a broad range of operational ICT projects and programmes along with key assurance responsibility for Submarine strategic communications.

He has also specialised in Military Intelligence, with an early analytical posting to the capability assessment directorate within the Defence Intelligence Service (DIS) allied with submarine operations.  As a Commander, he saw further service within the DIS with responsibility for developing the concepts and operational design for both Materiel and Personnel Exploitation (MPE) and Biometrics for Operation HERRICK along with the subsequent programme delivery.  Promoted to Captain in 2011, he has most recently seen operational service in Afghanistan as the Chief of Staff to the Interagency Operations Co-ordination Centre based in Kabul, which provided intelligence and operational support to Afghan counter-narcotic law enforcement activity.

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 uncrewed systems.

Mr Tim Vickery, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)

 Mr Tim Vickery
Principal Advisor, Platform Systems Division
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)

Tim joined DSTL, part of the UK MoD, in 2006 following over 20 years in the Royal Navy where he served as an ASW Warfare Officer at sea and staff roles in Northwood HQ and DE&S Abbey Wood.  He is currently a Principal Adviser to the Underwater Systems Programme, which delivers the UK’s MoD funded ASW and submarine related Science and Technology through Government and Industry.

Mr Nigel Whybrow, Babcock International Group

Mr Nigel Whybrow
Future Submarines & Technology Director
Babcock International Group

Nigel considers himself very fortunate to have worked all his career in the underwater systems arena and to have done so with insightful people, on interesting and demanding projects when invention & experiment were seen as essential activities.  His involvement has spanned high level concept and analysis work (as Project Lead) to the management of super-specialist teams and the direction of operational and material support for submarines at Chief Engineer level.

Fundamentally an engineer with a background in the thermodynamics and fluid mechanics of powerplants and high speed propulsion, his work responsibilities have included the definition of novel underwater vehicles and their operational integration.  At Marconi Underwater Systems in the 1980s he was technical lead for very early investigations into AUVs where the issues were ‘what could and should an autonomous vehicle be asked to do’ as much as how could it be done.

Nigel is the Future Submarines & Technology Director at Babcock International Group where he is involved in future design and technology planning and in external consultancy.  He is a Fellow of both the IMechE and RINA and author of numerous papers including many presented at UDT.


Sponsors Carousel