Conference Committee

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Representing the three key elements – users, industry and academia - of the Undersea Defence community, the event's technical planning committee provides unique advice to organisers regarding the needs of their constituency and the upcoming trends being explored across the research base.

The committee assist in shaping the content of the conference ensuring it is relevant and fulfils the expectations of the wider community. Learn more about current members of the committee below.

Committee Leaders

Chairman: Dr. Jörg Hurka

Chairman: Dr. 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.

Rear Admiral (ret) Jon Pentreath CB, OBE

Rear Admiral (ret) Jon Pentreath CB, OBE

Senior Military Advisor
Clarion Events


Pentreath comes to Clarion following a long and decorated career as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy that culminated in heading up the UK’s Joint Helicopter Command.  With responsibility for the safe operation of some 250 helicopters deployed around the world, as well as British Army drones, this role saw him lead an organisation of over 8,000 servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force.  Earlier roles included a mix of leadership positions, from front line air stations to heading the future helicopter procurement department, punctuated by operational service deployments that included Bosnia and Northern Ireland in the 1990s to Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s. 

Pentreath is a graduate of The City University, the Joint Services Command and Staff College, and the Royal College of Defence Studies, and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Committee Members

Dr Peter Beerens

Dr Peter Beerens

Senior Scientist
TNO


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.

Dr Aymeric Bonnaud

Dr Aymeric Bonnaud

Director  CTO for Submarine, Power & Energy, Naval Research


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

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 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

Eur Ing Peter Don-Duncan

R&D Director
Advansys Solutions Ltd.

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.

Mr Tito Dua

Mr Tito Dua

Lockheed Martin


Tito Dua served 23 years in the US Navy on surface ships.  He spent the majority of his time in the Western Pacific.  After retirement from the USN in 2007 he took a Business Development position with Lockheed Martin Manassas Undersea Division, marketing and selling Submarine combat and weapons control systems to the International (outside the US) market.

Mr Matthew Gleed

Mr Matthew Gleed

Senior Technologist – BAE Systems Submarines


Mr Matthew Gleed, a Chartered Engineer and Underwater C4I and Cyber specialist, is the Lead Architect for Maritime Strategic Programmes at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence 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 un-crewed. Currently consulting on technology and future systems architecture into the Royal Navy, and previous experience as a scientist in government and other appointments as an engineer in industry, he has over circa 20 years working on a wide range of research and development activities for UK, US and European underwater defence and technology programmes.

Captain (retd) Ivan Stace

Captain (retd) Ivan Stace

Vanguard Class Programme Director,
Babcock International Group


Ivan was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1984 and joined the submarine service in 1989 as a weapon engineer.  His first ‘boat’ was HMS SUPERB which was later followed by head-of-department roles in HMS TALENT and TURBULENT and the Submarine School before being promoted to Commander in 2004 and serving as the Devonport Flotilla staff weapon engineer.  As such, he has spent much of his early career at the Devonport and Clyde waterfronts gaining valuable submarine deep maintenance experience in and around 10 dock including oversight of HMS VANGUARD’s first refit in the newly constructed D154 project facility (9 dock)!

 

A graduate of the Joint Services Command and Staff College in 2002, he has 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 (MOD) and the Underwater and Electronic Warfare (UEW) Team Leader within the DE&S Ships Operating Centre responsible for a team of 120 with a broad equipment portfolio covering ship and submarine systems along with all MOD diving and life support capability.  He has also served in Joint Force Command where he was responsible for the delivery of capability associated with operational ICT projects and programmes along with key assurance responsibility for submarine strategic communications.  In his last appointment he served in the Defence Nuclear Organisation (DNO) in Whitehall as the Sponsor for Attack Submarine design and construction with responsibility for the build of the ASTUTE class at Barrow and Raynesway and the concept development of SSN Replacement in Bristol.  In this role he was the chair of the Attack Submarine Capability Planning Group, the DNO Head of Profession for Project Delivery and the interim Head of the Submarine Joint Portfolio Office.

As a little light relief, Ivan also specialised in Military Intelligence, with an early analytical posting within the Defence Intelligence Service (DIS) allied with submarine operations.  As a Commander, he saw further service here with responsibility for developing the concepts and operational design for both Materiel and Personnel Exploitation (MPE) and Biometrics in support of operations in Afghanistan along with the subsequent programme delivery.  Promoted to Captain in 2011, he has 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.

Having left the Royal Navy in 2021, Ivan is very pleased to have joined Babcock in this important submarine support role (and be able to go around with his hands in his pockets – a trait frowned upon while in the RN!).  

Dr. Jerome Gormley

Dr. Jerome Gormley

Director for Undersea Business Development General Atomics 


Dr. Jerome Gormley received degrees in nuclear engineering from Penn State University (BS) a
nd 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 Hendrik Wehner

Mr Hendrik Wehner

Head of Product Architecture Submarines (PHU), thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH


Joining thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as a Concept Design Engineer in 2015, Hendrik Wehner worked on several concept designs of extra-large uncrewed underwater vehicles and submarines.

With his team of Product Architects, since 2019, he is responsible for the technical definition of future crewed and uncrewed submarines. The team works on all submarine sales projects and multiple research projects.

He holds an MSc in Ship and Offshore Technology from University of Strathclyde and Hamburg University of Technology. Constant discovery of new facets of the underwater space is what keeps him going.

Mr Stéphane Jespers

Mr 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.  

Dr Alain Maguer

Dr 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 Nils Størkersen

Mr 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 Jeff Owen

Mr Jeff Owen

Consultant
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

Mr. 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.

Mr Tim Vickery

Mr Tim Vickery

Principal Scientist, 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

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.

Mr Jack Green

Mr Jack Green

Head of Campaigns, Naval Programmes - Leonardo Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division UK

Jack is by trade a Weapon Engineering Submariner; serving for 30 years in the Royal Navy. He has held charge appointments in three submarines, and a range of other jobs across all elements of Defence; from capability sponsor for Naval Intelligence Collection, acquisition of submarine combat systems, and as Captain Fleet Maintenance and Strategy Director at HMNB Clyde, providing support to the Front Line. His last appointment prior to leaving the RN was Head of the C4ISTAR Division in Navy Command.

His military experience has now been complemented by fifteen years in the private sector, both in small and large companies.  He started his second career working as a principal consultant in VEGA, providing advice to MoD and OGD on secure information services and ISTAR capabilities.  When Vega was acquired by Finmeccanica, Jack transferred to Selex System Integration Ltd as Head of Defence, responsible for growing the Defence business in the UK and overseas; focussing on naval, air defence, logistics and air traffic management opportunities. In April 2013 Jack became the Head of Campaigns for Naval Business UK in Selex ES. When Leonardo was formed in 2016 he transferred to the Land and Naval Division, responsible for generating Strategic Naval Campaigns. In 2019 he became the Key Account Manager for the Royal Navy in Leonardo Defence Electronics Division. 

Mr Jim Kelly

Mr Jim Kelly

CTO, Sensors and Processing - ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK Ltd

James (Jim) is Chief Technology Officer for Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd with over 35 years in defence R&D and systems development. After graduating with a degree in Physics he started his career working on the development of ASW avionics systems before moving onto submarine sonars. In the early 90s he moved to the MoD research labs specialising in mine warfare. This lead to development of simulation and modelling tools, novel mine sweeping and mine hunting systems and signature management systems with QinetiQ and Atlas Elektronik UK. In 2014 he became CTO, after a brief spell leading the Operations Division he returned to the CTO role in 2021.

Captain Chris Bamforth

Captain Chris Bamforth

Royal Navy Defence Nuclear Organisation, UK

Chris Bamforth served for 28 years in the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineer Officer (Submarines) with sub-specialisation in the Combat System. His early career involved service at sea in Swiftsure and Trafalgar class submarines, employment in support at the Waterfront, multiple assignments in training (including at sea), and latterly a focus on capability and acquisition. Since 2016 he has acted as the Customer / Sponsor for the UK submarine Combat System in the Navy Front Line Command / central MoD and, having retired from the Royal Navy in 2022, is now the 1* civilian Head of Combat System Delivery Team in the Submarine Delivery Agency based in MoD Abbeywood, Bristol. He is married and lives near the Lake District owing to a lifelong family passion for the outdoors.


 

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