The last few years have prompted a rapid change in technology, information and capabilities as organisations seek to accelerate their digital transformation efforts to adapt to challenging socio-economic conditions and remain competitive. Digital Engineering (DE) is reshaping the landscape of how capabilities, assets and projects are designed and managed across various industries, including defence, aerospace, cybersecurity, infrastructure, mining, construction, telecommunication, and healthcare delivery. These industries are changing, and the rapid pace of the digital world has necessitated a growing need for awareness and a fundamental shift in mindset.
The Defence Strategic Review's (2023) focus on transitioning to a National Defence approach (whole of government including Industry and Academia) in designing, delivering and sustaining a 'focused force' of complex systems, achieving accelerated preparedness, and delivery under AUKUS Pillar II Advanced Capabilities, requires the adoption of advanced engineering practices to achieve greater performance and affordability to meet current and future national security challenges. DE is a key enabler to achieving these outcomes while also presenting a critical pathway towards shaping the culture and workforce to innovate and work more efficiently nationally and with allied partners.
The Capability Systems Centre runs a one-day Inaugural Australian Digital Engineering Summit 2023. The Summit will bring together industry, defence and national security agencies, academia, and government leaders in the DE space to establish collaborations, discover the latest research, share strategic insight to further the DE implementations in Australia. The hybrid event will be held in person at UNSW Canberra at ADFA and virtually (via Zoom) on November 17, 2023.
Inaugural Australian Digital Engineering 2023 Summit aims to:
We believe that this free Summit is an opportunity to create an inclusive event in which everyone worldwide can contribute.
Do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity to meet and network with the policymakers, authorities, industry leaders and researchers at the forefront of digital engineering and industry digital transformations!
We look forward to welcoming you to the Inaugural Australian Digital Engineering 2023 Summit in November.
This hybrid event will be held in person at UNSW Canberra at ADFA and virtually (via Zoom).
The Summit will provide a forum for members of the defence, industry, academia, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss their roles in driving positive transformation, improving national and international initiatives, disseminating vital capability requirements to industry, and exploring how various sectors support operations, drive innovation, overcome challenges, and deliver tangible socio-economic benefits.
Participants representing defence and other industries can benefit from attending the Summit in several ways, including:
Participants representing academia can benefit from attending the Summit in several ways, including:
The Summit is an event designed for a wide range of stakeholders, including:
The Summit is open to all defence, industry and academia members and is considered an educational and training forum.
CEO & Founder
The Honorable Dr. Will Roper is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of technology startup Istari, Inc. Backed by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Istari is building the world’s first engineering metaverse, where all technology - from software to satellites - is created and certified completely digitally.
A Distinguished Professor at Georgia Tech, Will is also a board member and advisor of numerous startups and investment firms, senior advisor at McKinsey & Co., member of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, and U.K. Royal Air Force Honorary Group Captain.
Will previously served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force, overseeing $60 billion of annual technology development and operations for 5,300+ aircraft and satellites. Prior to this, he founded the Pentagon’s secretive Strategic Capabilities Office, creating over $1.6 billion of advanced prototypes annually, including the world's largest drone swarm. Will began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the Missile Defense Agency's chief futurist.
He holds a bachelor’s and master’s in physics from Georgia Tech and doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University, where he studied string theory as a Rhodes Scholar.
CEO & Co-Founder
Simon is an industry pioneer, who is well-regarded for successfully driving digital transformation throughout the infrastructure sector. As CEO and Co-Founder of DEOS Digital, Simon provides digital engineering advisory services for major infrastructure projects and government agencies throughout ANZ. He is also currently writing national standards, leading sector-wide data management initiatives and driving broad uptake of digital twin and smart infrastructure solutions.
Simon was previously with Transport for NSW for 14 years, and led all aspects of the acclaimed Digital Engineering Framework program, from its initial vision through to industry-wide implementation. This program has been a significant catalyst for change, transforming public sector digital capability and driving a step change in overall industry productivity.
Simon also held various other leadership roles and was responsible for the engineering of major heavy rail projects in and around Sydney. Prior experience includes various client and consulting roles with Transport for London, London Underground and various transport projects around NSW. He is a regular speaker at public events, a mentor to young professionals and a keen promoter of civil and digital engineering.
Head of Navy Capability
Royal Australian Navy
Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes, AM, CSC, RAN, assumed his current role as Head Navy Capability in December 2022. He is responsible for identifying the needs and requirements of Navy’s future capabilities and for the development and delivery of these capabilities to the Fleet.
Rear Admiral Hughes joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1986. He has served as a warfare officer in Frigate and Destroyer class ships, including exchanges with the Canadian Navy and Commander US Seventh Fleet. He commanded the guided missile frigate HMAS Melbourne. Shore postings have included Director Navy Information Warfare, Director Capability Development in the Air Warfare Destroyer program; Director Joint Amphibious Capability Implementation Team responsible for the introduction into service of the Canberra Class amphibious ships; Director General Littoral accountable for Navy’s strategic sponsorship and oversight of the Amphibious and Afloat Support, Mine Warfare, Hydrographic, and Patrol Boat programs; Commander Surface Force responsible for the force generation of Navy’s major fleet units; and Head Intelligence Capability responsible for the capability development and assurance of Defence’s joint intelligence capabilities.
He was awarded the United States Meritorious Service Medal for duties as the Seventh Fleet Exercise Planning and Schedules Officer in 2002; and awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List for his outstanding devotion to duty in the field of major warship introduction into service.
Director General Future Navy Workforce
Royal Australian Navy
Anthony Klenthis joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1987 and graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College later that year, having completed his Bachelor of Science (Honours) studies through UNSW Kensington.
Anthony became an early adopter of the Total Workforce System, progressing most of his naval service through different patterns of full-time and part-time service, while delivering infrastructure projects in India for the World Bank, managing large-scale commercial and industrial reform programs in Australia.
After almost a decade as a Defence public servant and senior executive, Anthony returned to full-time Navy service in 2013, and deployed over 2015 - 2016 to the NATO mission in Afghanistan as the lead HRM advisor to the Afghan National Army (ANA). Anthony was promoted to Captain in 2016 and appointed as Director Navy Workforce Requirements, where he began his work to align Navy’s workforce planning and management policies and systems with the One Defence Capability Model and Integrated Investment Program. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the Australia Day 2019 honours list for his outstanding achievements in the field of military workforce planning.
Anthony was promoted to Commodore in July 2019 and appointed to the new role of Director General Future Navy Workforce (DGFNW), where he is responsible to transform the Navy workforce to meet future strategic, capability and technology requirements.
CEO & Founder
Sarah Pavillard is the founder and CEO of ADROITA, and an ex-Royal Australian Navy Weapons Engineer. Sarah leads a fast-growing national consultancy delivering specialist maritime, weapons, and integration engineering and other professional services to Defence and Defence Primes, and advisory services to Australian and international firms that want to grow their defence business.
As CEO of ADROITA, Sarah’s core purpose is to Engineer Success for Sovereign Capability and delivers this through partnering with employees, Defence, clients and other businesses. She continues to grow and develop a talented team of engineers, Defence and industry professionals, is investing in the research and development of artificial intelligence enabled decision support technology to deliver in-service maritime programs more bang for buck, and leads a number of industry consortiums.
Sarah was awarded 2021 Consultant of the Year in the Australian Defence Industry Awards, and was a finalist in the Engineer of the Year category of the Women in Defence Awards, with ADROITA being shortlisted for numerous industry awards. Sarah has written two White Papers, and serves as a Director on the Board of the Australian Industry and Defence Network (AIDN) and is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA).
Senior Research Engineer, Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC)
Stevens Institute of Technology
Dr Nicole Hutchison is a Principal Investigator (PI) and a senior research engineer at the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC). Her primary work through the SERC has been in human capital development research. This has included development of competency frameworks for systems engineering (the Helix project), digital engineering, and mission engineering. Currently, Dr Hutchison is the PI for the Simulation Training Environment for Digital Engineering, a project that is developing realistic models to be used in training the DoD acquisition workforce in a way that builds hands-on digital engineering skills.
Before joining the SERC, she spent 5 years working for Analytic Services, Inc., supporting the US Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Justice. She has helped to plan and conduct exercises in Emergency Management, helped run the Louisiana Family Assistance Center following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and served 10 years in emergency medicine. She holds a PhD in systems engineering from Stevens as well as a master’s degree in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Disease from Georgetown University. Dr Hutchison is an active member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), currently serving on as the INCOSE Events Portfolio Manager and on the INCOSE Certification Advisory Board. She holds her Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) credential.
A/Professor of Engineering Design, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
A/Prof Liu obtained his M.S. in Product Development Engineering and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Assistant Professor, and Manager of the iPodia Program at the University of Southern California (USC) from 2014 to 2016. A/Prof Liu's research focuses on design methodology, design thinking, smart manufacturing, digital twin, and engineering education. He has published two books and over 120 book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers, including a series of publications in leading journals such as CIRP Annals, ASME Transactions, and IEEE Transactions. He has been teaching the subject of engineering design and design thinking to over 6,000 engineering students and design practitioners.
A/Prof Liu is an Associate Member of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), JSPS Invitational Fellow at The University of Tokyo, Fellow of the PLuS Alliance, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). He is Secretary of CIRP STC Design in 2022-2025. He received multiple prestigious awards such as the Park's Best Journal Paper Award in 2019, UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in 2021, one of the 250 Top Researchers by the Australian's Research Magazine 2021-2022, Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning of the 2022 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT), 2022 Best Journal Paper Award by Journal of Manufacturing Systems, etc.
Chief Information and Digital Officer, Technology and Digital Programs Group
As Chief Information and Digital Officer (CIDO) for Services Australia, Charles McHardie leads the largest technology group in the Australian government. Charles oversees the technical and digital infrastructure that delivers government services and support to millions of Australians.
In his role as CIDO, Charles is responsible for driving digital and technology transformation within Services Australia, and delivering whole-of-government transformation programs. He oversees significant investment in programs for Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and myGov, and has led the delivery of major programs such as Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation.
Charles led the delivery of technology and business solutions that positioned the Australian government to be able to respond rapidly to the global pandemic. He brings extensive knowledge of Services Australia’s systems from his previous roles as Deputy CEO of the Transformation Projects Group, Chief Transformation Officer, and as Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer with the agency’s predecessor, the Department of Human Services.
Charles joined the Australian public service in 2015 after a long and distinguished career in the Royal Australian Navy where he held IT, intelligence and operational postings. Charles was deployed three times to the Middle East in Australia’s contribution to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as well as operations in East Timor. In 2011 Charles was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to Naval Warfare, and in 2014 was awarded a commendation for distinguished service for his command of naval Combined Task Force 150.
Engineering and Technical Function
Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group
Jo began her career in the United Kingdom, focusing on Systems Engineering, gaining practical experience with Defence Primes as an airworthiness engineer. She then worked as a specialist safety critical software and safety consultant on programs such as NATO ACCS and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier. Jo moved to QinetiQ Boscombe Down undertaking Fast Jet and Rotary Test and Evaluation as well as supporting the prototype Fast Landing Craft Technology demonstrator program.
She has also worked in the education and rail sectors, recently managing Canberra’s Light Rail Network.
Jo is the Job Family Function Lead for Engineers and Technical APS employees across Defence and is responsible for the Engineering and Technical Function policy and practice. She also leads the Quality Management, and Cyber Security Advisory and Assurance teams within CASG.
First Assistant Director General, Technical
Australian Submarine Agency
Dr Mansell is an experienced senior executive within the Australian Department of Defence where he is responsible for establishing ASA as an authorised submarine engineering organisation, as well as developing and applying the science, technology and innovation base Australia requires to be a safe and effective independent owner/operator of our nuclear-powered submarine capability.
He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, Advanced Management Program (AMP188). With over 30 years experience in submarine research, development, acquisition and operations analysis, Dr Mansell’s contribution to submarines has been recognised with the Minister for Defence, Award for Scientific Achievement.
Prior to his current role, Dr Mansell was posted into The Boeing Company (USA) where he worked alongside the Chief Engineer on engineering realignment, innovation supply chain and R&D transformation.
Dr Mansell has held previous roles across Defence and the public service including leading a national innovation and science taskforce, Acting Chief Defence Scientist, Chief Science Strategy and Program Division, Contestability Division and the National Naval Ship Building Taskforce. He also has experience leading Defence’s Science & Technology programs supporting Air Force, Navy, and the Joint Force Domain.
Country Engineering Director & Chief Engineer
Kerry Lunney is Country Engineering Director and Chief Engineer in Thales Australia. She has extensive experience developing and delivering large system solutions, working in various industries including ICT, Gaming, Financial, Transport, Aerospace and Defence, in Australia, Asia and USA. She also participates in a number of global working groups and research projects, focusing on agility, artificial intelligence and systems, system of systems engineering, and safer complex systems.
Kerry is a Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and holds the Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) qualification. She is also a Fellow of Engineers Australia with the status of Engineering Executive and Chartered Professional Engineer.
Kerry has held many volunteer roles in her career including past National President of the Systems Society of Australian (SESA), INCOSE Asia-Oceania Director, INCOSE President-Elect, and INCOSE President. She recently contributed to the authorship of the new text on “Emerging Trends in Systems Engineering Leadership”, and co-authored the best paper related to Engineering Agility for the INCOSE International Symposium IS2023.
Registration and Morning Tea
Moderator’s Opening Remarks and Welcome to Country
Welcome to UNSW Canberra and Opening
Professor Emma Sparks
Rector, UNSW Canberra
Engineering Digital Transformation for Continuous Improvement
Digital engineering and the next industrial revolution
Dr William Roper
CEO & Founder, Istari
Harnessing the digital thread of data to provide end-to-end asset lifecycle
CEO & Co-Founder, DEOS Digital
Integrating digital engineering in the maritime domain: A strategic vision
Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes, AM, CSC
Head Navy Capability, Royal Australian Navy
Interactive facilitated takeaways session
Refreshments and Networking
Developing the Workforce for a Digital Future
Shaping the next generation workforce to enable maritime digital transformation
Commodore Anthony Klenthis, CSC
Director General, Future Navy Workforce, Royal Australian Navy
To be confirmed
CEO & Founder, ADROITA
Enabling the digital transformation of the workforce: A digital engineering competency framework
Dr Nicole Hutchison
Senior Research Engineer, Stevens Institute of Technology, Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC)
Interactive facilitated takeaways session
Unlocking the Value of Data in Engineering
To be confirmed
Digital engineering in service of Industry 4.0: Role of AI for data management at the design stage
A/Prof Ang Liu
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW Sydney
To be confirmed
Chief Information and Digital Officer, Technology and Digital Programmes, Services Australia
Interactive facilitated takeaways session
Connecting the Dots: Integration of Data, Skillsets, and Technology for Advancing Digital Transformation
Digital Engineering: Investment considerations and asset management
Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Function, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group
Program managing DE: Embracing a digital approach to nuclear-powered submarines engineering and delivery
Dr Todd Mansell
First Assistant Director General, Technical, Australian Submarine Agency
Systems transformation through a digital perspective: Is engineering ready for this future?
Country Engineering Director / Chief Engineer, Thales Australia
Interactive facilitated takeaways session
Wrap-up: The Vision Forward
End of Summit
For information or assistance on the Inaugural Australian Digital Engineering Summit 2023, please contact:
Summit Organising Committee
For more information about the Capability Systems Centre, please visit: