RADM Katherine Richards AM

Head Navy Engineering
Royal Australian Navy

Katherine Richards joined the RAN in 1989 and completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with First Class Honours at ADFA in 1992. She then served in a number of RAN ships and shore establishments and achieved her marine engineer charge qualification in 1998. In 2001 she was the first female officer in the RAN to become a charge engineer of a major fleet unit, HMAS Melbourne. Posting ashore in 2003, she undertook various staff jobs including LHD Sustainment Manager in 2008-09 and achieved Chartered Professional Engineer status.

Promoted to Captain in 2010, she was appointed as Director of the LHD Systems Program Office and then Commanding Officer HMAS Cerberus, the RAN’s premier training establishment, and Director Training Authority – Engineering. Promoted to Commodore in December 2014, she was appointed as the Director General of Engineering, a role which included a significant focus on Seaworthiness across the fleet. She was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in August 2020 and awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List 2021, in part for contributing to the rebuilding of Naval Engineering as a professional workforce.

Rear Admiral Richards was appointed as Head Navy Engineering in February 2021.

Professor Emily Hilder

Chief Maritime Division
Defence Science & Technology

Professor Emily Hilder commenced as Chief Maritime Division – Defence Science & Technology in November 2020.

Professor Emily Hilder was previously the Director of the Future Industries Institute (FII) and Deputy Director of the ARC Research Hub for integrated devices for end-user analysis at low levels (IDEAL) at University of South Australia. As Director: FII she also led the Future Industries Accelerator (FIA). Established through a $7.5 million investment from the Government of SA, FIA supported SA businesses, in particular SMEs to access research equipment and infrastructure, funding for R&D projects and staff secondments, with a focus on growing R&D capacity in industry and establishing long term, productive collaboration between universities and businesses.

Emily is a graduate of the University of Tasmania where she completed her PhD in analytical chemistry in 2000. Following postdoctoral positions at Johannes Kepler University (Austria) and the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) she returned to Australia and University of Tasmania in 2004 where she held two ARC Fellowships (APD, Future Fellowship) as well as positions as Assistant Dean of Graduate Research and Head of Chemistry. She was inaugural Director of the ARC Training Centre for Portable Analytical Separation Technologies (ASTech) before relocating to the University of South Australia in 2016. Her research is the field of analytical chemistry and materials science and is focused on the design and application of new materials that can be used to improve analytical measurements. Her work has led to commercial and field adoption in separation science, bioanalysis, disease diagnosis, environment and food science, defence and national security.

Emily is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and has been recognised by a number of awards including the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia (2019), RACI Doreen Clarke Analytical Medal (2016), UTAS Foundation Graduate Award (2010) and has been included in the Analytical Scientist Power Lists from 2013-2017, 2019 & 2020 including the ‘Top 40 under 40’ and as one of the top 10 leaders in analytical science. She is an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry (ACS) and a member of the South Australian Premier’s Science and Innovation Council.

Jane MacMaster

Chief Engineer
Engineers Australia

Jane MacMaster has worked as an aerospace, mechanical and systems design engineer in Australia and internationally, focusing primarily on supersonic flight vehicle design, operations research and rapid prototyping in the Defence and cyber security sectors.

She has previously worked as a senior advisor within the strategy unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to becoming Chief Engineer at Engineers Australia, she developed a generalised approach for complex problem solving which she taught across all faculties at universities, and to staff from Commonwealth, and State and Territory government departments.

She is a director on the Board of the Australian Council of Professions.

Chris Boyd CEng, CMarEng, FIMarEST, FRINA

Chief Executive Officer
Royal Institution of Naval Architects

Chief Executive of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), a leading maritime organisation founded in 1860 to advance the art and science of ship design. 

“RINA is a world renowned and highly respected professional institution and learned society whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of all marine vessels.  Delivering network intelligence with an ability to communicate with industry, academia and other bodies, such as the International Maritime Organization.”

Boyd’s own background offers some insight into the broad range of RINA’s interests. He began his career in the Royal Navy before studying Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering in Glasgow. Since then, he has worked all over the world for the private and public sector, covering all types of boats, vessels, and offshore structures.  Chris strives to share his vision from sustainability to leadership and for Boyd, a key part of RINA’s role is to promote the highest standards of naval architecture and engineering, professional competence, and integrity. RINA works closely with members to develop training and seed innovation, particularly in areas such as the environment and safety. It does so with an awareness of its own legacy and history.