Winner of the Australian Naval Institute’s 2017 McNeil Prize

2017 McNeil Prize winner, Peter Evans (SAAB Australia); VADM David Johnston (CJOPS); Elspeth Killip (McNeil); Vince Di Pietro (CEO Lockheed Martin); CMDR Lee Goddard (ANI Vice President).

THE winner of the Australian Naval Institute’s 2017 McNeil Prize is Mr Peter Evans from Saab Australia Pty Ltd. The prize was given at the Institute’s Annual Dinner at the Realm Hotel in Canberra. It is awarded to ‘an individual from Australian industry who has made an outstanding contribution to the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy.’

The award which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Australia was presented by Vice Admiral David Johnson, in the presence of the Lockheed Martin Australia CEO, Mr Vince DiPietro and Mrs Elspeth Killip, grand daughter of Admiral McNeil.

The McNeil Prize is named in honour of Rear Admiral Percival McNeil CB RAN (1883-1951). He was one of the founding fathers of Australian shipbuilding. In particular, his contribution to both the Navy and industry is noteworthy, as was his faith in Australia’s ability to build world-class ships.

The winner, Mr Peter Evans is an outstanding system engineer who has been instrumental in the development of the world class 9LV combat management system for the ANZAC class frigates, including the latest Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade being rolled out across the ANZAC Fleet. A variant of this system is also fitted to the Navy’s Canberra class Landing Helicopter Dock ships and the new Fleet replenishment ships. The system has also be exported to the Royal Thai Navy and versions are in contention for the RAN’s Future Frigate and the Canadian Future Surface Combatant projects.

After a successful naval career which included an important tenure as Acting Director of Naval Combat System Engineering, Peter Evans transitioned to industry. He was pivotal in establishing the deep and broad engineering capability required to deliver the program and support it locally. Championing system engineering led software design, he guided the acquisition project to successful completion with 15% locally designed and implemented software. Over time and through subsequent upgrades the local designed and implementation of the ANZAC combat management systems has grown to more than 50%.

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