McNeil Prize nominations open


Nominations are open for the 2020 McNeil Prize.

In 2016, the Australian Naval Institute (ANI) created an award to honour an individual or individuals from Australian defence industry who have made an outstanding contribution to the capabilities and sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy. This award was named the “McNeil Prize” in honour of Rear Admiral Percival McNeil CB RAN.

The winner will be announced at the annual ANI dinner and Vernon Parker Oration. Details here.

The winner of the inaugural Prize was Ian Croser AM, the co-founder of CEA Technologies. The citation for Mr Croser read: “Mr Croser, through his remarkable vision, perseverance, determination and a dogged desire for excellence had successfully developed unique radar and communications systems from the ground up. As a consequence the RAN, the ADF and the nation are now reaping significant benefits from his prodigious engineering talent and technical leadership”.

In 2017 the McNeil Prize was awarded to Peter Evans from Saab Australia Pty Ltd. The citation for Mr Evans read: “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.”

The McNeil Prize in 2018 was awarded to Andrew Whittaker, Director of Shipbuilding at Raytheon Australia. The citation for Mr Whittaker read: “Andrew has been awarded the McNeil Prize for exceptional engineering and program management leadership in delivering Australia’s most potent and capable warships to the Royal Australian Navy. As an example of his leadership, Andrew established, maintained and integrated the engineering activities and technical integrity risk management framework for the program.”

The 2019 McNeil Prize was awarded to Peter Jenkins, Founder and Managing Director of Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems (JEDS). For more than 30 years, Mr Jenkins has led his company which provides electronic warfare and communications equipment of its own design as well as supporting systems of overseas manufacture that are fitted to the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of submarines, destroyers and frigates. In announcing the Award, it was noted that Peter Jenkins, through his leadership, drive and innovation has made an outstanding contribution to the RAN over three decades. What is also notable is the dedication of his staff to their work and their company with the average tenure of Peter’s team being around 15 years.

The criteria for the prize are:

  • the nominee is an individual or individuals from the Australian defence industry;
  • the nominee has made a significant contribution to the capabilities of the RAN.

The Prize is awarded annually and presented at the ANI’s Vernon Parker Oration and Annual Dinner which will be held in 2020 on 17 June in Canberra.

Nominations are to be in the form of a submission of no more than 500 words forwarded to the ANI Business Manager, Sue Hart at For further information contact the ANI Secretariat on 02 6290 1505.

The closing date for nominations for the 2020 McNeil Prize is 1 May 2020.

The nomination form can be downloaded 


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