Austal employee, Byron Walpole, was presented with the prestigious Australian Industry and Defence Network (AIDN) 2011 National Young Achiever of the Year Award at a defence industry ceremony held in Canberra this week.
Mr Walpole was the recipient of the Western Australian Young Achiever Award in late December 2010, and, as a result, was entered into the National competition, which recognises the achievements and potential of individuals within the defence industry.
Mr Walpole, from Hilton, Western Australia has been instrumental in extending Austal’s impressive naval architecture credentials as a result of his substantial input into the designs of the US Navy Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) and the US Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).
Mr Walpole was lead designer on the Austal LCS project, a unique and innovative trimaran warship with multi-mission capability. The first Austal LCS was delivered to the US Navy in December 2009, with a second due for delivery in mid 2011. The US Navy recently awarded Austal a contract to build a third LCS with options for a further nine over the following five years. Austal is also contracted to build five JHSVs with the US Department of Defence holding options for a further five vessels.
Since joining Austal in 2002 as a Naval Architect, Mr Walpole has participated in the design of several state-of-the-art naval and patrol vessels.
Austal Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Bellamy, congratulated Mr Walpole, noting that the award was well deserved.
“Mr Walpole’s significant contribution to Austal has helped cement our position as a leading designer and builder of vessels for the domestic and international defence sector,” said Mr Bellamy.
“During his eight years with Austal, Mr Walpole has been instrumental in the design of the Armidale Class Patrol Boat, the LCS and the JHSV, which, together, have earned the Company more than AUD$2billion in revenue.
“Mr Walpole’s demonstrated leadership capabilities, experience and innovative designs have been of great value to Austal, and we are proud that his contribution has gained industry recognition.”
Mr Walpole said he was pleased that his contribution to both Austal and the shipbuilding industry had been recognised at both a State and National level.
“I am very proud to have been acknowledged for my contribution to the design of some of the world’s most advanced naval vessels, and look forward to continuing to pioneer and develop improved solutions for defence shipbuilding,” said Mr Walpole.
Mr Walpole has a Bachelor of Engineering (Naval Architecture) from the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania and is a Graduate Member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects.
Source:austal , February 17, 2011