Blueprint for success
Naval Architects are involved in the design, construction, quality control, maintenance and repair of naval vessels. They have an understanding of a range of engineering disciplines and work with state-of-the-art technology.
Naval Architects may also specialise in structure and design, management, research, mechanical processes, hydro dynamics, stability, propulsion and systems engineering. Tasks include preparing preliminary designs, construction costs, calculations, risk assessment and coordinating the work of other engineers.
Claire Johnson began working as a Naval Architect with Navy Engineering in 2011.
Overview of your role
I lead a small team of Naval Architects specialising in naval ship stability. I coordinate tasking, provide subject matter expertise to Defence and support team members to do the same. My role primarily involves office-based work (e.g. engineering calculations), but it also has an element of working onboard Royal Australian Navy vessels.
Where do you work? (enterprise partner)
I currently work with the Department of Defence in Canberra.
How did you get to where you are today?
After studying a Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture and doing undergraduate work placements with Navy Engineering, I successfully applied for Navy Engineering’s Civilian Engineering Development Program. Over the past 10 years I have worked in different positions within Defence, moving around the core naval architecture areas – stability, ship structures and hydrodynamics – where I developed my organisational knowledge, professional and technical skills.
What do you love about your job?
I am never bored at work and I enjoy the challenges of technical work. There is always demand for our technical expertise and that keeps me busy and engaged. I know that our work is utilised because our input is requested on a variety of different issues.
Why did you choose a career this field?
Engineering was the logical choice for me with my interest in maths and science. As for Naval Architecture, I didn’t like to follow the pack and it seemed like a niche area where there were interesting opportunities for employment (the large scope of those opportunities in the naval sector has only become apparent in the last few years).
What skills are required in your position?
Aside from an Engineering Degree and the technical skills that provides, it really pays to be adaptable, proactive and have strong problem-solving skills. The key to having your work implemented is being able to communicate technical issues and solutions in a way that allows others to understand.
Why did you decide to work within the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise?
I was already working for Navy Engineering when the concept of the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise came about, and it has highlighted the need for technical people in the naval industry and reinforced that there are many meaningful opportunities in the sector.
If you like being challenged, enjoy unique experiences that will set your career up for great things then you should consider opportunities in the naval shipbuilding industry. Join the national Workforce Register.