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Engineering scholarship recipient sails to Osborne

When James Walker graduated with his Master of Professional Engineering from the University of Western Australia, he aspired to join the Luerssen Australia team.
20 May 2020
Luerssen Australia Engineer, James Walker

“My main motivation for wanting to join Luerssen was my sustained interest in the niche construction methods within shipbuilding and how these methods shape the layout of a shipyard – and the chance of joining shipbuilding giant, Luerssen was a dream,” James said.


Since being formally introduced to Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry in 2017, James has proactively and consistently engaged in shipbuilding and lean manufacturing research.


“In my final year of my Engineering degree, I was awarded a scholarship by the Defence Teaming Centre and an Internship with Luerssen Australia.


“In addition to my previous experience working in the construction industry and maritime drafting, I also gained workshop and design experience with an agricultural parts supply company, Harvestaire, who manufacture steel components for use in farming machinery.”


While at University, James and three other students proposed a redesign concept of an existing product for Harvestaire. Following submission of the redesign concept and subsequent success of the prototype, James was offered a part time position at Harvestaire to work further into reducing manufacturing costs.


This experience was particularly relevant to Luerssen Australia.


“Engineering Manager, Michael Voss and Production Support Manager, Kai-Uwe Heine showed interest in my understanding of manufacturing processes such as welding, engineering tolerances and workshop work-flow, all of which being focal points of my employment today,” said James.


James enjoys keeping fit and healthy and balances his day job in shipbuilding with semi-professional sporting pursuits.


“In my free time, I play 3×3 Basketball and have competed at a semi-professional level over the past two years. Outside of basketball I also enjoy film photography, cooking for friends, surfing and diving.”


A Perth native, James is now in the process of moving to Adelaide to work on Leurssen’s first two Offshore Patrol Vessels which are being built and integrated at the Osborne Naval Shipyard.


When the current situation passes, James will also have the opportunity to move to Germany to learn about Luerssen’s approach to shipbuilding and will then move back to Perth in a few years’ time to bring this knowledge back to Australia.



“Joining the Luerssen team has definitely accelerated my learning. This experience and the opportunity to travel to Germany to learn more is helping me attain a level of expertise within the Engineering field,” James said.


“I have the opportunity to work in high level engineering at Luerssen Australia and work alongside passionate personnel and look forward to building a long career in the Australian shipbuilding industry.”


A dream come true.


Note: Video release date 19 February 2020 – due to the current COVID-19 situation James’ trip to Germany has been delayed.

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