25 Sep 2023
by Commander Richard Hudson

Step aboard the SS Great Britain and join us for Engine as a Weapon X

Chair of the organising committee of the forthcoming Engine as a Weapon X conference, Commander Richard Hudson RN, takes a look at the highlights of this year’s two-day event.  

With just weeks to go it’s an incredibly busy time as we finalise all the details for an event of this size. This is the first time since COVID that the conference will be in-person and I’m particularly pleased that we will be hosting it onboard the SS Great Britain in Bristol. It’s a fabulous feat of engineering and will make a great backdrop for the discussions on what we might expect from future naval engineering developments. 

The Engine as a Weapon Conferences were my own introduction to the IMarEST. They have always piqued my interest and I was delighted to be invited to Chair the organising committee in 2022 when I was part of the Royal Navy’s Sea Training team in Devonport. 

As Chair, I am fortunate to be working alongside a dedicated Technical Advisory Committee (TAC team) who comprise a combination of industry partners, military, and educational members. With the expertise within the TAC team, we have derived a list of subjects which was formulated from both previous successful themes, current industry and military initiatives and topical events within the news.  

Our call for papers has been very successful and we are now tracking 18 papers, coming in from several industrial and educational sources that support our theme of exploiting technologies for warfighting advantage. Our keynote speakers include, Sarah Kenny OBE, CEO BMT, Gary Simpson, Support MD at Babcock Marine and Technology, R Adm Paul Carroll OBE, R Adm JJ Bailey. We are looking forward to close to 20 technical presentations over the two days, plus a chance to network and relax at a gala dinner onboard the SS Great Britain.  

We have arranged the programme to cover a number of topical themes that are central to the future of modern naval engineering around the globe, including autonomy, power to capability, power to command – electrification and modularity, developing trends and emerging technologies, and cyber security among many others. 

Engine as a Weapon X 28-29 November 2023, SS Great Britain, Bristol 

Richard is a Commander in the Royal Navy. His career spans 28 years which has seen him rise through the ranks and through a number of roles maintaining equipment, predominantly on board Type 42 Destroyers, before commissioning as an Officer in 2011. As a Royal Navy officer r, he has undertaken departmental management roles in both HMS LANCASTER and NORTHUMBERLAND, coordinated dockyard maintenance and repair on HMS SOMERSET and MONTROSE, as well as conduct training and flotilla support roles based in Devonport. In his current role he manages the Weapon Systems Group within Maritime Capability Trials and Acceptance (MCTA); his team of around 60 military and civil servant personnel provide impartial assurance of the safety of weapons, sensor and communication equipment operated across the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.