Key appointment for Fugro Marine

Fugro Marine has won a feather in the cap with the appointment of a high profile public servant as part of the group's business development.

Mr Robert Willis is a former Australian Hydrographer and Director-General of the Australian Hydrographic office and will be based in the Perth office of Fugro Marine.

Willis has outstanding expertise as a specialist in hydrographic surveying, geographic information systems, nautical charting and government maritime policy, said Fugro Survey managing director, Grey Roughan. He said the appointment would be extremely advantageous not only to Fugro Marine Survey but also its clients.

"We look forward to Mr Willis assisting Fugro Marine Survey in developing business opportunities in both the private and government sectors as well as providing specialist input on our various technical initiatives and R&D.

"One of the first initiatives on which Mr Willis is likely to work is the introduction into Australia by Fugro Marine of the SHOALS airborne laser bathymetry system.

"Currently, Fugro operates this system in the United States for the US Army Corps of Engineers and we can see it having valuable application in Australia and the South-East Asian region.

"Additionally, Fugro Marine is working on a number of new systems and Mr Willis will also be involved in their introduction to Australia and the nearby region where his international experience will be invaluable."

Mr Willis was a career officer in the Royal Australian Navy achieving the rank of Commodore and retiring from the Navy in January 2000. He specialised in hydrographic surveying early in his career and later served in most command and senior managements appointments in the Australian Hydrographic Service.

As the Australian Hydrographer, he dealt widely with international organisations, government agencies and industry.

Also, he had line management responsibility for meeting Navy and industry requirements for hydrographic and navigational information, and providing advice to Government on a wide range of complex navigational and law of the sea issues. He was responsible for equipping and managing Navy's sea-going hydrographic force and represented Australia in global and regional hydrographic and maritime forums.

He also commanded the hydrographic survey vessels HMAS MORESBY and HMAS FLINDERS.

He was a member of the Heads of Commonwealth Marine Agencies and the University of Melbourne Dept of Geomatics Advisory Committee and is currently an Honorary Principal Fellow of that Department.

Since retiring from the Navy in January 2000, Mr Willis has established his own consultancy business and provides specialist advice to a range of clients.