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Meet the Speakers: Deep Blue Forum 2021
Her Majesty's Canadian Submarine WINDSOR follows formation along with the other international submarines during Exercise CUTLASS FURY on September 18, 2016. Photo: Corporal Kenneth Galbraith HS03-2016-0872-716
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Meet the Speakers: Deep Blue Forum 2021 

In just a week’s time, Deep Blue Forum 2021 will kick off. The much anticipated 2nd annual 2-day virtual conference will focus on the theme: Canadian Submarine Design and Technology Considerations: Today and 20 Years Into the Future.

An exciting line up of speakers have been selected to delve into this topic. In this post, we would like to introduce you to this year’s speakers.

Dr. Norman Friedman
Naval Analyst, U.S. Naval Institute

Norman Friedman is a strategist known for his ability to meld historical, technical, and strategic factors in analyses of current problems. Educated as a theoretical physicist at Columbia University and at an IBM Laboratory associated with the University, Dr. Friedman spent 11 years at a New York think tank, the Hudson Institute, headed by Herman Kahn, who was famous both as a futurologist and as a strategist. Dr. Friedman left Hudson as Deputy Director for National Security Studies. He then spent a decade as an in-house consultant to the Secretary of the Navy.

Topics Dr. Friedman has studied under contract to government agencies and to major U.S. government contractors have included the nature of future naval warfare, the defence transformation effort (as reflected in attempts to develop network-centric types of warfare), naval command and control as a model for network-centric warfare, the development of U.S. and British aircraft carriers, etc. Dr. Friedman has lectured widely in forums such as the U.S. Naval War College, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Air War College, the Australian, British, and Canadian junior and senior national staff colleges, the Royal United Services Institute, the British Ministry of Defence, and at a series of seminars for the Naval Air Systems Command managed by the University of Virginia. In the fall of 2002, Dr. Friedman served as the Royal Australian Navy’s Synott Professor, lecturing on seapower in several Australian cities.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Friedman has presented numerous commercial lectures (for defence and naval professionals) on various defence topics.

Admiral James G. “Jamie” Foggo
USN (ret)

Admiral James Foggo is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He commanded the attack submarine, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) in 1998, which was awarded the Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 8 Battle Efficiency award and the Commander Fleet Forces Command Admiral Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for being the most improved ship in the Atlantic Fleet. Foggo served as Commodore of SUBRON-6 in 2007. Over the last decade in Naples, Italy, he served in multiple major commands as Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Africa; Commander Allied Joint Force Command, Naples; Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet; Commander, Submarine Group 8; and Commander, Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South. During this period, he also served as the Operations Officer (J-3) for Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn (Libya). Additionally, Foggo was a NATO Task Force commander in Joint Task Force Unified Protector (Libya). In 2018, he commanded Exercise Trident Juncture (Arctic Circle), the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War with over 50,000 personnel.

Ashore, he has served in a variety of assignments, most notably as Executive Assistant to the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion (NAVSEA 08); Executive Assistant to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Executive Officer to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander, European Command (EUCOM); and Director, Navy Staff.

Cmdre J. S. Armstrong, MSM, CD
Director General Naval Force Development

As the son of a career soldier, Cmdre J. S. Armstrong grew up in various army and air force bases throughout Canada, but calls Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario his hometown. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a Maritime Surface Officer in 1989. Upon completion of Naval Warfare Officer training in 1994, he joined the Pacific Fleet. Since then, he has served onboard HMC Ships on both coasts conducting a number of international deployments including NATO, WESTPLOY, Op AUGMENTATION, and Op ALTAIR. He has had the honour and privilege of commanding three of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships during his command tour and deployed onboard HMCS Toronto as Commanding Officer for Op REASSURANCE in 2014-2015.

Cmdre Armstrong has served in staff positions at Maritime Pacific and Canadian Fleet Atlantic Headquarters. He has served in the National Capital Region in Naval Force Development and as the Chief of Staff for the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Dr. Sankar Das Gupta, Ph.D
Co-Founder & CEO, Electrovaya Inc.

Sankar is an entrepreneur and an award-winning scientist with over 50 US patents who is passionate on the urgency to reduce the effects of Climate Change. He has been a member of many committees including the White House Committee on Energy & Environment, chaired by then Vice- President Al Gore. Recently he was an Advisor to the Indian PM on Climate Change and Energy Transformation. A founder charter member of TIE-Toronto and is a frequently invited speaker at conferences and universities worldwide.

Sankar received his doctorate from Imperial College, London and is a graduate of Presidency College, Calcutta. He serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Anthony March
Vice President Engineering Service, Babcock Canada

Tony joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1997 as a Marine Systems Engineer. Following graduation from the Royal Military College of Canada and completion of initial occupational training, he was deployed to the Arabian Gulf in HMCS Montréal part of Operation APOLLO, Canada’s contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.

In 2003, Tony volunteered for Submarine Service and completed his training and qualifying requirements in 2004 and then went on to serve as the Marine Systems Engineering Officer in HMC Submarines Victoria, Windsor, and Corner Brook. Subsequently, Tony completed a variety of offshore postings in Halifax and was selected for Post-Graduate Training in the UK. Posted to Ottawa, he held a variety of staff positions, culminating as the Deputy Director, Maritime Engineering Program Management (Submarines). In June 2018, he joined Babcock after serving 21 years with the Royal Canadian Navy. In January 2020, Tony took on the role of Vice President of Engineering Services.

Stephan Meunier
Marketing Director, Naval Group

Stephan is a former captain of the French Navy. Specializing in anti-submarine warfare, weapons and combat systems, he was assigned on board many warships and submarines throughout his career. Among other things, he served as the commanding officer of a patrol boat in Indian Ocean and on nuclear submarines. After a successful time at sea, he was appointed to the Naval Staff in the Future Capabilities Department. From 2008 to 2011, he was head of the BARRACUDA programme, which is the French programme for the replacement of 6 SSNs. After that, he assumed the command of the French Nuclear Submarine Squadron in Toulon, responsible for operating SSNs, for maintaining them, and for selecting crews and commanding officers.

Since March 2016, he has been director of operational marketing at Naval Group.

Kistina Proulx
Director of Innovation Operations, IDEaS

Kristina is the Director of Innovation Operations for the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program. She joined the team in March 2020 and is charged with ensuring the operational effectiveness of the Program’s five funding elements that facilitate third-party innovation to address the capability needs of CAF/DND.

Philipp Schön
Head of Product Sales Submarines, Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH

Philipp Schön has a background in Naval Architecture and Economics. He concluded his Diplomas after serving his Navy Service in the German Navy as a Navigator on board several surface vessels. He started his industrial career in Kiel at the project department of the civil shipyard Linedau. Shortly after, Mr. Schön moved back to the naval indus-try taking up a management role in Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft, here getting his first experience in submarine technologies some 15 years ago.

Through a long period in London with the daughter company MarineForce International and a secondment to as the General Manager of the branch in Abu Dhabi, he came back to Germany taking on Business Development responsibility inside Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems for all Naval business. Since the merger of Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and Atlas Elektronic in Bremen, Mr. Schön has been Head of Submarine Sales and also leads the departments responsible for Requirements, Verification and Proposal Management.

Captain Norman Jolin
OMM, MSM, CD, RCN (Ret’d)

Norman Jolin joined the Canadian Navy in 1976 and enjoyed a naval career that saw sea-going service across the entire spectrum of maritime operations – his final appointments being outside Canada in support of NATO and defence diplomacy. He served at sea for the majority of his career in both ships and submarines, having commanded a squadron of minor warships and later the Halifax-class frigate HMCSMontréal.

In 2011, Norman Jolin retired from the RCN and settled in the Ottawa area where he maintains a small consulting firm, advising clients on military and naval matters. In May 2017, he joined CFN Consultants where he provides assistance to clients by applying his experience and expertise in naval and maritime subjects.

Cdr Martin Byrne
Royal Canadian Navy

Commander Martin Byrne joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1988 upon completion of studies at the University of Toronto. He has sailed in both submarines and surface combatants and has had a variety of postings in interesting shore positions including an exchange with the United States Navy as a Tactical Development Officer at the Surface Warfare Development Group in Norfolk Virginia, Deputy Director of the Canadian Forces Integrated Command Centre at CJOC HQ in Ottawa and three years as an Operational Requirements Manager for the Joint Battlespace Management Capability Project at ADM(IM).

Cdr Byrne has been employed at the Directorate of Naval Requirements (DNR) since 2017 where he has been responsible for both under water warfare and submarine requirements. He is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Program at Canadian Forces College Toronto. Cdr Byrne is currently the section head for submarines and the Project Director for both the Victoria-class Modernization and the initial phase of the Canadian Patrol Submarine Project.

LCdr J.M.É. Isabelle, CD
Commanding Officer, HMCS Victoria

Hailing from Montmagny, Québec, LCdr Éric Isabelle joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada. Upon graduation, he completed his naval training at the Naval Officer Training Center in Victoria, BC before being assigned to HMCS Fredericton. As Bridge Watchkeeper and the Ship’s Diving Officer, he took part in Operations Saïph and Ocean Shield conducting counter-piracy and counter-terrorism patrols in the Gulf of Aden and off the Eastern Coast of Africa.

On completion of his time overseas, LCdr Isabelle volunteered for the Submarine Service. His first assignment was in HMCS Corner Brook during its coastal transfer from Halifax to Victoria. During his time onboard, he achieved his submarine officer qualification and participated in Operation Carribe, a counter-drug mission off the South American shores. His next submarine assignments were as Navigating Officer and later Combat Officer of HMCS Windsor. During his Combat Officer tour, he was fortunate to conduct two European deployments participating in several multinational exercises and operational patrols. LCdr Isabelle was then appointed Executive Officer of HMCS Windsor in July 2017 and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea on Operation Projection, which included operational patrols under NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian. Upon HMCS Windsor’s return to Canada, LCdr Isabelle was selected to attend the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Submarine Command Course. In April 2019, he became the 58th Canadian to successfully complete “Perisher”, and was appointed Commanding Officer of HMCS Victoria on 6 June 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Jake Jacobson
Director, Babcock Canada

Jake attended Canada’s Collège Militaire Royale and Royal Military College, graduating in 1975 and proceeding as a Rhodes Scholar (Ontario and Magdalen) to study Theoretical Astrophysics at Oxford University from 1975 to 1978. With the Navy until 1999, Jake served as a Combat Systems Engineer at sea and on the waterfront, as a Project Engineer specializing in Above Water Warfare, as the Head of Underwater Warfare, and as Project Manager for the $1.8B modernization of Canada’s air defence and command & control destroyers. He also served as naval representative to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and as the Commanding Officer of Canada’s Pacific Naval Dockyard.

Jake subsequently joined Lockheed Martin UK as the Deputy Commercial Director and Programme Officer Manager for the £2.7B Royal Navy’s Merlin Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter program, returning in 2002 to Lockheed Martin Canada to lead the Maritime Helicopter Program (MHP) capture consortium and serve as the Director of Advanced Programs. In 2004, Jake joined General Dynamics Canada to lead the Canadian industry consortium for the pursuit of the Joint Support Ship. Jake joined Canada’s Department of National Defence as a public servant in 2007, serving through to 2012 as the Chief of Staff (Materiel Group), through the initial period of CF rebuild and the principal period of Canada’s combat engagement in Afghanistan.

Sven Brinkmann
Technical Manager Marine Simulations, Rheinmetall

As a boy Sven was afraid of water and took the only logical step: he joined the Navy.
Always looking for challenges being on a “normal” ship was not enough for him so he decided to become a submariner. Fulfilling his duty as a ship-engineering mechanic on German submarines classes 205 and 206A he learned the business from the very scratch since those submarines were manually operated. Later-on he became member of the test and training crew for export submarines in Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems in Germany. Here he took part in the sea trials of submarines classes 209PN and 214. Later he became service engineer for control system drilling systems on offshore drilling rigs.

As service engineer, he joined a key project for Schlumberger in Texas USA – fully automated landrigs. During the project, he got promoted to site lead for the construction and setting to work of 4 highly automated onshore drilling rigs. Once the project was completed, he joined the automation group in Houston where he took charge of the control system laboratories to simulate rig control systems for verification and validation of Schlumberger’s DrillOPs automated drilling software suite. Sven is back in Germany and with Rheinmetall since December 2020 as Technical Manager Marine Simulations with the main focus on submarine simulations and development.

Bodo Gospodnetic
President, Dominis Engineering Ltd.

Bodo Gospodnetic is a Professional Engineer and Technical Manager with a wide range of experiences in manufacturing and scientific applications. Mr. Gospodnetic is a graduate of Carleton University’s Electrical Engineering Program. In 1985 he founded Dominis Engineering Ltd. with his father, late Dr. Drasko Gospodnetic, Researcher Emeritus of NRC of Canada. Prior to Dominis Engineering he worked on computer applications in the fields of computer communications, radar modelling and image processing.

At Dominis Engineering Ltd., Mr Gospodnetic has been involved in the development of new manufacturing processes and CAD/CAM applications for the machining and measurement of propellers and water jet impellers. In 2015, he initiated a research project to determine the impact of manufacturing tolerances on propulsive, cavitation and noise performance of propellers. This is a collaborative research project between Dominis Engineering, DRDC-Atlantic and Memorial University sponsored by Transport Canada Innovation Centre.

Dr. Rajshekar DasGupta, Ph.D
Chief Operating Officer, Electrovaya Inc.

Raj has been with Electrovaya for over 10 years and has been involved with every aspect of the business from cell manufacturing, engineering activities and business development. Raj is currently responsible for Electrovaya’s overall operations and he oversees the business development and manufacturing functions at the company.

Raj attended Imperial College, London; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the University of Cambridge, where he received his Doctorate in Materials Science.

Andy Keough, CSC
Managing Director, Saab Australia

Andy served for 22 years in the Australian Navy, which included command of two Collins-class submarines and a three-year exchange posting with the US Navy’s Submarine Force in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for his leadership in command of HMAS SHEEAN in 2006. Andy retired from the Navy in 2007 and joined ASC, where he was responsible for establishing the business improvement capability and managing ASC’s operations in WA, which included maintenance and training for the Collins-class fleet.

After a two-year stint as Chief Executive of Defence SA (defence industry development and investment), Andy commenced as the Managing Director of Saab Australia in November 2017. Andy’s other roles include: Chair of the Australian Industry Group (AiG) Defence Council and he is a member of South Australia Certificate of Education (SACE) Board (curriculum authority), South Australian Skills Commission (vocational training regulator), University of Adelaide Council and the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program Industry Advisory Committee.

David Shea
Vice President, Engineering, Kraken Robotic Systems Inc.

David Shea is the Senior Vice President of Engineering for Kraken Robotics, based in Mount Pearl, NL. Mr. Shea has been managing the design, production and operation of underwater robots in the United States and Canada for over 12 years. He has led field teams on sea trials all over the world, and was deploying Kraken’s sonar technologies for the discovery of the HMS Erebus from the 2014 Franklin Expedition and the Raise of the Arrow Expedition in 2017 (resulting in the discover of 2 of 9 Avro Arrow models).

Previously, he was the Engineering Manager at Marine Robotics Inc, as well as being the lead design engineer for the SQX-500 AUV. Mr. Shea holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria.

Roger Berg
Director of Technology Management, Saab Kockums

Dr. Roger Berg is responsible for R&D, university collaboration research, technology strategies and product management at Saab Kockums. For over 20 years, he worked with submarines and naval technologies in areas such as sonar and combat systems, hydroacoustics, signature management and research and development. Dr. Berg was responsible for development of the first research and innovation agenda for underwater technology in Sweden. He is currently chairman of the Swedish Underwater Technology Innovation Forum, SubTechSweden. He is also part of the management team in the national research program Swedish Maritime Robotics Centre, and he sits in the steering group of the Swedish Maritime Technology Forum.

In 2020, he was appointed adjunct professor in Marine Systems at KTH, the Royal institute of Technology, Stockholm, and he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Naval Sciences. Additionally, Dr. Berg has twice been awarded rewards from the Kockums’ Jubilee Foundation for his achievements and he is captain in the Swedish Army Reserve.

Alex Johnson
AUV Product Manager, Cellula Robotics Ltd.

Alex is the AUV Product Manager at Cellula Robotics Ltd. He joined the team in 2020. He brings experience and enthusiasm to growing Cellula’s AUV program. Alex began his career in AUVs in 2008 and has worked on 15 AUV projects and and 2 active towfish.

Alex has been involved in Cellula’s first build and delivery of a Solus AUV to a commercial customer, sea trials of the prototype Solus-LR fuel cell powered AUV, and supporting the TankBot project production. Alex’s goal is to ensure each of Cellula’s AUVs has the reliably and availability needed for the demands of offshore operations. Previously, Alex was the Mechanical Department Manager at ISE and was involved in business development, AUV marketing and sales, AUV project management, R&D, AUV Piloting and Field Operations, Customer Training, AUV Maintenance and Upgrades, staff recruitment, growth and team building. While at ISE, Alex was the project manager for four AUV projects, a Towfish project, as well as many smaller projects. Alex was hired at ISE in late 2008 and designed and developed many new innovative systems for AUVs and Towfish as the Lead Mechanical Engineer for several projects. Alex specializes in Mechanical Design and Analysis, Mechatronics, Marine Systems, Research and Development, New Product Design, and Prototype Design.

Capt(N) Eric McCallum
Director Maritime Equipment Program Management (Submarines), DND

Capt(N) Eric McCallum joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1996. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston where his interest in Naval Systems led him to study Computer Engineering. After Military College, he joined the Silent Service and sailed onboard Victoria-class submarines including HMCS Corner Brook.

After completing his at-sea engineering tour, he developed the new Submarine Safety Policy at the Naval Headquarters before returning to the Halifax waterfront to provide engineering support to the fleet. After a memorable year in the United Kingdom completing Staff College, Capt(N) McCallum returned to Halifax again to support the Canadian Surface Combatant design project and then as Commanding Officer of Base Information Services. Today, he serves the role of Director of Submarine Equipment Program Management within the Department of National Defence.

Allen Dutton, PMP
Senior Program Management Consultant, BMT Canada

Allen Dutton is a Senior Program Management Consultant at BMT Canada, and has more than 35 years’ experience in roles of increasing responsibility within defence. Most recently, Allen served as the Senior Director of Subsurface Programs at Leonardo / DRS in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His portfolio included finalization of design and production of propulsion components for the U.S. Navy’s Columbia Class submarine.

At Leonardo / DRS, Allen served the Commonwealth of Australia as Deputy Director, Combat System for Australia’s Attack Class submarine design program for nearly three years. Prior to Australia, Allen was a Senior Program Manager for QinetiQ North America overseeing Ford Class aircraft launch and recovery programs and submarine research and development. Before joining Qinetic North America, Allen worked for Raytheon for nearly five years as a Systems Engineer, Proposal Manager, Control Account Manager, and Deputy Program Manager working with AN/TPY-2 radar and Patriot Missile systems. Prior to Raytheon, Allen worked for Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard for three years as a Senior Project Manager overseeing submarine combat systems research and development and working in the area of Fleet Synthetic (Virtual) Training. Allen served in the U.S. Navy for over 22 years as a submariner and Engineering Duty Officer.

Eric Nelson
Sr. Principal Systems Engineer, Collins Aerospace

For over 20 years, Eric Nelson has worked with Fuel Cell Power systems for underwater vehicles, transportation vehicles and stationary power generation. He has designed numerous systems that are in operation around the world.

He is the principal architect of fuel cell power module utilized in the Spanish S80 Submarine AIP. He is currently the Sr. Principal Systems Engineer for Collins Aerospace.

To register for this event taking place on Oct 28-29, go here.

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