HDR strengthens Defence capability with key leadership appointments

Left to Right: Michelle Addley, Stuart Aslett, Simon Fleet, Brendan Grayson, Huey Moo, Michael Shelley, Maurice Valentinuzzi, Alex Wessling

HDR has strengthened its Defence capability with leadership hires to propel the sector forward at a critical time for Australia’s national security. The appointed senior leadership team includes Directors Stuart Aslett, Maurice Valentinuzzi, and Alex Wessling, supported by Michelle Addley, Michael Shelley, Huey Moo, Brendan Grayson and Design Director Simon Fleet.

What do the appointments mean for HDR?

Collectively, they will leverage their combined 100+ years of experience to deliver complex projects and programs for the Department of Defence – setting the coordinates for its future.

Commenting on his appointment, Stuart Aslett, HDR’s Director of Defence, said, “HDR has been delivering Defence projects for over 30 years. We were the first practice to deliver a project under the Managing Contractor model, introduced in 1993, and were part of a design consortium that delivered the first ever Defence Public-Private Partnership project in 2004.”

“With this expertise comes a nuanced understanding of the shifting challenges of the sector, and the capability to deliver base redevelopments, capability facilities and operational and training environments that can sustain military capabilities for the next decade.”

“In an increasingly complex geopolitical climate, building highly technical, agile and resilient Defence infrastructure requires industry collaboration, innovation and global engagement. At HDR, we are uniquely positioned to tap into our global defence, science and tech exchange across the U.S, U.K and Europe to deliver these kinds of programs at speed,” Aslett said.

Cate Cowlishaw, Managing Principal at HDR

Commenting on the hires, HDR Managing Principal Cate Cowlishaw, said “Our multilateral approach to Defence design means that the growth and development of the sector is being continually shaped by the breadth and deep expertise of our national and local resources. With a strengthened and diversified leadership team, we are well-positioned to build on our capability edge and operate in a digitally charged and complex geopolitical climate.”

What projects is HDR currently working on?

HDR is working in partnership with GroupGSA to design the Riverina Redevelopment Program, a $1.8 billion project that stretches across three Defence establishments and delivers a variety of building typologies to meet the demand for recruits and trainees.

HDR is developing data-driven design tools that can future-proof Australia’s Defence Estate and facilities. Using computational and generative design, manipulated parameters can be rapidly evaluated in real-time to test the specific programmatic needs of Defence projects.

“Past Defence facility data analytics, such as meal pass data which is used to validate mess capacities, is helping us to simulate how new buildings can be best utilised. Not only does this assist us in organising a Defence facility’s operation, but it ensures the space is highly adaptable and can be reconfigured for future use or expansion,” Aslett further commented.

This, coupled with design for manufacturing and assembly, can significantly reduce embodied carbons on projects, produce climate resilient infrastructure, and deliver highly flexible Defence precincts where science, technology and innovation intersect. HDR has over 30 years of experience in the design and delivery of projects for the Department of Defence.

Key projects; the Riverina Redevelopment Program; Robertson Barracks Base Improvement Program; RAAF Base Tindal Redevelopment Stage 6 and U.S. Force Posture Initiatives, Airfield Works and Associated Infrastructure Project; AIR5428 Pilot Training System Program; AIR 9000 Phase 8 MH-60R Seahawk Romeo Facilities Project; Defence Logistics Transformation Program Package 1; and the Australian Defence Force Academy Redevelopment.