We Love What We Do
They say that when you work in a job doing what you love to do, then it's not work. And that's how it is at iXblue Australia. We love planning and undertaking surveys - especially the more challenging projects.
Our core team is comprised of seven highly qualified and experienced Hydrographic Surveyors and a Finance Manager who keeps everything organised and running efficiently. The team's background is in delivering safety and navigation surveys for government bodies, defence, the mining, resources, oil and gas industries.
For large projects or multi project schedules, we have access to the team from our French office and a pool of expert contractors.
More Than the Usual Qualifications
A key point of difference with iXblue is our depth of qualifications and industry certification. Our team members have obtained the highest possible certifications in the survey industry.
There are two types of education and certification when it comes to the hydrographic survey.
- Category A and Category B levels which are awarded after successful completion of theoretical and practical courses devised by IHO / FIG / ICA (International Hydrographic Organization / International Federation of Surveys / International Cartographic Association). Category A is the highest level. This is the academic qualification required to undertake survey work.
- AHSCP Level 1 and Level 2 certification. This internationally recognised scheme is provided by the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) and jointly sponsored by the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) Hydrography Commission and the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS) and is only available to qualified Surveyors who have logged considerable field experience. AHSCP Level 1 certification is the highest level of professional certification that a hydrographer can attain. The SSSI Hydrography Commission produced a Hydrographer Certification Video to explain what the certification is all about.
Our core team includes four IHO / FIG / ICA Category A trained hydrographic surveyors as well as several Category B surveyors. Each of our Category A Surveyors also hold AHSCP SSSI certification.
Meet the iXblue Australia Team
David Donohue, Managing Director
IHO / FIG Category A Surveyor
David served for 15 years as a Hydrographic Surveying Officer in the Royal Australian Navy and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Administration and Post Graduate Diploma in Hydrographic Surveying. Before founding iXblue Australia, he worked for several years for a marine equipment supplier. He lives in beautiful downtown Brisbane with his wife and three children.
Dave Field, Operations Director
IHO / FIG Category A and SSSI AHSCP Level 1 Certified Surveyor
"Dave 2" has over 15 years experience in the survey industry. He was an officer in the Royal New Zealand Navy for 12 years before joining iXblue Australia in 2007. Dave spent four years in the field conducting surveys for iXblue before concentrating on managing the companies Operations and the HSEQ system. He lives in Waipu Cove, New Zealand with his wife and two young daughters.
Geoff Lawes, Chief Technical Officer
IHO/FIG Category A, SSSI AHSCP Level 1 Certified Surveyor with certification in the sub-specialism ‘Hydrography in support of Safe Navigation’, MSc Hydrographic Science, BSc (Hons) Computer Science, BSc Physics
Geoff came to iXblue in 2018 after 16 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy. Geoff served in several leadership roles during his Naval service, including Senior Assistant Surveyor, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer in hydrographic survey vessels. With a strong background in both computer science and hydrographic survey, Geoff drives our strategic technology plan and provides the airborne and hydrographic survey teams with the state of the art deployed and cloud based systems to collect, process and deliver the significant volume of geospatial data to our clients.
Rhys Davies, Senior Surveyor
SSSI AHSCP Level 1 Certified Surveyor
Rhys spent nine years as a Surveyor in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) before joining iXblue Australia in 2008. During Rhys' service in the RNZN, he gained significant experience in GIS (geographic information systems) and is our in-house CARIS GIS expert. Rhys has a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Hydrographic Surveying from the University of Plymouth, UK. He lives in Tauranga, New Zealand with his wife and young son.
Jeremy McCaffrey, Surveyor
Jeremy is a recent graduate from the University of Otago. He joined iXblue in early 2016, having previously been involved in a number of hydrographic surveys with iXblue. Jeremy has come from a boating background and holds his Commercial Skipper's qualifications. He resides in Picton, New Zealand and enjoys fishing and diving in his time off.
Ph.D Scripps Institution of Oceanography, BSc Biology, BSc Marine Science
Dr. Elizabeth Johnstone is a marine geologist specializing in bathymetric surveying and sediment dynamics. She has over 15 years of experience using geophysical tools to conduct seafloor mapping around the world. She develops novel approaches to produce four-dimensional data products for integration into marine geological studies. She has also worked in various regions around the island of Papua to help with community outreach and education. During her free-time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time on the Sunshine Coast with her family.
Andrew Price, Surveyor
IHO/FIG Cat A, Certified Professional in Hydrographic Surveying Level 2 (CPHS 2)
Andrew joined iXblue in late 2017 after almost five years representing the New Zealand Hydrographic Authority at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), contract managing the domestic civil hydrography program. Andrew graduated from the IHO Category A course run jointly through University College London (UCL) and the Port of London Authority (PLA). After spending time in the Norwegian Oil and Gas sector Andrew settled back in New Zealand. He currently lives in New Plymouth with his wife. In his spare time, Andrew can be found practicing the other passion in his life – surfing!
Martin Tunwell, Senior Surveyor
SSSI AHSCP Level 1 Certified Surveyor, BSc Oceanography with Marine Biology, MSc Environmental Coastal Engineering, Post Grad Diploma in Advanced Hydrography
Martin commenced his career as a hydrographic surveyor working on marine engineering projects and has since worked for a number of hydrographic and geospatial solutions companies both in Australia and the United Kingdom. Martin has gained considerable project management and operational experience in the aerial imagery and airborne LiDAR fields with projects undertaken throughout Australia and the South Pacific. Prior to joining iXblue Martin spent five years as part of the hydrographic survey team at the Port Authority of New South Wales undertaking routine surveys in Port Jackson, Botany Bay, Yamba and Eden.
Martin joined iXblue in late 2018 and has since undertaken surveys in Fiordland National Park – NZ and the Prince of Wales Channel – Far North Queensland. Martin resides on the Sunshine Coast with his wife. He can often be found running on the beach with his Labrador, Dexter, when he is not offshore.
Agathe Hussherr, Marine Geologist—Geophysist
MSc (Ocean Geoscience)
After obtaining her Master’s degree in Ocean Geoscience, Agathe joined iXblue as a geologist and geophysicist in 2013.
Agathe provides geological advice on many of our projects and participates in all geophysical and hydrographic surveys as a subject matter expert in seismic tools, seabed data acquisition and interpretation.
Jared Smith, Survey Technician
IHO/FIG Category B
Jared commenced his career in the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Surveyor in 1996. In 2004 Jared completed the IHO/FIG Category B Course with Distinction and undertook numerous Shipping Lane Surveys around the New Zealand Coastline until late 2006 when he joined the French Seismic Survey company – CGG as a Navigation Operator. For the next ten years, Jared travelled the world undertaking Multi-million-dollar seismic surveys in one of the most advanced Seismic fleets operating in the world today.
Jared joined iXblue in mid-2018 and is responsible for the maintenance, support and management of the iXblue survey inventory. Jared is also very capable of operating the survey systems and can often be found in the field collecting high quality bathymetry and backscatter data when he feels the need for a break from the workshop. He lives in Tauranga with his young family and is a keen endurance runner.
AD Spatial Sciences, BBus (Marketing)
Matt joined iXblue in July 2019 with over fifteen years in commercial roles including representing Fugro’s geospatial and marine division in Melbourne, Brisbane and Singapore. During Matt’s time at Fugro he gained significant commercial experience in aerial survey operations. Matt studied at the University of Southern Queensland, graduating with an associate degree in spatial sciences and a bachelor of business (marketing). He currently lives in Brisbane with his wife and two children. In his spare time, Matt can be found trying to play golf and supporting his local rugby union team.