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.
Rhys Davies, Senior Surveyor
IHO/FIG Category B and SSSI AHSCP Level 2 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 is currently undertaking the PG Diploma Course in Hydrographic Surveying at 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 Category A Surveyor, MSc Hydrographic Surveying, Ba Archaeology
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!
Geoff Lawes, Chief Technical Officer / Regional Sales Manager
IHO/FIG Category A, MSc Hydrographic Science, BSc (Hons) Computer Science, BSc Physics
Geoff commenced his career as a junior officer in the Royal Australian Navy as a student at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Geoff completed his studies in Computer Science and Physics in 2006 before commencing his specialist RAN Navigation and Officer of the Watch training. Geoff served in HMA Ships KANIMBLA, MELBOURNE and NEWCASTLE before commencing specialist Hydrographic training in 2009. He has served in both the LEEUWIN and PALUMA Class Hydrographic Ships in various roles including Senior Assistant Surveyor, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer. Geoff joined iXblue in early 2018 and will be filling two key positions within the iXblue Australasia business unit. These will see Geoff as the Regional Sales Manager – Australasia and the Chief Technical Officer for the iXblue Survey Division – Australasia. Geoff resides in Queensland with his young family and is looking forward to growing the iXblue business in the region.
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.
Stephan O’Brien, Post Doctoral Research Fellow
IHO/FIG Category A, BSc Surveying and Land Information, MS Hydrographic Science, Ph.D. Marine Science (USM)
Stephan has recently completed his Ph.D. in Marine Science (emphasis in Hydrographic Science) at the University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Centre. Earlier this year, Stephan was successful in being awarded a Post Doctoral position with the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University, which is based out of the Warrnambool Campus. This position is being co-funded by iXblue for a three-year period. During this time, Stephan will be building a model which will allow survey contractors to assign a time component to their survey data. At present, the survey profession does not provide their clients any information on how long the survey data is likely to remain valid for – or more specifically, an estimate of time for how long any change in depth is likely to exceed the Zone of Confidence classification. It is hoped that Stephan’s studies will aid the Hydrographic Community better understand the lifespan of a given survey and to predict with greater confidence when a survey should be repeated. Stephan resides in Warrnambool and enjoys jogging and playing soccer with the Deakin Dragons.
Peter Locke, Senior Surveyor
IHO/FIG Category A, SSSI AHSCP Level 1 Certified Surveyor, MBA, PG Dip Hydrographic Surveying
Peter joined iXblue in January 2019 after a rewarding career in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) which spanned nearly 22 years. Peter's Navy service began as an Electrician on Submarines before commissioning as a Maritime Warfare Officer and specialist Military Geospatial Officer (Hydrography). Peter is a graduate of the RAN's H2 Survey Course (Cat B programme) and the Royal Navy's Advanced Survey Course (Cat A programme). A highlight of Peter's time in Navy was the privilege of Commanding two of the RAN's hydrographic platforms; HMA Ships Paluma (Survey Motor Launch) and Leeuwin (Hydrographic Ship). During Peter's service he gained significant exposure to hydrographic surveys in support of Australia's national charting effort and military data gathering activities locally and abroad.
Peter resides in the rural town of Bungendore with his wife and two children. When operational commitments allow, Peter and his family enjoy spending their weekends on the NSW South Coast.
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.