Case Study: Safety at Sea

27.06.2011 0


The Royal Australian Navy’s navigation equipment was in serious need. A ship had gone aground and on some vessels, navigation sensors had been around since World War II. The navigation charts they used, although accurate, needed to be augmented with other data from other sources.

They required a system to improve the safety and operations of their vessels. Any system would not do. This system would need to be integrated to existing sensors and planned future components, it needed to comply with international maritime navigational standards for electronic navigation, and it needed to meet 262 operational requirements with 100% accuracy.



My job was to manage this entire project. I began by creating our response to each of the line items in the proposal. I outlined our approach to executing the requirements, and had to demonstrate to the internal authorities and the client that the project management plan was sound and that all risk factors would be sufficiently considered.

After contract negotiations were complete, I got to work organizing the team of staff and vendors. The project management plan I developed included a requirements matrix, so that at any given time, for any given requirement, I knew its status.

Along with development of the navigation system, I oversaw the creation of the standard operating procedures and training materials that would be in use during implementation of the system on each of the 54 platforms it would be installed.



This project was scheduled to take 3 years to complete. On request from management, with two months notice, I was able to effectively coordinate all involved and we completed the project 5 months ahead of original schedule.

The developed product took the live feeds off of the ships’ sensors and presented them graphically – creating a real-time precision positioning of the vessel.

For each of the 262 line items that needed to be met, an independent naval authority validated that the system met compliance with 100% accuracy on the live system with live sensor feeds.

This system gave the Royal Australian Navy better understanding of their own home waters, and enabled their Hydrographic Service to validate new electronic charts.

Submarines also now had a real-time navigation system and operators had a means to visually understand complete 3-dimensional positioning of the vessel, which was unheard of up to that point.

Case Study: Don’t Steal my Baby

25.06.2011 0



Maternity hospital administrators worry that their most precious occupants are safe from predators.  They don’t want anyone to be able to take a baby and leave the hospital, at least not until they’re sure the baby is leaving with the right parents.

Care workers worry too.  They want the peace of mind of knowing that children won’t leave the ward but they don’t want a system that is hard to keep sanitized.  They want a system that’s reliable and doesn’t require significant training to know how to use.



The company was launching a new system composed of proprietary hardware and software, improving on its previous designs of products for the Healthcare sector.  I managed the development and certification of new RFID devices, leading the software team on the development of a new version of its operating system, and planning for system implementation at hospital sites.

My approach captured customer requirements, reviewed additional feature upgrades and prepared design documentation for executive approval.  Once approval was made and the first prototypes were created, I obtained limited production runs for testing and certification.  After the design was confirmed and certified, I organized overseas manufacturing for the electronic components of the system.

I oversaw the testing of system software at our in-house lab and  final configuration before shipping.



Part of the solution included the development of an RFID Tag that was designed to use the human body to interrupt its electric field.  This was a novel concept and allowed the tag to be miniaturized.

Systems were configured to prevent anything with a tag from passing through guarded exits.  Proximity sensors at the exit noted the presence of a tag alerting the nurse’s station and locked the doors.

The system evolved to also be used in long-term care facilities to help prevent wandering patients from leaving the building.