Civilian Engineer Development Program Introduction

Navy Strategic Command, Headed by Chief of Navy (CN) consists of four components:

  • Deputy Chief of Navy & Head Navy People and Resources
  • Head Navy Engineering, Regulation, Certification and Safety
  • Commander Australian Fleet
  • Head Navy Capability

The Program

Head Navy Engineering (HNE) operates one of the most comprehensive engineer development programs in Australia.  The Navy Civilian Engineer Development Program (CEDP) is a Canberra based program placed within the Naval Technical Bureau (NTB), Navy Engineering Division and brings together Navy unique Platform[1], Weapons, Communications and Intelligence Engineering. The CEDP through recruitment and development plays a key role in building the future of Naval Engineering.  Naval Engineering plays a critical role in delivering current and future Navy capability

Defence is a technology based organisation that spans many specialist areas some of which are unique to the Maritime environment. Engineers enable the development and sustainment of the complex materiel systems that underpin effective Naval capability, minimising risks to safety and the environment.

The Naval Technical Bureau is composed of specialist, technology based Cells who provide a Centre of Expertise in that specific technical field. It provides defined products and services to customers across the Capability Systems Lifecycle that contributes to the delivery of seaworthy materiel, and can be variously:

  • deriving "technical requirements reference sets" for the Navy’s Capability organisation
  • deriving "technical specifications" for Project Managers
  • providing tender technical-evaluation advice to Tender Evaluation Team leads (or being a lead)
  • providing products and services to Project Team senior engineers on the adequacy of a design, compliance of construction, outcome of a test/evaluation
  • conducting measurements and trials for Senior Engineers and Maintenance Managers of in service support agencies including assurance activities, and analysing failures and providing recommendations or solutions for rectification and
  • providing a body of knowledge (e.g. libraries of maritime-applicable standards from around the world) to Director General Engineering - Navy.

The Naval CEDP offers a 3 year development program including six month work rotations across varied work areas (including an industry rotation). Overall the program seeks graduate engineers from the full breadth of engineering disciplines that have application in the maritime context. The specific disciplines sought in any given year are based on the development needs of the organisation.

Flexible work rotations are undertaken in relevant areas of Naval Engineering as well as working closely with Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and Defence Industry.  This allows our CEDP to gain experience and expertise across a wide variety of complex engineering areas.

Who are we looking for

CEDP is suitable for engineering graduates completing the following course of study;

  • Chemical
  • Communications
  • Computer
  • Electronics
  • Electrical;
  • Material;
  • Mechanical;
  • Mechatronics;
  • Naval Architecture; and
  • Systems.

Civilian Engineer Development Program

The Program includes a range of features that provide broad professional development and recognition through:

  • Rotations through different work areas to provide you with varied on the job training;
  • Specialist training courses that enhance your functional competencies, establish a greater depth of engineering knowledge and maintain the informed customer status of the Navy program; and
  • General training courses that will develop your core competency skills and facilitate greater efficiencies whilst working in a Defence environment.

The Program may also include:

  • Industrial Rotation or Secondment to provide a practical element to your career development and to meet organisational needs, subject to funding availability;
  • Research Projects to develop your analysis and research skills;
  • Visits to provide you with an appreciation of manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures;
  • Networking opportunities to develop your team working skills, engender a spirit of cooperation and facilitate better working relationships; and
  • Sea Riding to give you personal experience with life onboard naval ships and to let you see first hand the effect of design decisions taken during ship construction have on the ship and its crew.

Professional Development

The program is structured for individuals to achieve appropriate levels of professional status, specifically that of Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng). Chartered Professional Engineering can be achieve through either Engineers Australia, RINA or IMarEST.


[1] Platform engineering covers the disciplines of mechanical/mechatronics/marine engineering, naval architecture and electrical engineering.