Rear Admiral Michael Uzzell

Head Navy Engineering (2011 - 2016)

RADM Michael Uzzell

Michael Uzzell joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Midshipman in January 1982, graduating in 1985 with degree in Electrical Engineering, with majors in digital and radio frequency communication. He was awarded the RAN College Jubilee Sword for achieving the highest score in professional training.

On completion of the Weapons & Electronics Application Course in 1986 he was posted, under training, to HMAS Darwin, the RAN Trials & Assessing Unit and the Combat Data System Centre (CDSC). In 1987 he was posted as the Deputy Weapons and Electronics Engineer Officer in HMAS Sydney during the ships helicopter modification refit and thereafter being involved in post refit trials, work ups and a deployment to Southeast Asia. On completion of this two year posting Lieutenant Uzzell was appointed as an instructor at CDSC for the FFG Combat Data Systems Course and Link 11 Data Terminal Set Maintenance Course.

Michael Uzzell was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1993, and was appointed to HMAS Newcastle then under construction at Williamstown Dockyard in Victoria. As the commissioning Weapons and Electronics Engineer Officer he took the ship from construction, builders trials, commissioning, harbour qualifications and work ups through to her first deployment. As a result Michael Uzzell was awarded the Peter Mitchell Prize for Officer of the Year.

Following completion of his Charge Engineer role in Newcastle, Lieutenant Commander Uzzell was posted to the ANZAC Ship Project where for more than three years he filled successive roles as the Test and Trials Officer, Combat System Engineer and Combat System Manager (a position to which he was posted upon promotion to Commander in January 1998).

In December 1998 he took up a three year posting to the NATO Seasparrow Program Office, in the United States, as the RAN representative that saw him responsible for Australian interests in the daily business of the NATO Seasparrow Consortium. He was also the Deputy Manager for the Evolved Seasparrow Missle (ESSM) Engineering and Manufacturing Development project, thereby ensuring Australian involvement in the missile engineering development activities, land-based engineering test firings and at sea test firings. Upon his return to Australia in January 2002, Commander Uzzell assumed the role of Director of Project SEA 1428 (Evolved Seasparrow Missile), a posting that culminated in the first at sea firing of the missile by a non-US warship (HMAS Warramunga) in January 2003.

As a Captain, he was posted as the Director Navy Weapon Systems in 2003, with responsibility for the technical regulation of engineering change affecting armaments and combat management systems. Following this he was posted as Chief Staff Officer (Engineering) in Maritime Command in 2005. He was promoted to Commodore, in 2006, and appointed to the position of Director General Guided Weapons & Explosive Ordnance in February 2007 and then Director General Major Surface Ships in late 2009. Commodore Uzzell was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours List 2011 for exceptional service in these two important positions.

On 22 July 2011 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed as Head Navy Engineering. Rear Admiral Uzzell served in this important position for over five years and oversaw many significant changes to engineering policy, especially the introduction of the more rigorous management of seaworthiness across the RAN following the Rizzo Review. He retired from the RAN in early 2017.