HDR Appoints Principal to Drive Australia’s Defence Agenda

Tim Napper
Tim Napper

HDR has appointed Tim Napper to fortify the company’s defence capability at a critical juncture for Australia's Department of Defence, following this year’s Strategic Review.

Working between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, Napper will lead HDR’s growing Australian defence team and be supported by its senior leadership team, comprising Stuart Aslett, Maurice Valentinuzzi, Alex Wessling, Huey Moo, Brendan Grayson, Michael Shelley and Design Principal Simon Fleet, who will continue to play an instrumental role in delivering design excellence. 

“It’s inspiring to be leading a team with such breadth and depth of industry experience,” Napper said. “With a cohort of emerging talent rising up the ranks, and an interconnected global defence, science and technology exchange, we can truly operate at the cutting-edge of design to deliver human-centred solutions. I’m looking forward to seeing our teams help to solve some of Defence’s most critical challenges and build workforce attractiveness.”

With 20 years of experience, Napper joins HDR from the Department of Defence, where he was a project director in the Capital Facilities and Infrastructure Branch and delivered a multibillion-dollar portfolio of infrastructure projects and programs in Australia, the Middle East and Papua New Guinea. Notable projects include the more than $3 billion Garden Island Redevelopment Subprogram, $1.3 billion Armored Fighting Vehicles Facilities Program, and the $425 million Mosul Dam Remediation Program.

“Speed of delivery is more critical than ever before, and HDR’s data-driven design team will enable us to deliver on Australia’s Defence enterprise priorities at a never-seen-before pace, while not compromising on design excellence,” Napper said. “By challenging business-as-usual thinking and processes and using innovative tools and methodologies to address key industry drivers, we have a unique opportunity to set a new benchmark for the sector.”

With mandatory sustainability reporting soon to be introduced in Australia, Napper will employ HDR’s global Regenerative Design Framework and Tool to support the Department of Defence in moving beyond basic high-performance goals towards net-positive impacts and metric-driven targets for carbon, water, nutrients, air, biodiversity, social and health categories.

“With Tim at the helm, our Australian defence sector is well positioned to enter its next phase of growth and expand its market capture” said Susana Erpestad, HDR global director of federal architecture. “As strategic partnerships continue to grow in significance, our multilateral, borderless approach to defence design across the U.S. and the Commonwealth countries will propel our capability edge and strengthen our nations in these times of uncertainty.”