Since its establishment in October 2007, BMT Group’s Naval Architecture Practice Community (NAPC) has pooled skills and knowledge and shared best practice across the group. In its opening year the NAPC’s chosen theme was ‘surface ship design’.

Phil Green, BMT Defence Services’ head of development (and NAPC chair in its first year) says, “In BMT our community has promoted communication between experts and built up knowledge, understanding and rapport. This working-level interaction is already helping us to enhance the quality and consistency of our products and services, plan these to better meet clients’ needs and keep BMT at the forefront of naval architecture.”

Other major companies, for example Fluor, have benefited greatly from adopting the practice community approach.

The NAPC participants are Bath-based BMT Defence Services and Melbourne’s BMT Defence Services (Australia), BMT SeaTech and BMT Nigel Gee (both Southampton), BMT Fluid Mechanics (Teddington) and BMT TITRON (Newcastle). North American participation comes from BMT Designers & Planners (New Orleans and Arlington) and BMT Fleet Technology (Kanata).

The NAPC has convened three video conferences and, more recently, a face-to-face conference in Teddington. Its work, including technical papers and future white papers, is available on request.

Looking ahead

Phil Green says, “Other companies in the BMT group employ naval architects – the message is spreading and more are engaging in the work of the NAPC. We are constantly learning and evolving. In this year’s programme for example, we’ll hold our conferences more regularly and using online meeting software.”

In October 2008 Chad Hawkins of BMT Designers & Planners took over from Phil Green as chair of the NAPC. The chosen theme for the NAPC’s coming year is ‘the efficient ship’. This will culminate in the production of a white paper, which will showcase the breadth and depth of expertise within BMT.