Engineering a dynamic and rewarding career in defence industry

Born in Punjab, India, Shantanu Malhotra’s family moved to South Australia when he was just three, joining family who had relocated to take advantage of the state’s manufacturing industry.

Growing up, Shantanu wanted to be a pilot, joining the Australian Air Force Cadets when he was thirteen until the end of high school. This early exposure to the Defence Forces gave him a taste of the opportunities available, including access to training camps, tours of air bases and instructional flights.

When air sickness kept Shantanu out of the skies and ADFA post-high school, his radar turned not to flying planes, but learning how they were designed. And after a four-year degree, he graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Aerospace).

With his degree in hand, and after speaking with a friend who had completed ASC’s Undergraduate Engineering Program, Shantanu applied and was accepted into the ASC Graduate Engineering Program.

“The engineering department at ASC is very broad. The two-year program allows you to rotate through the various departments and gain a good understanding of where you might fit and how the business operates,” reflected Shantanu. “Beyond Mechanical Engineering, it allowed me to experience Structural and Safety Engineering, Project Management and Operations and Maintenance, including work on projects such as the Life of Type Extension (LOTE) of the Collins Class submarines, and working with the Royal Australian Navy at the HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base West,” he added.

Post-graduate program, Shantanu continued his career with ASC in the Logistics Engineering Team, a function embedded within the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) Team.

Of this role, Shantanu said, “I was able to deepen my understanding of Logistic Support Analysis as applied to the Collins Class submarine, as well as Obsolescence Management, Sparing Analysis and Supply Chain Optimisation. Taking advantage of training opportunities offered by the company, I was also able to become a Certified Associate in Asset Management (CAAM) and develop my skills in Reliability Management.”

After some time in that role, a new opportunity for Shantanu arose in ASC.

“I was seconded to work on the SEA1180 Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) build program, and worked within the Commercial, Project Management Office and Field Engineering teams,” said Shantanu.

This was a completely new experience for Shantanu, shifting his focus from Collins Class sustainment, to a completely new ship build.

“There were many different companies and stakeholders involved, all working together to successfully deliver outcomes for the client,” reflected Shantanu. “Working in South Australia to launch the first two OPVs (HMAS Arafura and HMAS Eyre) were huge moments in my career so far, and a great experience I won’t forget.”

In his current role, Shantanu works as the technical lead across sustainment projects that improve reliability and performance on the Collins Class Submarine. For him, developing solutions to known issues, and implementing these for the Royal Australian Navy brings him satisfaction and pride in what he does.

“The opportunities that are available in South Australia within defence, particularly in the shipbuilding industry, feel endless. My career has enabled me to work with, and learn from, some of the most experienced submarine and ship building experts in Australia and around the world.

“It’s a very rewarding career, and an exciting place to be involved in.”

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