QinetiQ’s UK Director of Strategic Engagement for Maritime, Richard Powell OBE, has been re-elected as Chair of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) Maritime Defence and Security Group Council


Following a very successful first 3 years in the role, Richard has been re-elected as Chair of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI).

Over the last three years, Richard has been involved in the development of the National Shipbuilding Strategy and has given evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee and Scottish Affairs Committee as an industry expert on shipbuilding.  Richard has also submitted a number of papers that reflect the broader maritime industry’s view of key defence and industrial issues. His re-election reflects his growing influence of the Society of Maritime Industries in shaping the domestic and international shipbuilding market and industry.

On being re-elected, Richard Powell commented, “I am greatly honoured to continue with this prestigious role at an important time for the UK Maritime Industry.  It is wonderful to see shipbuilding thriving in the UK, but there is still much work to be done, and I am proud to be part of that endeavour.”

What is the MDSG?

The Maritime Defence and Security Group (MDSG) Council provides the focus for the naval and maritime security interests of member companies of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI). Member companies range from large corporations to small manufacturers and systems houses. Their products and services cover virtually everything associated with modern warships, submarines, coastguard and other government related vessels.

What does the Chairman role involve?

As the Chairman of the MDSG, Richard will be responsible for enabling the council members to bring to bear their considerable and diverse experience in industrial maritime defence and security issues. Richard will also sit as an Ex-officio member of the SMI board.  He also has a seat on Centres of Excellence Task and Finish Group which is developing a plan to develop Centres of Excellence such as Portsdown Technology Park as part of the refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

What is the Society?

The SMI is the voice of the UK’s maritime engineering and business sector promoting and supporting companies which design, build, refit and modernise ships, and supply equipment and services for all types of commercial and naval ships, ports and terminals infrastructure, offshore oil & gas, maritime security & safety, marine science and technology, maritime autonomous systems and marine renewable energy.

SMI’s work is discharged through the work of the five Groups into which the Society is organised:

  • The Marine Science and Technology Group represented by the MSTG Council
  • The Commercial Marine Group represented by the CMG Council
  • The Maritime Defence & Security Group represented by the MDSG Council
  • The Maritime Autonomous Systems Group represented by the MASG Council
  • The Ports and Terminals Group represented by the PTG Council
  • The Digital Technology Group represented by the DTG Council

You can read more on the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) is the voice of the UK’s maritime industry


Following a 37 year career in the Royal Navy, Richard has been with QinetiQ for six years and currently holds the role of Director for Strategic Engagement (Maritime), responsible for relationship management with defence and industry customers within the maritime domain.