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Female shipbuilding expert to lead the commissioning of Australia’s new icebreaker

Published: 9 Dec 2019

Her career has taken her around the world, from New Zealand to Spain to Scotland, but Kay Myers is now calling Romania home as she steps into the role of Construction and Commissioning Manager for the team delivering Australia’s new icebreaker.

Kay joined the Serco project team in September and will take on a vital role in the commissioning of the RSV Nuyina, which will replace Australia’s current icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, from 2020.

After completing Test Readiness Reviews in Holland, Kay is currently overseeing Harbour Acceptance Testing in Galati, Romania. Sea trials will begin early next year in the Black Sea and Mediterranean, finishing in the Netherlands.

When the vessel arrives in Hobart next year, Kay will step into the role of Mechanical Engineering Manager to oversee the ongoing operation and maintenance of the icebreaker.

A qualified Professional Engineer who studied Naval Architecture at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania, Kay has spent the past ten years with multinational defence company BAE Systems in roles that have taken her around the world.

In 2011, Kay undertook a three-year deployment to Ferrol, Spain where she led a production team during the build of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) vessels for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The 27,800 tonne, 231-metres long amphibious vessels are the largest ever operated by the RAN and are Australia's prime asset for responding to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief throughout the region. Kay oversaw the project through to Final Acceptance of the vessels in Williamstown, Melbourne in 2014.

Her most recent role was in Glasgow as the Outfit Lead for the $35 billion Hunter Class Frigate project. But it was her longstanding interest in icebreakers and her passion for shipbuilding that led her to accept the role on the Nuyina project.

“I have always been always fascinated with icebreaker vessels,” Kay said.

“When I was studying at the Australian Maritime College, I would often come down to Hobart and see the Aurora Australis in port. I was always intrigued about how it survived the harsh Antarctic environment.

“My interest in understanding more about icebreakers inspired me to apply to work as a research student in Canada, where I was able to look at the impact that ice and severe climates can have on a ship.

“To be able to join Serco all these years later for the commissioning of the Nuyina is an exciting opportunity. It is an impressive vessel to see in real life.”

Originally from Queensland, Kay said the transition to life in Romania with her young family has been relatively smooth-sailing.

“The project team have been a great support,” she said.

“It’s a very cohesive group, and they’ve been brilliant with getting me up to speed on the progress of the build to date.

“We’re about to enter a critical phase in the project as we head into the sea trials and Final Acceptance.

“The Nuyina is the centrepiece of the Australian Antarctic Program and will be one of the most advanced research and logistics ships in the Southern Ocean. Our focus is on ensuring that this state-of-the-art vessel is fully capable of meeting the research and operational needs required over its 30-year lifetime.”


Image: Kay Myers in the engine room of the RSV Nuyina.

Media contact: Tim Evans, +61 409 389 358
General media enquiries: Serco media line, +61 (0) 2 9409 8700 or [email protected]  

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