Our core leadership team comprises maritime engineering specialists who have held senior management and/or consulting positions in Naval Defence and shipbuilding both in Australia, and internationally, with experience working for Design and Build prime contractors and as ship owners’ representative.

Our experienced team of naval architects, hull (outfit), marine, mechanical, electrical, and systems engineering specialists can provide a broad range of consulting, design and engineering services.

Goran Dubljevic


Goran founded Rubicon in 2015 and provides ongoing direction and leadership to the team.

He is a professional engineer (mechanical/marine/naval architect) with 30 years of experience across a wide range of industries including shipbuilding and ship repair (both commercial and Defence), oil and gas, mining, and aerospace.

Goran’s vast international experience has seen him work on numerous Defence and Commercial ship/marine structures covering design, integration, construction, installation, and repair projects. He has led several multidisciplinary teams internationally in delivering EPCM shipbuilding/marine structure projects.

Goran is a Chartered Engineer (Australia & UK) and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.

Matt Darby portrait

Matt Darby

Operations Manager

Matt is a Mechanical Engineer with 17 years of experience in the design, build and delivery of mechanical systems in the offshore maritime and naval shipbuilding industries, operating both above and below the line.

He has been involved in various design and build projects for many RAN class vessels, including FFG, ANZACs, DDG, LHD, AOR and LLC. He was the Lead Mechanical Engineer for the prime contractor on the LHD Project, from initial design reviews through to production, test, and delivery.

Matt’s role as Operations Manager provides leadership to the team in meeting our company strategic objectives, fulfilling operational plans and overseeing proposal and project management delivery.

Ben Hemphill portrait

Ben Hemphill

Business Development and Office Manager Cairns

Ben Hemphill leads our Cairns Team in the role of Business Development and Office Manager. 

Ben is returning (almost) full circle as a former Australian Naval Officer, where he was employed for 13 years, fulfilling postings in a Destroyer, Frigate, and later Patrol Boats. Ben was elevated in his career with the Navy to the position of Executive Officer, with responsibility for leading an armed team and training new officers. His last posting was to the Marshall Islands, where he managed the Pacific Patrol Boat Project.  

After leaving the Navy, Ben has worked across various sectors including sea freight services, air traffic control and traffic management services, as well as building and construction products – as Regional Manager for Stramit and Laminex. 

In his spare time, Ben has been a volunteer Coast Guard (for 10 years) and is current Director and Treasurer of the RSL Cairns Sub Branch. 

With his professional IT background, skills in leadership, sales and business development, office management, staff training and development, Ben will be sure to keep us engineers in line! 

Malcolm Swaddie portrait profile

Malcolm Swaddle

Business Development Manager

Malcolm has over 30 years of experience holding senior management positions in the marine (shipbuilding and ship-repair), heavy engineering (SMP) and offshore oil and gas industries in Australia, and South Africa. 

During his extensive career, he has gained exposure and broad in-depth experience in the fields of production/project management, commercial/business development, contracts/bid proposals, strategic and change management, as well as general management.  

He has been responsible for projects in both the Defence and Commercial industry in the billion-dollar value range.  

Malcolm holds an MBA (Technology Management) from Deakin University and has original qualifications in Naval Architecture gained in the UK.

Mark Niclasen

Proposals and Projects Manager

Mark is a naval architect with over 30 years of experience in the design of structural, mechanical, and piping systems in the marine and shipbuilding industries.

Mark is responsible for Rubicon’s engineering team, coordinating hull, structural, mechanical, electrical / electronics, naval architecture and outfitting disciplines involved in platform systems integration activities.

He has a strong technical background in naval systems engineering, with involvement in varied design projects for many RAN class vessels. He is an experienced project manager with expertise in risk assessment and risk management and has extensive expertise in the implementation and use of CAD/CAE systems and other related downstream software tools.

Mark is a Chartered Engineer (UK) and Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.

Pepper Shepard

Pepper Shepherd

Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ) manager

Pepper is a highly experienced QHSE Manager and has joined Rubicon Associates to oversee the development, maintenance, and implementation of important HSEQ policy frameworks and to provide HSEQ advisory to our clients.

As an HSEQ professional her role is critical at Rubicon as an engineering company requiring robust and performant management systems are in place at both a company and project level.

Pepper has a long career spanning 30 years with engineering, contracting, and consulting companies in the Marine, and Oil & Gas (Energy) sectors.

Previous roles have included 14 years as a director/consultant with PL Solutions providing HSEQ advice and project delivery to a wide range of organisations, HSEQ positions with Thrust Maritime Pty Ltd, Aventus Consulting, Hibiscus Petroleum, Northern Oil & Gas, Exxon Mobil, Energy Australia, Shell, and McConnell Dowell.

Alex Franchuk

Electrical & Communications Manager

Alex is a qualified and experienced electrical engineer with over 40 years of professional expertise in electrical design, commissioning, certification, and maintenance on marine and water engineering projects.

He has been responsible for the design, integration and coordination of electrical and electronic disciplines (maritime navigation, communication systems, control and instrumentation applications) involved in platform systems activities for several major Navy vessel classes (shipbuilding and repair).

He is a graduate of the Odessa Maritime College in the Ukraine, and a member of the Institute of Engineers in Australia.

Matt Lowrie portrait profile

Matthew Lowrie

Practice Leader Marine/Mechanical Systems

Matthew is a professional mechanical/marine engineer with over 8 years’ experience working in defence, mining, marine, heavy industry, and data analytics.

He has extensive project management and project planning expertise, which he leverages for both above and below the line project work. He has comprehensive experience in technical drafting and drawing using CAD/CAE software.

Matthew is a Chartered Engineer (Australia) and is currently studying a Master of Applied Data Analytics at the Australian National University (ANU).

Ashley Everton

Structural Engineer

Glen Barnard

Business Development Manager/Senior Electrical Engineer Queensland and Northern Territory

Nada Koneski

Naval Architect

Phillip (Phil) Hancock

Senior Electrical Designer

Pille Lucas

Human Resources Manager

Sandra Tuasan

Office Administrator/PA to Director

Kade Sturgess-Price

Graduate Mechanical/Marine Engineer

Kade Sturgess-Price portrait

Tara Dubljevic


Bozidar Milanovic

Electrical Engineer

Joanna Wong

Mechanical/Marine Engineer

Emmanuel Reyes

Senior Ship Designer (Hull & Outfit)

Sebastian (Seb) Russell

Mechanical/Marine Engineer

Matthew Hansen

Graduate Naval Architect

Jens Dyrssen

Senior Design Draftsperson (Mechanical/Marine)

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