The Walter Atkinson Award

Home Divisions & Branches The Walter Atkinson Award


The Walter Atkinson Award was established in 1971 to commemorate the life, work and service of Walter Atkinson as a founding member to the Australian Branch (now the Australian Division) of RINA. The Award is made with the object to:

“Stimulate increased interest in the preparation and to raise the standard of technical papers presented to the naval architecture community in Australia”

This Award has been presented most years since 2013.

Nominations are now called for the 2023 Award, under the terms and conditions summarised below. Nominations close on Friday 22nd July 2023.


Scope and Eligibility

A nomination must be a written paper, either first presented at a RINA-supported technical meeting or conference in Australia, such as Indo-Pacific 2022 IMC, or first published in a RINA-supported publication in Australia. A paper presented at a Section meeting is eligible provided it is accompanied by a written copy of the paper submitted to the Section (or Division). The paper may be written following its presentation.

Papers by multiple authors are eligible and all authors are eligible ¬ Australian or overseas, members or non-members.

Members of the Award sub-committee are not eligible.

Nominations are called for papers respectively published or first presented in the year 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.

Selection Criteria

A maximum of 10 points are allocated to each of:

  •  Is there a stated or implied purpose?
  •  How important is the paper to Australia?
  •  Does the paper have any new ideas to impart?
  •  How easy is the paper to understand?
  •  How rigorous is the paper?

If no paper scores more than 35 points average out of 50 max, then the prize will not be awarded.
Having a points system offers consistency across reviewers, and the criteria chosen reflect the original objectives of the Award.


Selection Process

Nominations for the year 2022-2023 will be received from two sources:

  • Section committees: – each Section will be invited to nominate up to TWO papers.
  •  Papers from The Australian Naval Architect (ANA).

Note that a Section can nominate a paper from any eligible source, they are not limited to a Section paper.

A Council-appointed Award committee of three RINA members will receive the nominations and make a recommendation to Council for the best paper. The Award committee members are not eligible for the Award.


Award Value

The Award will comprises three components:

  • An engraved trophy or medal.
  • A framed certificate for each author.
  • Where practicable, a free registration/entry to the event at which the award is to be presented.

Award Presentation

The Award will be presented by the President of the Australian Division (or their nominee). It will be presented at the next RINA-supported conference in Australia. Where this is not practical, the Award may be presented at a prominent Divisional or Section event.


Nominations may be received by the Secretary at any time during the 12 month eligibility period. Nominations will close on Friday 21st July.

The Award committee will make its recommendation to the September meeting of Council and the Award will subsequently be announced an presented.

Past Winners

2013 – R Ballantyne, G MacFarlane, S Ballantyne & T Lillienthal; The Floating Harbour Transhipper an Operationally Effective Solution for Military and Emergency Response Duties (Pacific 2012 IMC).

2014 – R Dunworth; Back Against the Wall (Pacific 2013 IMC and The ANA, February 2014)

2015 – R Neill; Preliminary Analysis of Imagery Data arising from the 2014 Internal Investigation of HMAS AE2 (Victorian Section technical meeting September 2014) …  Read the Paper

2016 – S Denehy, J Duffy, D Ranmuthugala and M Renilson; Mooring Arrangement Design to Minimise Berthed Ship Motions due to a Passing Ship, (Pacific 2015 IMC) … Read the Paper

2017 – No Award Made.

2018 – G Seil, D Pook, M C Nguyen and Z Q Leong; The Influence of Appendages and their Stall on Submarine Hydrodynamic Loads, (Pacific IMC 2017)…  Read the Paper

2019 – A Swidan, D Christophersen and T Bauer; A New Centrebow Design to Enhance the Performance of High-Speed Catamarans in Rough Seas, (Nominated by ACT Section and presented to that Section on 19 March 2019)…  Read the Paper

2020 – S Garrett and T Durrant; Characterising the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea Wave Climate, (nominated by NSW Section – Pacific 2019 IMC and published in May 2020 ANA)…  Read the Paper

2021 – No Award Made.

2022 – R Dunworth; Scaling the Wall: Inclining Experiment Analysis on Vessels with Chines, Hull Discontinuities or Asymmetry (published in November 2021 ANA).