Defence Industry Acumen



The course describes how Defence and industry engage during capability development and management based on the Defence Capability Life Cycle (CLC).  It is structured to provide a balanced view of Defence and industry activities, motivation, and constraints, thereby fostering understanding of both perspectives of the relationship.  The course addresses: Defence capability planning and development information provided to industry; alignment of Defence CLC and industry processes, frameworks and activities; the Defence approach to engaging with industry for capability acquisition and support; and the industry perspective including the drivers and constraints that companies manage.

Delivery mode: Online

What you will receive:

  • Comprehensive electronic course notes
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of attendance

Affiliated courses: CLC Management (3 days), Defence Project Management (3 days), Defence Program Management (2 days), Requirements Practice (5 days), Introduction to Project Management (3 days), and Introduction to Systems Engineering (3 days)


This course is aimed at anyone within Government and industry requiring an understanding of how Defence and defence-related industry interact in support of capability development.  This includes but is not limited to: business managers, business development managers, contract managers, project managers, capability development staff, systems engineers, and project technical staff. No prior knowledge of Defence or industry is required although understanding of the Defence Capability Life Cycle (CLC) is an advantage.


Defence Context

Overview of the Defence CLC | What Defence seeks from industry and how this is communicated | Defence industry policy, programs and policies | Expected behaviours by both Defence and industry

Industry Context

Industry Structure and Ownership | Business overview at Strategic, Product-line and Project level | Industry objectives, behaviour, constraints and realities | Business Intelligence and Capture | Basis for Business Decisions | Pricing | Risk | Timing | Supply Chains

Aligning Defence and Industry: Steps for Better Engagement and Outcomes

Aligning Defence and industry processes and activities | Who engages with who | Flexibility in arrangements between Defence and industry including relational contracting| Examples of how to resolve issues throughout the CLC | Available support



Dr Shari Soutberg has over 30 years experience in Defence, with a focus on materiel acquisition, sustainment, organisational improvement and reform.  Shari is currently an Industry Fellow at the UNSW Capability System Centre.  Significant activities include development of a framework for delivery of joint force outcomes and training courses on capability development practices applicable to Defence.  Prior to this, Shari was the acting Chief Systems Engineer for CASG and a member of the First Principles Review (FPR) Capability Lifecycle (CLC) team which developed capability management reform initiatives.  As Director Systems Engineering and later Director Materiel Engineering in CASG, Shari led the development and implementation of Defence engineering policy and guidance, including fundamental changes arising from the WHS Act 2011.  Shari provided stewardship of the Defence Engineering and Technical Job Family through establishing learning and development structures. She also supported Defence corporate engineering and technical workforce planning including industrial relations engagement.  Whilst in the Office of the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Industry, Shari was a significant contributor to the Defence Industry Policy leading to the role of Director Industry Policy. After joining the Department of Defence, Shari worked on maritime platforms and equipment and as a project manager for naval projects.  Shari has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical), Masters of Management Economics, and a Doctor of Philosophy which addressed requirements development in Defence capability management.






Bernard Edwards

Bernard has had over 30 years of experience in Defence & Defence Industry. He has recently finished a 16 year career with Thales where he was extensively involved with Vehicle Electronic Systems both on Bushmaster (Protected Mobility Vehicle Medium) and Hawkei (Protected Mobility Vehicle Light). He has implemented several contracts with Defence.

During his military career he was involved with Project BLUEFIN, the Counter Terrorist upgrade for the Sydney Olympic Games. He completed 6 ATSOC and has a natural affinity for military technology. Given the combination of his Defence and Industry experience he brings a unique skill set to the CSC. Bernard holds a Master in Defence Studies from Kings College, University of London: a Masters in Management (Integrated Logistic Support) from UNSW Canberra, a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy & Politics) from Macquarie University and Diploma of Teaching plus a host of Industry related short courses.


4 March 2021
26 October 2021