News Feature - SA-based Nova Group’s Two Decades of Flying High
- Apr 7, 2020
An Adelaide company with global defence customers is eyeing $200 million in revenues this financial year, as it marks a key milestone.
A focus on providing specialist complex engineering services globally has helped Adelaide-based Nova Group grow from two founders to 600 employees in two decades.
While the 20-year milestone this year comes with new COVID-19-related challenges, the business, which is projecting more than $200 million in 2019/2020 revenues, has taken time to take pride in the growth and innovation over that period.
“What has impressed me throughout my 17 years at Nova, has been the incredibly smart and dedicated people that make it fun to come to work,” said group chief executive Greg Hume.
From its early days of offering flight testing services, the company founded by SA chief entrepreneur Jim Whalley and Peter Nikoloff, today works to solve complex problems for the Australian Defence Force, the UK Ministry of Defence, Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force, among other clients.
More than $20 million has been invested on eight acquisitions to expand into the UK, Europe, South East Asia and New Zealand.
In Australia, Nova Group is one of four companies in the ADF’s Major Service Provider (MSP) consortium, providing large integrated support contracts to defence over the next ten years.
It has founding partnerships with SA-based SMARTSAT Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) and WA’s Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE).
“With a solid foundation in the defence markets in Australia and the UK, and a footprint in space, transport and energy, I am very proud to be exporting Australian capability and know-how to the world and look forward positioning for our next phase of growth,” Mr Whalley said.
“I truly believe it’s the scientists, mathematicians and engineers of the world that will be instrumental in solving the really complex challenges nations and governments are facing like national security, climate change and urbanisation,” he said.
In a world dominated by economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the business is committed to sustaining business operations while being proactive and undertaking business modelling against a number of scenarios.
“Infection control measures have already been implemented across the business which include the cancellation of a number of training courses and internal business and social gatherings through to April,” Mr Hume said.
“We continue to monitor the situation and will introduce additional measures as required to protect our employees and clients.”
At this stage, 20-year celebrations are set to coincide with its all-staff annual conference in August where Nova’s employees will dress up in safari suits and kaftans to mark the occasion.
AUS PROJECTS LIST
Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD)
Over the last 12 years, more than 60 Nova engineering, project management and operational consultants have contributed to the AWD Program in the areas of test and activation.
SEA 1000 Future Submarines
Over 25 Nova consultants have contributed to the future submarine program supporting naval architecture, systems engineering, seaworthiness, configuration management, asset management, etc.
Nova has been associated with the P8 program over the past 4-5 years, providing a number of services.
Nova’s owned and operated site(s) provide ground segment services to satellite owners and operators. The satellite ground segment facilities will be strategically located around Australia to meet the needs of current and future Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) small satellite missions. A first site has been identified at Peterborough in SA.
Adelaide Desalination Plant
About 30 Nova employees have provided project management and contract over five years.
Nova has provided Test and Evaluation services in support of the Wedgetail E-7A since January 2011.
Nova was an integral part of accepting all C-17 aircraft into service during the various acquisitions.
Nova continues to support Lockheed Martin for the delivery of the Pilot Training Systems (PTS). This includes certification of the PC-21 aircraft, qualification of the synthetic training devices, and verification & validation of the overall PTS.
Air Traffic Control
Nova has been an integral part of Hensoldt’s delivery of AIR5431 Ph2, providing both the in-country team and facilities for the Hensoldt PMO, and delivering the tower and civil works at nine sites around Australia.
Nova has supported the verification and validation portion of the F-35A introduction into service, through designing the Australian Effectiveness Test Program, and assisting in enabling the Suitability Test Program.
Land 121 Phase 4
The Nova team has assisted Thales with the vehicle verification and validation (V&V) program across various phases of Land 121 Phase 4.
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 (Active project)
About 13 Nova staff have been providing systems integration, systems assurance and safety assurance for current design phase since February last year.
Newcrest Mining Autonomous Systems
Strategic advice and engineering services for the vision, technology road map and implementation for targeted world-first autonomous underground gold mining.
Valerina Changarathil, The Advertiser, April 7, 2020 12:00am
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