Australian Society for Defence Engineering

For engineers working with the Australian armed forces and national defence. 

About the Australian Society for Defence Engineering

The Australian Society for Defence Engineering (ASDE) has three aims:

  • To provide a forum for the intellectual and fraternal exchange of information
  • To be the pre-eminent learned society by embracing all aspects of engineering theory, practice, heritage, training and development relevant to the Armed Forces and the defence of Australia.
  • To inform members on developments in defence material and major engineering works within ADF and other armed forces.

Membership is open to serving and retired members of the Australian Defence Force and allied services, as well as those with an interest from government, industry, commerce and academic institutions. Society members do not have to be members of Engineers Australia.


  • General Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC
  • Admiral Chris Barrie, AC
  • General Peter Gration, AC, OBE
  • Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AO, AFC

Defence Engineering Body of Knowledge (DEBOK)

The Australian Society of Defence Engineering (ASDE, a technical society of Engineers Australia) is partnering with Engineers Media (a wholly owned subsidiary of Engineers Australia) to develop a Defence Engineering Body of Knowledge (DEBOK). Following are some frequently asked questions.

What is a body of knowledge?
A body of knowledge is a term used to represent the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain. It is a conceptual framework for thinking about engineering in relation to defence.

What form will it take?
DEBOK is a short document that defines the scope and nature of defence engineering. We expect it will be in the order of 50 to 100 pages.

All defence engineering knowledge?
Initially, the main focus is to identify a compelling and useful high-level framework. It will not contain detailed information like textbooks do. However, DEBOK may be developed over time and supplements may be developed with more depth and detail.

Who will use DEBOK?
The key audience for DEBOK will be people new to any particular aspect of defence engineering. It may also be used as a conceptual input into a range of related activities – like planning for the professional development of defence engineers, structuring conferences, or developing induction programs for new and potential employees in the defence industry.

Who is in charge?
This is an initiative of Engineers Australia – via its technical society and publishing arm. However, the endorsement of senior defence personnel will be sought.

Who will be consulted?
The scope of the defence engineering covers defence personnel and other government agencies as well as civilian employees of research organisations and defence suppliers. We aim to consult people and organisations that are representative of every single aspect of the wider defence industry.

Who owns the intellectual property?
Any intellectual property generated in the course of this project will be owned by Engineers Australia. Engineers Australia is a not-for-profit learned society. Its mission is to advance the science and practice of engineering. All legal and commercial implications are spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding between ASDE and Engineers Media. This includes arrangements to provide access to the document for ASDE members, EA members, Defence personnel and the general public.

What is the process?
Engineers Mediais conducting research with a wide range of stakeholders in the defence industry and will develop draft conceptual frameworks. ASDE, through a special advisory committee, will contribute to, supervise and select an initial framework.

A high-level table of contents will be developed for initial consultation by key stakeholders. Successive drafts of DEBOK will flesh out detail and the consultation net will be widened to include people and organisations with expertise in specific sections of DEBOK. Final versions will be presented to the appropriate senior defence personnel for endorsement before publication.

What is the timeframe?
Initial investigations have already started. Initial conceptual frameworks will be developed around the new year. Initial presentation of draft versions of the framework will commence in the first quarter of 2014 with wider consultation occurring during the second quarter.

Join the Australian Society for Defence Engineering

Contact Us

Engineers Australia
11 National Circuit


Tel: 02 6270 6555


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