ADELAIDE | FOCUS Lecture Series with Dr Leonard John Hart-Smith.

FOCUS lecture series

Focus Lecture Series Update

In light of the growing concerns around Coronavirus (COVID-19), RAeS and Engineers Australia have decided to cancel the Focus Lecture Series event. This decision was not taken lightly. The health and safety of our staff, members and delegates is number one priority while this situation is continuously evolving.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]


Engineers Australia and the Joint Board for Aerospace Engineering invites members, professionals and the general public to attend an upcoming Focus lecture series “The key to successful engineering design and manufacturing – unlocking 50 years of Aerospace wisdom to solve future problems”. These seminars will be held in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in March/April 2019.



The key to successful engineering design and manufacturing – unlocking 50 years of Aerospace wisdom to solve future problems

Dr Leonard John Hart-Smith FTSE
Retired from the Boeing Company, Long Beach, California, USA

There is reluctance in industry to document past experiences. Sometimes to save embarrassment from failures and sometimes to avoid helping the competition by explaining successes. When developing new technologies computers can provide answers quickly; however, the underlying limitations of a programme/model can be dangerous when applied incorrectly. To be of value, they must be supplemented by engineers who have been better trained in the fundamentals, who can think for themselves: to make black-box computers their servants instead of being reduced to being their slaves.

In an environment focussed on stock price and schedule, progress is impeded when past mistakes are ignored. If repeated, these can lead to undesired outcomes. From unnecessary manufacturing costs through to program delays: Things that could easily be avoided had there been better access to what was already known, but likely only available as undocumented tribal knowledge.

In this presentation, Dr Hart-Smith will share his experience in solving production problems for numerous organisations around the world.

This is a rare opportunity to gain an insight to his extensive learning from working in aircraft factories worldwide and engaging some of the most experienced experts in the world on all aspects of aircraft structures, all eager to pass on their wisdom to anyone who could comprehend it. Two of his solutions led to very low-cost production of structures with zero defects during the entire production run. One of his novel design ideas saved $500,000 on each C-17. The most important lessons learned, illustrated by specific cases, will be presented in the hope that others can benefit from them in the future.



Dr Leonard John Hart-Smith

Dr Leonard John Hart-Smith FTSE

Retired from the Boeing Company, Long Beach, California, USA

Born and educated in Australia, culminating in a PhD and Higher Doctorate in Engineering from Monash University, in 1968 Dr Hart-Smith took a position at the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California, fulfilling a boyhood dream to design and build aircraft. Forty years later, he retired from The Boeing Company, as a Senior Technical Fellow, the highest level in the Technical Career Path, being well known at most of the world’s aerospace companies. He was best known as an expert on adhesively bonded joints and strength prediction for composites, having lectured on these topics at many universities and factories around the world, and developed related computer codes. But he is now best known for his famous paper on the out-sourced profits associated with excessive out-sourcing of work.

He consulted on some fascinating projects, particularly solving production problems on bonded and composite structures that other experts had been unable to solve. He has regularly presented his research results and what he learned at lectures in Australia and around the world. His own research and observations from countless hours in many aircraft factories were complemented by discussions with some of the best of the old-time experts, passing on what they thought were the most important lessons from their own careers. Sadly, this wisdom is almost never documented. Dr Hart-Smith has consciously tried to document what he learned. This lecture tour is a part of that effort.



5.30 pm – 6.00pm: Registration | Networking and refreshments 
6.00 pm – 7.30 pm: Presentation Dr Leonard John Hart-Smith | Q & A Session


Tickets FOCUS Lecture registration includes:

Attendance at the FOCUS Lecture and Q & A session
Networking opportunities at the welcome tea and coffee (5.30 pm to 6.00 pm) 
Access to the senior Defence and industry delegate during the event
Certificate of Attendance
Eligible for 1.5 Engineers Australia Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours
Access to the presentation slides after the series is completed




30 / 03 / 2020 - 05:30 pm to 07:30 pm
Registration Closes
29 / 03 / 2020 06:00 pm
University of South Australia
Room MM1-05 Mawson Lakes Campus
Mawson Lakes Boulevard
Mawson Lakes
South Australia
  • Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Society Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Student Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Non-Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
Key Speaker(s)
Dr Leonard John Hart-Smith
Engineers Australia | Royal Aeronautical Society
Event Contact
Maximum CPD Hours