Society of Maritime Industries Management and Staff Team

John Murray 2015John C Murray BSc (Hons) DIS FRSA

Chief Executive, MAS Council Director and Acting ABOI & PTG Council Director 

A graduate chemical engineer, John Murray commenced his career in the oil industry. An active period of trade association involvement, during which time he ran his own company, ultimately led to his appointment as Chief Executive of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) a position he has held since April 2001.  Mr Murray currently represents the industry on a number of external bodies including the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy sponsored Marine Industries Leadership Council, of which he is a Vice Chair and Chair of the Technology and Innovation Group. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Oceanography Centre; a member of the Greenwich Forum; a member of the UK Government's Marine Industry Liaison Group of the Marine Science Coordination Committee and sits on the Steering Group of London International Shipping Week 2017.


Christopher McHugh Captain Christopher S McHugh OBE BSc CEng FIMarEST Royal Navy

Director of Programmes and BNEA Council Director 

Captain McHugh graduated in marine engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon and served in the Royal Navy for 31 years.  A varied career of eight sea appointments included the marine engineer officer of the last World War II Battle class destroyer, HMS Matapan, senior engineer of the Royal Yacht Britannia and the marine engineer officer during the building of the first “stretched” Type 22 Frigate, HMS Boxer, at Yarrow Shipbuilders on the Clyde.

Ashore, he held a number of appointments in the Defence Staff in Whitehall and in the Procurement Executive and was, for three years, the technical naval attaché at the British Embassy in Paris. Mid-career training included the international staff course at the Ecole Supèrieur de Guerres Interarmées in Paris and he is a 1993 member of the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. He was made OBE in the military honours list for the first Gulf War in 1991.

After transferring to the retired list he held several consultancy portfolios including specialist defence adviser to the National Audit Office until 2006 and naval adviser to various French and UK companies in the former Thomson-CSF electronics group headquartered in Paris. Since 2001 he has been the Director of BNEA at the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI). Captain McHugh is a fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology and a qualified French interpreter. 


Tom Chant - fullTom Chant

Director of Business Development and Secretary to the AMSI & BMEA Councils

Tom has a long association with the marine industry having been an active sailor and student of boatbuilding in Southampton.  His career has encompassed a wide range of market sectors and he has gathered experience of business development, marketing and distribution in an international business environment.  A nine year period at the trade body for the leisure, superyacht and workboat sector was committed to developing the members’ export business.  This included running UK pavilions at overseas shows, management of inward and outward missions including Meet-the-Buyer events, plus the creation of market reports and representation on government committees.  Recent career experience has been within the marine interiors sector managing multiple distributors and OEMs from New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Greece, UAE and South Africa.


Clementina Upton Clementina Upton

 Events Manager & Office Manager

Clementina Upton has held a number of roles within the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) since she joined the company in 1998 and has been in her present role as Events Manager since 2006 with extensive experience of the marketing and administration of SMI's events across the world.  Clementina is SMI's linguist speaking Italian (her mother tongue), Spanish and French.    


katie headshot (2)Katie Gascoyne LLB (Hons)

Marketing & Membership Manager  

Katie Gascoyne is a graduate in Law. After a brief period as PA to the Chief Executive, Katie assumed her current role in November 2016. Katie seeks efficient marketing opportunities for the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) and its members.


ava catton headshotAva Catton

PA to the Chief Executive

Ava is the  first point of contact for all personal visits and telephone calls, she ensures the Chief Executive's administrative requirements are kept in order and greets all visitors to the our Threadneedle Street offices. Members wishing to reserve the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) board room for their meetings should contact Ava.      


Dennis Williamson0001Dennis Williamson

Credit Controller & Facilities Manager

Dennis Williamson has been a stalwart member of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) team for many years and is usually the point of contact in respect of invoicing and payments.


Jane Andrews 1.15mbJane Andrews ACA

Finance Manager & Company Accountant

Jane Andrews is an independent accredited chartered accountant and is responsible for the production of the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) management accounts and preparation of the financial statements for annual audit.  As someone independent from, members can be assured of the financial probity in the financial management of SMI. 


Chen Li MingChen Li Ming

China Manager (Based in Shanghai)

Chen Li Ming is a naval architect and for 13 years worked for Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) before moving to Shanghai Edward Shipbuilding Co Ltd.  In 1995 Chen (as he is known to his friends) became an independent consultant and has been associated with the Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) and its predecessor organisation since that time.  He has an excellent track record in introducing companies to the Chinese market and the credentials to be able to “open doors” with Chinese companies and government organisations in the maritime sector.