Andrew Hutchison

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Keynote Presentation:
Locating Lost Ships:
Making sense of the historic WW2 disaster sites of HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran in Ultra-Deep water in the Indian Ocean.

Andrew Hutchison , Researcher, Curtin University

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 Things You Will Learn

  1. The interaction between many stakeholder groups in the development and implementation of a cultural sensitive project to survey two WW2 war ships.
  2. The value of community service in developing techniques and building profile/contacts.

Target Audience

The presentation provides a behind the scenes look at the motivations and experiences of spatial industries in the service of commemoration and cultural heritage.

Presentation Overview

Dr Andrew Hutchison of Curtin University will provide an overview of the technologies and techniques involved in the 2015 high resolution survey of the WW2 wrecks of HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran, which sank each other off the West Australian coast in 1941 in one of the most improbable and controversial naval battles of all time.

The presentation will reveal the new technologies applied to gathering high resolution photographic and acoustic data and physical marine life samples, and in particular the use of photogrammetry to produce compelling 3D models for public presentation and scientific research. The survey expedition returned with 70 Terabytes of data, including 700,000 still images, and 300 hour of Stereo High Definition Video, and has already shed further light on the extraordinary circumstances of the battle, which remains the worst loss of life in the history of the Australian Navy.

A key feature of the ongoing research is to resolve disparate data from dozens of different sensor types and archives into a credible and robust spatial framework. The project was undertaken by Curtin University, the WA Museum, with DOF Subsea and funding from the Commonwealth Government.


Dr Andrew Hutchison is a Researcher in the School of Design and Art at Curtin University. Andrew’s research focus is the study of how emerging technology has changed the design of communications through history, and the resulting impacts on society. Andrew’s own practice is in the preservation of cultural heritage using digital/virtual technologies.

Andrew is the leader of the “Two Lost Ships” project team that recently returned from a trip to the shipwrecks of the HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran, which sank each other in mysterious circumstances during the Second World War, with tragic loss of life… still the worst disaster in the history of the Royal Australian Navy.