Senior Management Team

Neil Hodges

Managing Director

Neil has executive responsibility for the strategic direction and overall management and performance of all the companies with the BlueZone Group. Neil dedicated 13 years to the Royal Navy, specializing in mine warfare. His experience was honed during live mine countermeasure operations in both the Iran/Iraq war and the Gulf War. For the Royal Australian Navy, Neil held a pivotal role as the Test and Trials Manager for the Huon Class Mine Hunter Coastal Project. His work directly impacted the effectiveness of Australia’s mine-hunting equipment, ensuring operational readiness. Leveraging his expertise in mine warfare and Project Management, Neil led the Acoustic Mine Imaging Project. In this capacity, he oversaw the development of cutting-edge technology, showcasing his coordination and stakeholder management skills. Neil has held several significant positions. Now as Managing Director for BlueZone Group, Neil continues to shape the company’s success. Neil is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director Course, reflecting his commitment to professional development and governance excellence. He has also gained valuable experience as a director in various businesses. Neil’s Master of Business Administration – Technology Management, equipped him with a blend of business acumen and technical knowledge, enhancing his ability to lead effectively.

Andrew Hazell

General Manager, Defence

Andrew has extensive operations management experience ranging from market analysis, due diligence and acquisitions, to commercial, HR, IR, safety and quality matters. Andrew’s strong background in government relations, combined with developing and managing clients, supply chain and other stakeholder relationships has seen him successfully negotiate and manage contracts up to USD $62 million. With more than eight years’ experience delivering Hydrographic, Oceanographic and Geophysical systems within Australia and throughout South East Asia, Andrew brings a wealth of experience and a customer-centric approach to his role. Andrew holds an Executive Master of Business Administration (International Business) and an Advanced Diploma of Complex Project Management.

Daniel Robins

Engineering Manager

Dan joined BlueZone Group in 2018 and rapidly gained experience applying his mechatronics engineer degree training to diverse projects including inspection robots for harsh pipeline conditions and design of sonar deployment systems for Army littoral survey. Dan is focused on learning and building experience in systems engineering as it is applied for projects for the Australian Defence Force. His work in both design and obsolescence management has led to a strong belief in the value of high-quality engineering documentation. In 2022 Dan was promoted to Engineering Manager and leads a team of electrical, electronic and mechatronic engineers that provide sustainment, upgrade and design of uncrewed systems, maritime robotics and undersea sensors.

Kathryn Bowdler

Commercial Manager

Kathryn joined the BlueZone team in 2020 and is responsible for the finance, administration, and marketing activities for the Group. She completed her MBA with a major in marketing, is a member of CPA Australia, and has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle. Kathryn’s background in both the mining and manufacturing industries has given her extensive experience in financial management, process improvement, human resource management, negotiation, and change management.

Mark Hegarty

Group Sales Manager

Mark has been in the hydrographic surveying business for the past 34 years. He has spent 23 years in the RAN as a hydrographic surveyor, followed by 8 years with ATLAS Hydrographic. Mark managed the support of hydrographic and navigation equipment, along with the responsibility of installing the equipment onto Hydrographic Survey ships operated by the Royal Australian Navy. Mark has a Diploma in Hydrographic Surveying and brings a hands-on approach to supporting customers with sales and service of oceanographic and hydrographic equipment. Mark has also completed training in Caris and Hypack and can support customers in the use of these products.

Darren Burrowes & Neil Hodges


In 2000, Darren Burrowes and Neil Hodges founded the company that has grown to become BlueZone Group. Darren brings a background in Electrical Engineering and served as a Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. Neil served with the Royal Navy, including operational Mine Counter Measures experience in the Arabian Gulf in two conflicts. Darren and Neil have always shared a strong vision to enable Australia’s MCM capability through the provision of excellence in service, support, and engineering of remotely operated vehicle technology for Navy operations. In time, this vision has grown larger, enabling many organisations to operate in Australia’s deep oceans, coastal seas and rivers with the world’s leading marine technologies.