Society of Maritime Industries Management and Staff Team

Tom Chant - fullTom Chant

Chief Executive

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 and superyacht 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 included distributor management for a marine equipment company before he joined SMI in February 2017 as the Business Development Director and Secretary to the Commercial Marine Group and Marine Science & Technology Group. Tom was appointed Chief Executive of the SMI in August 2020.


Tim Currass Captain Tim Currass BEng(Hons) MSc MA Royal Navy

Programme Director, Secretary to the Maritime Defence & Security Group (MDSG) Council & Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council

Tim, a Royal Navy Engineer for 33 years, has had a long and varied career serving in Her Majesty’s Ships INVINCIBLE, COVENTRY, KENT, YORK and OCEAN as well as a variety of shore appointments including the Government Communication Headquarters, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and Navy Command Headquarters. As a Captain he was programme manager for the Common Support Model programme in Defence Equipment and Support, transforming support for the Royal Navy’s complex warships including integrating the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and Type 45 Destroyers into the Surface Ship Support Alliance and most recently as Navy Command’s lead for the National Shipbuilding Strategy.  He started in the Society of Maritime Industries in November 2019 as Programme Director and Secretary to the Maritime Defence & Security Group (MDSG) Council and Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG) Council. 


Emma Johnson - colourEmma Johnson MSc

Business Development Director, Secretary to the Maritime Defence & Security Group (MASG) and Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MSTG) Council

Emma has a BSc in Marine Biology and an MSc in Marine and Aquatic Biology from the University of Portsmouth. During the MSc a range of topics from Aquaculture to Subtidal Marine Ecology were covered. For her dissertation she worked with MDL Marinas and Blue Marine Foundation on the native oyster restoration project. For the last 3 years she has specialised in sales and marketing of Maritime products in particular compliance monitoring of wash water from exhaust gas scrubber systems and ballast water discharge. During this time, she worked closely with international agents and customers as well as representing the company at conferences, exhibitions and in presentations and panel debates.


AMAnna Mcgown BA(Hons)

Marketing and Operations Manager, Data Protection Officer

Anna is a marketing graduate with over 10 years marketing experience.  She joined SMI in August 2020, and plays a central role in the promotion and administration of SMI’s activities.



RHRebecca Hawkins BSc(Hons)

Executive Assistant

Rebecca 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 as well as the general administration and running of the office. Rebecca greets all visitors to our Threadneedle Street offices and makes sure all visitors are cared for. Members who wish  to reserve the Society of Maritime Industries board room for their meetings should contact Rebecca directly to make a booking.      


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.