Dale Heinken

President & Managing Director

Dale Heinken is the President and Managing Director of Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) Australia, a CACI company, based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Prior to joining AVT Australia, Dale served in the United States Navy for 26 years as a surface warfare officer with a subspeciality in naval nuclear propulsion. He retired as a Captain in 2021. During his time in the Navy, he served on a variety of ships and staffs, and he is most proud of his time as Commanding Officer of Littoral Combat Ship Crew 101 aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1), the Reactor Officer aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and the Commanding Officer of USS Boxer (LHD 4).

Dale was commissioned through the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1995 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He earned a Master of Science in Information Systems and Technology degree from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland in 2003 and a Master of International Public Policy degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 2009.

During his spare time, Dale enjoys tennis, golf, flyfishing, scuba diving, woodworking, sailing, hunting, working out, cycling, cooking on the grill and whatever is on his wife’s “honey-do” list. While he isn’t good at any of his hobbies, he does at least dress like he should be.

Evert van Schuppen

Director of Operations

Evert is the Director of Operations at AVT Australia and serves on its Board of Directors.

Prior to being named Director of Operations in 2021, Evert joined AVT Australia in 2014 and has served many roles, including Technical Sales Manager. During this time, Evert was responsible for the company’s worldwide aerial gimbal sales and support efforts, including heading pre- and post-sale customer integration and support activities with customers around the globe. Evert graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2011 with a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering.

Bernard May

Engineering Manager

As Engineering Manager,  Bernie heads-up the technical arm of AVT Australia and its disciplines in Software, Controls, Mechanical, Systems and Test/Trials

With more than 25 years experience, Bernie provides the background and required leadership in product development, integration and test towards delivery of complex defence systems. Bernie holds qualifications in Electronic Engineering (BE) and Military Systems Engineering (MSc) and is a member of Engineers Australia (MIEAust CPEng NER). Outside work hours, Bernie enjoys water-skiing, snowboarding and restoring cars

Nine Kruger

Financial Planning & Analysis Manager

Nine is a Financial Manager with more than 15 years’ experience in financial services. She was educated in Canada where she articled at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and became a chartered accountant. During her early career as an external auditor, she worked on predominantly global and Canadian oil and gas company audits. Her experience in mining would later continue in Australia as a management consultant where she worked on projects for Rio Tinto and BHP.

Nine completed her MBA at Melbourne Business School and graduated with distinction. She subsequently worked as a management consultant specialising in process improvement and organisational effectiveness. She previously worked as a senior strategist at St.George Bank and now works as a Financial Manager at AVT Australia.

Nick McLeod

ICT Manager

Nick McLeod is the ICT Manager for Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) Australia, overseeing IT Operations & Strategy and the Security Program.

Prior to joining AVT Australia, Nick worked in the USA for 5 years in a similar role at a healthcare company in New York. There he helped build out the firm’s Azure footprint and worked with a small team to achieve ISO 27001 certification to ensure protection of patient health and financial data.

Nick earned a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science at the University of Tasmania and started out as a full-stack developer. He soon co-founded his own software development consultancy which became a Microsoft Gold Partner and catered for more than 10 years to private firms small and large, as well as the Tasmanian state government departments of Health & Human Services, Education & the Arts, Justice, Primary Industry & the Enviroment, and more. Nick’s interests include swimming, woodworking, creative writing, and watching movies. He also writes pop/rock songs, and other musical oddities best left for the archeologists.

Tahlia du Plessis

HR Officer

Tahlia is the HR Officer for AVT Australia. Her passion lies in people. She works alongside senior leadership, to create a workplace where both the staff, and AVT Australia as an organisation, thrive together.

In her spare time you will find her running along various beautiful coastlines of Victoria, and exploring the great outdoors. Some of her personal accomplishments include summiting Mount Kala Patthar in the Himalayas, as well as trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp. She has completed several cycle races in South Africa and aspires to run marathons in the future.