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The Team

With a combined experience of over 180 years’ involvement in the marine sector, our dedicated team members have an eye for detail and are committed to a high standard of professionalism from concept through to delivery. Macduff Ship Design has a longstanding ethos of recruiting young enthusiastic graduates and developing them into industry-leading Naval Architects.


Ian Ellis, CEng, FRINA, MCMS

Managing Director

Since becoming Managing Director in 2014 Ian has continued the company’s development as a leading design house with worldwide reach. Ian’s appointment to MD marked his contributions to the company in his previous role as a Naval Architect working on many of the companies industry-leading designs including: Jeddah 45Ayten CebiLondon Titan, Vestliner.

In 2019 the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) noted Ian’s career accomplishments and professionalism through his election to Fellow of the Institute.

Ian has been at the forefront of the companies drive to enhance new technologies and has built up a wealth of experience in ship design since joining the company after graduating with an MSc in Naval Architecture from Newcastle University in1994. Macduff Ship Design is proud that Ian has spent his whole professional career at the company.

Outside work, Ian enjoys sailing with his family and racing high-performance sailing boats.

Tracey Aitken

Financial Director

Tracey has the role of financial controller and company secretary, dealing with all accountancy and clerical issues. Tracey joined the team at Macduff Ship Design Ltd in 1995.

Outside work Tracey enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking her dog Kolo and helping fundraise for the local RNLI.

Alexander Reid, MCMS

Senior Naval Architect

Sandy has progressed to the role of Senior Naval Architect, ensuring his seasoned knowledge is utilised on all new projects. Sandy’s vast experience in all types of ship design has been integral in the development of the diverse and industry-leading designs produced by the company including: Jazan 4Atco NouraAvro WarriorFilla.

Prior to joining the company in 1996, Sandy started his career as an apprentice draughtsman at Robb Caledon Shipyard, moving onto a role as a Naval Architect with British Shipbuilders, then a role as a Naval Architect with the Napier Company.

Outside work, Sandy enjoys adventures on the local rivers and coastline in his kayak.

Matthew Stainsby, CEng, MRINA

Project Naval Architect, Workboat manager

Matt has taken a lead role in many of the company’s recent designs including: Marsden BayScapa Pathfinder, Selkie. Having embraced all aspects of ship design, stability calculations and supervision Matt’s experience is a key asset to the Macduff Ship Design team.

 Matt’s on the job learning has supplemented his MEng Ship Science Degree earned from Southampton University to ensure a well-rounded knowledge of theoretical and practical ship design. Matt joined the company in 2012 on completion of his degree.

 Outside work Matt enjoys exploring Aberdeenshire on two wheels (motorised and human-powered).

Duncan Boag, CEng, MRINA

Project Naval Architect, Fishing vessel manager, ISO representative

Duncan has taken a lead role in many of the company’s recent designs including: Atlantic TitanMarcap Tam 1 & 2T.Servis 1. Having developed a wide understanding of all aspects of vessel design and operation, showing particular expertise in vessel stability, Duncan’s skillset strengthens the Macduff Ship Design team.

Duncan’s on the job learning has supplemented the BEng (Hons) in Naval Architecture & Small Craft Engineering earned from Strathclyde University ensuring a good balance of academic and real-world understanding of vessel design. Duncan joined the company in 2012 on completion of his degree.

 Outside work, Duncan enjoys leisurely bike rides, canoe trips and walks with his dog Tuppence.

Rebecca Barnard, AMRINA, MCMS

Project Naval Architect, Marine Surveyor

Rebecca has taken a lead role in many of the company’s recent designs including: 55ft Trawler YachtT.Palamar 1-5Lily Mae. In addition to her ample knowledge of ship design, Rebecca’s developing skill in marine surveying extends the diverse experience within the company.

In 2019 Rebecca completed a diploma in Small Craft Surveying from Lloyds Maritime Academy, adding to a BEng (Hons) in Naval Architecture & Small Craft Engineering earned from Strathclyde University in 2013. Rebecca joined the company in 2013 on completion of her degree.

Outside work, Rebecca enjoys sailing, music-making and helping young women to achieve their goals through Girlguiding activities.

Joe Watkins, AMRINA

Naval Architect

Joe is taking an active role in all aspects of ship design, working closely with the project Naval Architects. His skills and knowledge base are expanding during on the job training ensuring he is a key member of the Macduff Ship Design team.

Between graduating from Southampton University with MEng in Ship Science (2017) and joining Macduff Ship Design in 2019, Joe worked for Mainstay Marine as a Junior Naval Architect where he dealt directly with the production team.

Outside work, Joe enjoys travelling fast by bike, boat or kiteboard.

Aldrin Benher, AMRINA

Junior Naval Architect

Aldrin joined the company soon after completing his MSc in Advanced Naval Architecture from the University of Strathclyde in 2023. He has been working closely with the rest of the team to develop his skills with enthusiasm.

Between completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Naval Architecture from APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University in India in 2020 and attending University in the UK, he worked at VVC Industries and Research Services Pvt Ltd as a Junior Naval Architect for a year.

Outside work, Aldrin enjoys experimenting with new cooking recipes and playing online games with his friends back in India.

Alan Gartshore


Alan has developed specialist skills in operating CAD draughting packages. Alan’s main role is in steelwork construction and kit drawings, where his attention to detail ensures the high standard of the company’s designs is maintained. Alan joined the company when it was formed in 1993, having previously worked alongside company founder Donald Cameron as an apprentice draughtsman at the James N Miller & Son Shipyard in Fife.

Outside work, Alan enjoys mountain biking, weight training and days out with his family.

Myles Conlon

Draughtsman, IT manager

Myles has a wide skillset in both IT systems and CAD draughting packages, with particular expertise in 3D drawings. Myles’ main roles in the company are ship outfitting drawings, concept arrangements, and management of our IT system and website.

Myles BA Hons Degree 1st, in Fine Art, brings a different dimension to the team, greatly assisting in the visualisation of spaces. Myles works closely with the Naval Architecture team on layouts where his alternative perspective assists in making best use of all space on the vessel. Myles joined the company in 2006. 

Outside work, Myles enjoys exploring the outdoors as a leader for Macduff Cubs – especially when he gets to go hammock camping.

Ben Buchan

Apprentice Draughtsman, IT

Ben is the newest member of the Macduff Ship Design team having joined early 2024. Prior to this he studied Computer Science at the University of Dundee for 2 years before leaving in search of something new.

While Bens main role is as draughtsman, his time spent studying Computer Science has allowed him to take on the additional role of managing the website.

Ben spends his free time playing videogames and doing DIY projects at home.