Generation Officer

Lt. Commander Robert Hewson is a Generation Officer and is currently Program Director for the ISDC's Generation Program.  A member of the engineering branch, he is responsible for overseeing the design and build of the vessel's power generation equipment including the fusion reactors which will provide the vast majority of the vessel's power.


Commander Hewson commands the ISDC's Generation Program. This program is responsible for generation systems until a reactor is constructed and installed in the vessel, after which it will become the responsibility of the vessel's Generation Officer (responsible to the vessel's Executive Engineering Officer). This work will primarily involve the design, construction and testing of reactor components before a complete, working reactor is assembled for incorporation into the vessel.

The Generation Program consists of a number of teams, including the experimental teams which developed the underlying technology and the engineering design & construction teams which will construct and test the working systems. It is Commander Hewson's job to co-ordinate activity between the teams, ensuring that they are delivering against the program's strategic requirements and have the materials and resources they need to complete their work.

Commander Hewson and his team will also be responsible for developing the operational process and protocols used to safely operate the generation systems, including the training of future generation officers and crew.

about the the generation program

Commander Hewson's team are currently working with sophisticated computer simulations of a fusion reactor, based on research undertaken at a number of smaller test reactors, such as ITER in France, as well as research utilising captured alien technology. These simulations will test a number of operational and design scenarios to optimise the reactor's design. Critical parts of the reactor system (particularly the superconducting magnetic field generators) will then be constructed and tested to validate the simulation findings.

The first fully working reactor will be assembled in orbit within the ACROSS complex and subject to extensive trials before being incorporated into the vessel's construction.


Commander Hewson joined the ISDC from the Royal Navy, where he led a successful career as a marine engineering officer. After a number of tours aboard the Royal Navy's nuclear attack and ballistic submarines, Hewson was appointed as Chief Engineer of HMS Triumph, a position he held for four years before electing to undertake advanced study in nuclear physics at the University of Manchester.

On completion of his doctorate, Hewson was appointed to a joint Anglo-US engineering group tasked with identifying advanced new reactor designs for next generation of naval and space exploration vessels. During his time with the joint engineering group Hewson became one of the first Royal Navy officers to undertake active duty on a US nuclear submarine, spending six months as an engineering officer aboard the USS Miami. Hewson also taught at the Imperial Staff College in London during this time.

Hewson's last posting before joining the ISDC was a secondment to a highly-classified research project into fusion reaction processes based at CERN in Switzerland. The work of this program was considerably more advanced that other publicly-acknowledged fusion programs such as ITER and contributed indirectly to a secret US Airforce program designed to exploit captured alien technology (although the CERN program remained unaware of the existence of the alien technology).

After lengthy background checks and carefully managed introductions, Hewson was invited to join the ISDC. Research with captured alien technology had reached the point where reactor construction became feasible and someone with Hewson's practical experience and operational knowledge was needed to continue the generation program.

becoming a generation officer

Interested in Lt. Commander Hewson’s role as a generation officer? To take on a similar role yourself, you’ll need to sign up as a military officer. If accepted, you’ll become an officer cadet and, like all members of the ISDC contemplating active service, you’ll need to undertake common training.

On completion of common training, you’ll continue officer training with a broad curriculum designed to give you an understanding of ISDC systems, operations and procedures. Officers who wish to pursue active service aboard a vessel will also train to qualify aboard, which includes the opportunity to gain hands-on experience during training cruises.

On completion of officer training, you’ll be promoted to Ensign and you’ll choose a specialisation before assuming your first posting. For specialist officers such as engineers, you can expect your initial selection of specialisation to shape your training and career postings from that point on. More generalist line officers can expect to work in a number of different specialisations during their careers.

From your first posting, your career progression is entirely up to you. Choosing the training programs appropriate to your career aims will ensure postings that will give you the experience you need to advance. A generation officer will need to begin focussing on their chosen specialisation early in their career because of the intensity of the training involved.