McAlpine Marine Design Pty Ltd was founded by Ken McAlpine in 1982, in response to a need for technically qualified naval architects specialising in the small and novel craft areas. In its early years McAlpine Marine Design was involved primarily in consulting work for the fishing and light charter vessel industries.

Since moving from New South Wales to Western Australia in 1986, McAlpine Marine Design has proven to be a growing company whose clientele has expanded and is now heavily focused on providing consulting services to the offshore support industry.

As McAlpine Marine Design expanded throughout the 1990's and early 2000's, it was highlighted that there was a growing need for consulting engineers to be "on the ground" in Darwin and the Northern Territory. In a bid to provide the best engineering solutions to its clients and fill the need for consulting engineers, McAlpine Marine Design has, and continues to, maintain a strong presence in the Northern Territory.

In 2006 McAlpine Marine Design started trading as MMD Naval Architects.