A former National President of Engineers Australia and dozens of engineers from a diverse range of disciplines were among those recognised with Australia Day Honours this year.
The Honourable Trish White FIEAust CPEng, who was Engineers Australia National President and Chair from 2018–2019, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to engineering, and to the people and Parliament of South Australia (SA).
Now a professional company director and consultant, White served as the Member for Taylor in the SA House of Assembly from 1994–2010, including time as the Minister for Transport, Science and Information Economy, Urban Development and Planning.
“Trish has been a tireless advocate for the engineering profession throughout her distinguished career and has earned the deep respect of her professional peers and the community,” Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans HonFIEAust CPEng said.
“During her time as National President and Chair, Trish saw Engineers Australia through a period of growth, modernisation and renewal, preparing the profession for the future at a time of significant disruption.”
Evans congratulated all Engineers Australia members and representatives of the broader engineering profession who made the list, from electrical engineers to experts in aerospace.
“To be recognised on the national stage is a tremendous accolade and great recognition for their outstanding service to the community,” she said
Other engineers who made the list included the following.
Officer of the Order of Australia
Five members of Engineers Australia were appointed Officers of the Order of Australia (AO), the day’s second-highest honour. This includes Emeritus Professor Christopher Fell HonFIEAust CPEng for distinguished service to science and engineering, particularly to nanotechnology research and fabrication, and to professional networks.
A former Dean of Engineering and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales, Fell’s expertise is in separation technology, water treatment and the handling of chemicals. As part of this work, he co-invented a technology that led to low pressure membrane microfiltration for the reclamation of water.
Professor Graham Goodwin HonFIEAust CPEng(Ret) was appointed an AO for distinguished service to tertiary education, and to electrical engineering, as an academic and researcher, and to scientific academies. He is currently Laureate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Newcastle and was awarded the MA Sargent Medal by Engineers Australia in 1990, which is given for long-standing eminence in science or the practice of electrical engineering.
Dr Barry Inglis FIEAust CPEng(Ret) was recognised for distinguished service to science and engineering, particularly to metrology, measurement standards and research, and to professional organisations.
Between 1994 and 2004, Inglis was the Director of the CSIRO’s National Measurement Laboratory, and when that was made into its own independent body, the National Measurement Institute, he was appointed Inaugural CEO and Chief Metrologist.
Today, the Australian measurement community’s highest honour is the eponymous Barry Inglis Medal.
Geotechnical engineer Professor Mark Randolph FIEAust CPEng was recognised for distinguished service to geotechnical engineering and science, to tertiary education and research, and to professional organisations.
A Professor at the University of Western Australia’s Department of Civil Engineering since 1990, Randolph was inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame last year. He founded the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) in 1997 to better understand the particularity of Australian soils and to develop suitable foundation solutions. The Centre has become one of the most sophisticated research and modelling facilities in offshore geomechanics and engineering in the world.
“What drives me is that I do like problem solving and technical challenges,” he said in 2020.
“I like new things, new challenges and problems — ones that I feel I can make a contribution to.”
In the military division, Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon FIEAust CPEng was appointed an AO for distinguished service in responsible positions in acquisition and sustainment of aerospace systems for the Australian Defence Force.
A senior officer, he facilitated more than $1 billion worth of exports for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, a figure that will likely double in the coming years.
Member of the Order of Australia
A number of engineers joined Trish White in being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in both the general and military divisions.
This includes Neil Matthews FIEAust CPEng, who was acknowledged for significant service to aerospace component repair technologies. Head of Research and Technology at RUAG Australia, Matthews previously received a Defence Industry Service Commendation for his research into the application of additive metal technologies such as supersonic particle deposition and laser additive deposition on Royal Australian Air Force aircraft, to protect aerospace components from corrosion and wear.
“Restoring full structural functionality, reliably and repeatedly, is our objective,” Matthews said at the time.
Also honoured with an AM was the late Frank Mallard, for significant service to the Indigenous community of Western Australia, and to veterans groups. The 2019 Western Australia Senior Australian of the Year, Mallard was a Yamatji elder who was an engineer in the Australian Army and went on to promote the military service of Indigenous veterans.
Dr George Lefroy was recognised for significant service to the community through philanthropic support initiatives. A chemical engineer by training, Lefroy held various senior roles before retiring in 2000. A year later, he co-founded the Bruce Lefroy Centre at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which conducts research into genetic diseases.
Hank Laan was recognised for his significant service to the building and construction sectors, including managing a number of large projects for the process and petroleum industries in Australia and internationally.
Rear Admiral Katherine Richards FIEAust CPEng was appointed an AM in the military division for exceptional performance of duty in Royal Australian Navy command and management positions. She has held a number of significant senior engineering and command roles, including Director General of Engineering of the Royal Australian Navy and Chief of Staff of the Royal Australian Navy’s Strategic Command.
Richards was joined by Wing Commander Randall McCutcheon FIEAust CPEng, who was appointed an AM for exceptional service in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in developmental and operational testing; and during the introduction of the F-35 capability into Australian service.
Medal of the Order of Australia
The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.
For Colin Butcher FIEAust CPEng, this was for service to the rail transport industry. Butcher has authored a number of publications on the topic, and has contributed to projects ranging from heavy haulage to passenger trains, the Queensland tilt trains, and the proposed Very Fast Train.
Chairman and Managing Director of the Chadwick Group Richard Chadwick FIEAust CPEng(Ret) was recognised for service to the building and construction industry, while John Russell received his for service to Australian Antarctic research expeditions as an engineer. Russell — who turned 100 in 2020 — knew he wanted to be an engineer from the age of 12, when he became fascinated with Antarctica after having afternoon tea with Lady Shackleton, the wife of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Five engineers were also recognised for their service outside of the profession, including former Engineers Australia Queensland President Raymond Bange FIEAust CPEng(Ret), for service to paramedicine, to education, and to the community.
Former mechanical engineer Christopher Diener MIEAust CPEng(Ret), who uses his knowledge as a volunteer for Technical Aid to the Disabled ACT, was acknowledged for his service to people with a disability, and to youth through Scouts.
The late Douglas Scott FIEAust CPEng(Ret) was posthumously recognised for his service to the community through a range of roles, including as a member of the Adelaide Male Voice Choir and former President of the Largs Bay Rotary Club, while the late Graeme Paul CPEng received an OAM for service to the community of the Northern Beaches, and to chemical engineering.
Don Kyatt Group Head Engineer Allan Gray was recognised for his service to the community through social welfare organisations, namely for his 11 years volunteering with the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Fitzroy Soup Van Service.
In the military division, Warrant Officer Class One Michael Bates received an OAM for meritorious service in the appointments of Regimental Sergeant Major 21st Construction Regiment, Regimental Sergeant Major 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment; Career Adviser Royal Australian Engineers and Regimental Sergeant Major Army Ceremonial.
Warrant Officer Class One Sean Chainey received an OAM for meritorious service as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Royal Australian Engineers and the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment.
Warrant Officer Class One Paul Davies AMIEAust CEngA received an OAM For meritorious service in Band Sergeant Major positions, as a Career Advisor in the Directorate of Soldier Career Management – Army, and as Regimental Sergeant Major – Australian Army Band.
Conspicuous Service Cross and Medal
The Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) is awarded for outstanding devotion to duty, or outstanding achievement in the application of exceptional skills, judgement or dedication, in non-warlike situations.
CSC recipients included:
- Squadron Leader Matthew Taylor MIEAust CPEng received this honour for outstanding devotion to duty in fighter aircraft maintenance as the Senior Engineering Officer of Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit, Royal Australian Air Force.
- Commodore Bradley Smith MIEAust CPEng was recognised for outstanding achievement in the field of materiel support for the Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious capability.
- Wing Commander Daniel McManus MIEAust CPEng for outstanding achievement in the development of communications and land-based network information capabilities and specialist personnel for the Royal Australian Air Force.
- Group Captain Paul Klose FIEAust CPEng for outstanding achievement in implementation of the Defence Aviation Safety Regulations, in introducing the Air Force Safety Always Program, and improving fleet management of aviation land materiel for the Australian Defence Force
Colonel Damien McLachlan FIEAust CPEng received a bar to his Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding devotion to duty as the Director Technical Regulation and Evaluation – Army in Logistics Branch, Army Headquarters.
The Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) is given out for meritorious achievement or devotion to duty, in non-warlike situations.
CSM recipients included:
- Commander Charles Marchant MIEAust CPEng for meritorious devotion to duty as the Weapons Electrical Engineer Officer in HMAS Arunta.
- Lieutenant Commander Luke Bogan for meritorious devotion to duty as the commissioning Marine Engineering Officer of HMAS Brisbane.
- Captain Jonathan Glover for meritorious achievement in the performance of duty as a Project Engineer at the 19th Chief Engineer Works.
- Lieutenant Colonel Renee Kidson for meritorious devotion to duty deployed as the Commanding Officer of the 5th Engineer Regiment Task Group on Operation Bushfire Assist 2019-2020.
- Lieutenant Colonel Henry Stimson MIEAust CPEng for meritorious devotion to duty as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment Task Group whilst deployed on Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019-2020.
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