The Engineers Australia Excellence Awards recognise outstanding engineers who show innovation and resourcefulness in their work and the state’s top engineering projects and the teams behind them.
These state and territory finalists will now go into the running for the National Engineer of the Year Award, National Young Engineer of the Year Award and the Sir William Hudson Award – the highest accolade which an engineering project can receive from Engineers Australia.
The national awards will be held at the Sydney Hilton on October 5.
Canberra’s top young engineer and project“Canberra is home to some extraordinary engineering and research projects, led by people who are delivering real-world solutions for energy and sustainability that will benefit not only our community, but the world,” says Engineers Australia Canberra Division General Manager Catlin Buttress. “We also celebrate our talented young engineers who champion STEM education and role model engineering careers.”
Project of The Year – Canberraevolve: smart software for the orchestration of 21st century electricity systems by ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program The evolve project is the largest collaboration of electricity network providers, technologists, aggregators, academia, and government departments ever assembled. Through the cost-effective development of smart software, in particular the use of dynamic operating envelopes, 250 per cent more energy can safely flow through the same wires. Crucially, the evolve project paved the way for the development of a set of Australia-wide guidelines for the management of distributed energy resources in the electricity system, that are now in the process of standardisation through Standards Australia.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – CanberraBryce Cronin, GradIEAust Bryce Cronin is an international award-winning engineer and designer who has been recognised as an emerging leader in the Australian technology sector. He is passionate about harnessing technology in innovative ways for social good and for the promotion of STEM education. Cronin has created robots, developed apps, and founded Hackathons.com.au to promote tech events happening around Australia. In 2021, he was a Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Finalist, and in 2022, Bryce created the Access3D.org initiative to design and ship 3D-printed accessibility devices to Australians in need.
Newcastle’s top young engineer and project
“The Newcastle region is home to some of the globe’s oldest engineering structures,” said Engineers Australia Newcastle Division General Manager Helen Link. “As well as world-class people and projects pushing the boundaries of engineering excellence to provide creative solutions to local problems.”
Project of The Year – Newcastle
Pacific Complete -Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade.
Joint Venture between Laing O’Rourke and WSP Australia, in partnership with Transport for NSW.
The Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade converted 155km of the Pacific Highway to a four lane, divided carriageway between Hexham and the Queensland border.
The project team navigated two major river catchments, floodplains, soft soil, threatened species habitat, and sensitive heritage areas to provide safer, reduced travel times and better connectivity for local communities.
The size, scale and complex nature of the project provided unique challenges to the project team, who devised innovative solutions to leave an economic, social, and environmental legacy.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – Newcastle
Steve Adamthwaite, MIEAust
As leader of Arup’s NSW/ACT Water Business Steve Adamthwaite drives sustainable, community-oriented solutions to deliver service and infrastructure excellence to industry and the community.
Adamthwaite represents the next generation of leaders and innovators – driving change, leading projects, and developing skills to underpin a sustainable future for the infrastructure sector, its people and the communities that rely upon it.
He also shapes future strategy through leadership positions with WaterAid NSW (Deputy Chair), Australian Water Association (Vice President NSW) and Engineers Australia (Deputy Chair, National Young Engineers Committee, Shadow Board).
The Northern Territory top engineer and project
Commenting on the Northern Divisions finalists, Engineers Australia Northern Division General Manager Jan Irvine said “we congratulate the finalists and thank them for showcasing the depth and breadth of local engineering excellence and their commitment to advancing our communities.”
Project of The Year – Northern
City Deals Austin Lane Activity Node by ADG Engineers (Aust) Pty Ltd
This project has seen Austin Lane transformed from a derelict laneway – which attracted anti-social behaviour – to a new and vibrant precinct within the heart of Darwin CBD.
The upgrade of the laneway is now a destination for nightlife. Graffiti and anti-social behaviour have been replaced with street art and new trendy hospitality venues opening onto the laneway.
The transformation of the laneway into a shared zone was achieved through innovative design solutions that promoted safety while also achieving the desired performance characteristics. The innovative engineering design applied to this project has been key to its success.
Creating an inclusive environment has opened the laneway to host public events and street festivals. The project has provided many social, environmental, and economic benefits to the local community and will continue to do so. The laneway is continually used for events and evolves with the growth of the city.
Professional Engineer of the Year – Northern
Jim McKay, MIEAust CPEng NER
Jim McKay is passionate about the opportunity for engineering to lead the change towards a decarbonised, sustainable future, and has more than 20 years’ engineering experience in the electricity supply industry, gained across Australia and internationally.
He specialised in protection engineering and has worked in asset management, major projects, power system planning and renewables integration in various roles, including Chief Engineer.
As the inaugural Executive Director of the Office of Sustainable Energy in the Northern Territory, Jim applied this engineering experience together with his leadership and management skills to reform energy policy and deliver the NT’s first renewables-based system plan.
Queensland’s top engineers and project
Queensland saw awards presented in all three categories; Project of the Year, Professional Engineer of the Year, and Young Professional Engineer.
“We congratulate our Queensland recipients, who while coming from diverse sectors of the profession, share in common a desire to make our communities stronger through engineering excellence,” says Engineers Australia Queensland Division General Manager Stacey Rawlings.
Project of the Year – Queensland
Australia’s first biosolids gasification facility by Logan Water
Logan City Council’s Logan Water has pioneered an Australian-first – a facility that transforms human waste – or biosolids – into renewable energy and a sustainable product called biochar.
Biosolids gasification destroys chemicals in biosolids like persistent organic pollutants, and micro and nano-plastics. Carbon emissions will be reduced by about 6,000 tonnes a year, operational cost savings and carbon credits will return almost $1M a year to the City of Logan, and a new revenue stream will be created from biochar sales.
Biochar contains nutrients like those found in commercial slow-release fertilisers, making it great for healthy soil and plants. Biochar can also be added to soil, asphalt, concrete and bricks to sequester carbon for thousands of years.
Professional Engineer of the Year – Queensland
Abel Immaraj, MIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)
Abel Immaraj applies his deep experience of systems in water governance, planning, management, operations and audit in advising public, private, and not-for-profit sectors across Australia and New Zealand.
He has co-designed strategy, translating strategy into implementation, and has co-delivered innovative solutions and managed programs and projects for the benefit of communities.
Immaraj’s track record spans national, state, and local scale water and wastewater services, environment, nature-based solutions, institutional, market and structural reforms, built and natural assets, asset management planning, and economic instruments.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – Queensland
Dr Brody Clark, MIEAust CPEng NER
Brody Clark is currently the acting Pavement Team Lead for WSP on the Sunshine Coast.
He graduated from QUT in 2014 with his Bachelor of Engineering and went on to complete his PhD in 2018. In 2019 Brody acquired his chartership in civil engineering by Engineers Australia.
Dr Clark is the youngest known person to acquire both a PhD and chartership in the civil engineering field in Australia and has presented his research internationally. He has authored several peer-reviewed articles and the updated Austroads Guide to pavement Technology Part 4E.
South Australia’s top young engineer and project
“The winning engineer and project showcase the very best of South Australian engineering excellence, as well as the significant contribution the profession makes to our community,” says Engineers Australia SA Division General Manager Jan Irvine.
Project of The Year – South Australia
SA Water’s Zero Cost Energy Future Program, by SA Water
Aptly named Zero Cost Energy Future, SA Water’s ground-breaking project takes a highly innovative approach to the optimisation of energy generation and use.
Solar PV and battery storage at multiple locations works with sophisticated technology to sustainably reduce operational expenses, such as electricity, to enable SA Water to keep water service charges as low and stable as possible for their customers.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – South Australia
Margaret Gayen, MIEAust
Margaret Gayen is a mechanical/project engineer at GPA Engineering, an athlete, and an industry-leading change maker.
Her engineering career has spanned high-tech manufacturing to heavy industrial design consulting. Her achievements include the design of leading-edge medical technology, the publication of new research for the emerging hydrogen industry, and the representation of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.
Valuing attention to detail and systems-based problem solving, Margaret stands out as a leader and engineer. She is now applying these skills as an advocate for women in industry and is pushing for improved gender equality.
Sydney’s top engineers and project announced
Three awards were presented to Sydney engineers.
“From syscrapers and skin-printing robotic, to defence and space, our Sydney winners showcase how engineering makes the impossible possible,” says Engineers Australia Sydney Division General Manager Jamie Burrage.
Project of the Year – Sydney
QuayQuarterTower by AMP Capitol
Developer AMP Capital’s radical sustainability strategy for QQT involved upcycling an existing skyscraper, retaining 65 per cent of the tower’s beams, columns and slabs, and over 95 per cent of its existing core – resulting in an embodied carbon saving of over 12,079 tons.
Approximately 45,000 square metres of new construction were grafted on new floorplates to the existing slabs. The new structure optimises the structural grid span to increase views to the harbour. The façade’s external sunshade hoods reduce the heat loads on the building, reducing energy loads while optimising views.
By upcycling an existing building into an exemplar of sustainability, QQT stands as a model for future construction, demonstrating that demolition need not be the favoured option for creating a world-class development.
Unprecedented collaboration in this complex project involved design architects 3XN, Multiplex, structural engineering by BG&E, Digital Twinning and peer review by Kasina Consultants, and Architecture BVN as executive architects.
Professional Engineer of the Year – Sydney
Karu Esselle, FIEAust
A distinguished professor at the University of Technology Sydney, Karu Esselle is a world leader in Electromagnetic and Antenna Engineering, and a national leader in engineering technologies for defence, telecommunications, and space systems.
Esselle is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, IEEE and Engineers Australia, and a Director of Innovations for Humanity Pty Ltd. His engineering R&D, leadership and professional engineering activities have received a large number of international and national awards and he has provided engineering expert support to more than a dozen Australian and overseas companies.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – Sydney
Deanna Hood, MIEAust
Deanna Hood is the Senior Robotics Engineer on Inventia’s ‘skin-printing robot’ Ligō, working with burns surgeons to reduce the lifelong impact that scarring has on bushfire, bombings, and other widespread-burns survivors.
Since her first internship at age 17, Hood has been driven to apply engineering to society’s most exciting and rewarding challenges.
She pioneered the CoWriter robotic partner, which allows children with handwriting difficulties to benefit from learning-by-teaching, and was a core Software Engineer on ROS 2, now used in NASA’s VIPER mission. Her firmware contributions to the RASTRUM 3D bioprinter support cancer researchers leveraging RASTRUM’s precision engineering to advance the treatment of disease.
Tasmania’s top young engineer and project
“The winning engineer and project showcase the very best of Tasmanian engineering excellence, as well as the significant contribution the profession makes to our communit,” says Engineers Australia Tasmania Division General Manager Darren Beattie.
Project of The Year – Tasmania
King Island UniWave200 Wave Energy Converter by Wave Swell Energy Ltd
The King Island UniWave200 Wave Energy Converter Project is a world-leading proprietary technology that demonstrates conversion of the energy in ocean waves into clean and emissions free electricity.
Coined by the World Energy Congress, the energy Trilemma illustrates 3 critical obstacles to the successful implementation of renewable energy solutions to meet global emmissions targets – Affordable, Reliable and Sustainable.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – Tasmania
Samantha Chapman, GradIEAust
Samantha Chapman, an innovative Transport Engineer and Project Manager, joined GHD’s Tasmanian business in 2016. She has led and contributed to a range of projects in civil, transport, advisory, planning, stakeholder, and investment streams.
Chapman completed civil engineering at University of Tasmania (UTAS) and undertook honours research in partnership with GHD and Department of State Growth on the Impact of inner-city parking on the Hobart road network using mesoscopic modelling.
With work experience at GHD and UTAS, and volunteer work with AITPM and Engineers Australia (locally and nationally), she is an active member of the Tasmanian engineering and transport communities.
Victoria’s top engineers and project announced
Victoria’s Professional Engineer of the Year, Young Professional Engineer of the Year and Project of the Year have also been announced.
“Our Victorian recipients exemplify what it means to be an engineer; showcasing passion, skill, creativity and the pursuit of excellence for the advance of our communities,” says Engineers Australia Victoria Division General Manager Alesha Printz.
Project of the Year – Victoria
Additional Works Package 1 – Cheltenham and Mentone by Southern Program Alliance (SPA) comprising ACCIONA, Coleman Rail, WSP, Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) and the Level Crossing Removal Project.
SPA was awarded the Additional Works Package 1 (AWP1) to remove three level crossings in Cheltenham and Mentone. Previously, more than 200 trains and 38,000 vehicles passed through these crossings every day. Boom gates were down for up to 40 per cent (49 minutes) of the 7am–9am morning peak. Pedestrians were at risk, local emissions were high due to idling vehicles and signal faults were common.
The purpose of AWP1 was to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety by constructing two rail trenches under new road bridges and two stateof-the-art stations with improved safety and sustainability, revitalising the Mentone and Cheltenham communities with new public spaces, and engaging with local stakeholders such as schools and traders.
Professional Engineer of the Year – Victoria
Andrew Chapman, MIEAust CPEng APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)
An engineering leader who has influenced the direction of the Australian water industry over his 40- year career, Andrew Chapman has driven transformational change and influenced policy for the benefit of government, industry, and the community.
A long-term committee member of the Australian Water Industry, he received the 2014 Australian Water Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a technical reference reviewer for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, universities and government, as well as a committed mentor to young water professionals, and regular speaker on water issues to the community and industry.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – Victoria
Emily Harris, MIEAust CPEng NER
Emily Harris is a chartered senior civil engineer with Aurecon who has delivered some of Victoria’s key infrastructure projects, and is passionate about embedding sustainability within the transport sector.
Harris is a strong advocate for her industry and creating positive change through increased female participation and sustainability focused projects.
She is driving this change through her involvement in mentoring programs andthrough volunteering on the Engineers Australia Civil College Board.
WA’s top engineers and project announced
“Western Australia is steeped in engineering history and we congratulate this year’s recipients for continuing that legacy through their engineering excellence,” says Engineers Australia WA Division General Manager Susan Kreemer Pickford.
Project of the Year – Western Australia
Koolangka Bridge, Perth Children’s Hospital by AECOM
The visually stunning Koolangka (meaning children)Bridge in Noongar offers safe and direct access to the Kings Park bushland from the Perth Children’s Hospital. Suggested more than 10 years ago by the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation and a group of children who thought that a bridge crossing would provide respite and a distraction from their treatment.
The bridge was envisioned to be a unique structure providing a playful experience for the community as they pass across it, reflecting the purpose and theme of the bridge, being for children and their families.
Key features of the bridge include the serpentine shape which snakes through Kings Park across to the hospital campus, the multicoloured deck and interactive sounds, offering the users an experience filled with beautiful vibrant colours, long open spans, large cantilevers, and inbuilt speakers amplifying nature sounds that lead to Western Australia’s most popular and iconic tourist destination.
Professional Engineer of the Year – Western Australia
Matteo Tirapelle, FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)
A fellow engineer with almost 20 years of design experience in the Australian construction industry, Matteo Tirapelle is driven by creativity, curiosity, and communication in the pursuit of engineering excellence.
He has extensive experience in the structural design and project management of high-rise commercial and residential towers, hotels, industrial buildings, façades, long-span structures and complex temporary works.
After a number of years in the senior ranks of engineering firms, Tirapelle saw an opportunity to branch out and elevate the level of service that can be expected from a structural consultant. The result is Hera Engineering, which became WA business of the year in 2021.
Young Professional Engineer of the Year – Western Australia
Tynan Luzuk, MIEAust CPEng NER
Tynan Luzuk is an accomplished project director and a champion for design innovation. He has successfully led some of Western Australia’s largest and most complex projects and is recognised across the industry for his rapid progression and technical ability.
An advocate for cross-industry collaboration, Luzuk has a reputation for driving change through smart and sustainable design methodologies, delivering reductions in waste, cost, and time.
He is a natural leader with a passion and commitment to knowledge-sharing and industry development, being actively involved in research, education, and mentoring.