A number of Queen’s Birthday honours went to engineers this year, highlighting the important role members of the profession play – both in their work and in their communities.
Engineers from a diverse range of disciplines were acknowledged in the list, from civil engineering to aerospace, geotechnical and electrical engineering, to manufacturing and education.
Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans congratulated the recipients.
“Engineers are instrumental to Australia’s success, playing vital roles in our community through work that touches almost every aspect of contemporary life,” she said.
“Our profession is driven by the desire to make people’s lives better, and these awards are the ultimate acknowledgement of public service.
This year’s list is incredibly diverse, with representatives across a broad range of disciplines and sectors. Many have been acknowledged for their professional accomplishments, as well as things like service to Indigenous education, mentoring and community involvement, highlighting the broader role engineers play in nation-building and community development.”
Officer of the Order of Australia
Three engineers were recognised with an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), the day’s second-highest honour. This includes Western Australian Colin Beckett, who was acknowledged for distinguished service to business in the energy, gas and oil production, and infrastructure sectors, as well as to tertiary education.
He served as a former Chancellor of Curtin University, led Chevron’s natural gas Gorgon Project and is currently the non-executive Deputy Chairperson at Beach Energy.
Mechanical and aerospace engineer Garry Leslie Brown also received an AO for distinguished service to aerospace and mechanical engineering, to education and research, and as a mentor of young scientists.
Brown has devoted his career to academia and education. He earned his undergraduate engineering degree from the University of Adelaide before studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and completing his PhD.
He went on to become Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, and was director of Australia’s Aeronautical Research Laboratory for nine years.
Businessman Ralph Evans was the third engineer to receive an AO for distinguished service to international trade and investment, to business and venture capital endeavours, and to the community. He has been Deputy Chairman of ICM Agribusiness since 2011.
South Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Caroline McMillen was also recognised with an AO for distinguished service to medical science, to tertiary education, to the community of South Australia and to social equity.
Professor McMillen is internationally recognised for her work as a medical and health researcher and is an esteemed leader in the higher education sector in Australia, having dedicated more than 30 years to higher education.
Member of the Order of Australia
A number of engineers received Members of the Order of Australia (AM) both in the general and military divisions.
Christopher Stoltz FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER added AM to his credentials for significant service to engineering, and to charitable and emergency medical organisations.
Along with a successful engineering career that saw him awarded Engineers Australia’s Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year Award in 2012, Stoltz has devoted much of his time to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Sacred Heart Mission. He said his engineering mind helped with these extracurricular pursuits.
“I’m outcome focused – I like to be doing things where you can see an outcome at the end of the day, or at least you know what the outcome is you’re wanting,” he said.
Joining him on the list is Malcolm Boyd FIEAust CPEng, who was recognised for significant service to civil engineering, to tertiary education and as a role model.
Boyd completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering at the University of Sydney (USYD) before going on to help introduce reinforced earth technology to Australia. This has become a fundamental component of a civil engineer’s toolkit for solving many earth retaining problems, especially in infrastructure.
In later years he became heavily involved with the USYD School of Civil Engineering, serving as Executive Officer of its industry council from 2015 to 2018.
Also on the list is Dr Neil Bryans FIEAust, who is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Telecommunications Research at the University of South Australia.
Bryans was previously Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Security and Technology Centre and was recognised for significant service to science and defence capability technology through radar and telecommunications research.
Civil engineer Vincent (Tony) Kelly MIEAust CPEng was acknowledged for significant service to business, particularly to the natural resource supply industry.
Kelly is currently a non-executive director of Tasmanian water utility TasWater and has more than 40 years’ experience in the water and sewerage sector, including as Managing Director of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley Water.
He is a former director of WaterAid UK and WaterAid International, and Founding Chair of WaterAid Australia. These NGOs have a mission to transform lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Fellow civil engineer and businessman Peter Lancken FIEAust CPEng(Ret) received an AO for significant service to business, to the equipment hire and rental industry, and to the community.
Currently a non-executive director at Kennards Hire, he was the business’ CEO from 1995-2009.
An academic with a commitment to improving education, Dr Martin Nakata CompIEAust EngExec added AM to his credentials for significant service to tertiary education, and to learning outcomes for Indigenous students.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Education and Strategy) at James Cook University has devoted more than 40 years to researching higher education outcomes, and his current study into improving Indigenous STEM education in schools will help shape programs into the future.
Dr Ian Sare FIEAust CPEng(Ret) was acknowledged for significant service to science and technology, to research, and to national security.
His four-decades-long career included 10 years as Australia’s Deputy Chief Defence Scientist and as Senior Leader, Manufacturing at the CSIRO.
Robert Milne FIEAust CPEng(Ret) was named for distinguished service to community health through contributions to, and support for, medical research, and to the construction industry.
Milne spent almost 20 years as a Director, and four years as Chair, of the Burnet Institute, which aims to achieve better health for vulnerable communities by accelerating the translation of research, discovery and evidence into sustainable health solutions.
Air Commodore Graham Edwards FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER was made an AM in the Military Division for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in aerospace acquisition and sustainment, and organisational capability development.
Also awarded in the Military Division was Group Captain Jennifer Fantini MIEAust CPEng EngExec for exceptional service in aerospace maintenance reform, maintenance productivity improvements, and aircraft maintenance interoperability strategy development for the Royal Australian Air Force.
After joining the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as an Engineer Cadet in 1978, Fantini was something of a trailblazer. She was the first woman to: graduate from the RAAF’s Engineer Cadet Squadron with a Bachelor of Engineering (Communications Engineering); parade with arms; be posted to an operational fighter; be appointed as an exchange officer to the US Air Force; and she was the first female base commander of the RAAF Base at Wagga Wagga.
Group Captain Karon Millett also received an AM for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in communications engineering, personnel coaching and cyberspace workforce development.
Medal of the Order of Australia
Engineers were also presented with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for everything from technical work to community causes.
- Dr Burt Look FIEAust CPEng NER for service to geotechnical engineering.
- Lynette George for service to the engineering and manufacturing sectors.
- Maintenance and reliability engineer Raymond Beebe FIEAust CPEng(Ret) for service to youth through Scouts and to the community. He is a past member of Engineers Australia’s Gippsland Group Committee and has been involved with Scouts for close to 60 years.
- Arthur Knee MIEAust CPEng(Ret) for service to the community of Tatura.
- John Ainsworth for service to electrical engineering.
- Gregory Fordham FIEAust CPEng for service to the aviation transport industry.
- Ian Orchard MIEAust CPEng(Ret) for service to the community.
- Warrant Officer Class One David McBean for meritorious service as the Artificer Sergeant Major of Forces Command and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and the Senior Technical Advisor Small Arms at the Land Engineering Agency.
- Douglas Roser for service to the community, and to engineering.
Conspicuous Service Cross
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.
Lieutenant Colonel Clare Louise O’Neill FIEAust CPEng received a CSC for outstanding achievement in the field of professional military education and strategic engagement.
A Chartered engineer, her contribution as a Deputy Director of the Chief of Army’s Initiatives Group has furthered the organisation’s strategic thinking and enhanced the reputation of the Australian Defence Force.
Conspicuous Service Medal
Two engineers were also recognised with the Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) for their work in marine engineering.
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Eglan RAN was acknowledged for meritorious devotion to duty in the field of marine engineering during the retirement of the Adelaide Class Frigates and introduction of the Hobart Class Destroyers.
Joining him is Lieutenant Commander Siobhan Sturdy RAN who received the CSM for meritorious achievement as the Marine Engineering Officer in HMAS Sheean.
View the full 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List here.