Engineers from across the country were among those recognised in the 2022 Australia Day Honours list, for both professional and personal achievements.
Engineers Australia Honorary Fellow and Chartered engineer Dr Alan Finkel AO HonFIEAust CPEng was awarded the day’s highest honour.
Australia’s Chief Scientist from 2016 to 2020, Finkel was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to science, to national energy innovation and research infrastructure capability, to climate change and COVID-19 response initiatives, and to science and engineering education.
Dr Finkel was the Chancellor of Monash University from 2008 to 2015 and holds a PhD in electrical engineering, also from Monash.
He was awarded the MA Sargent Medal by Engineers Australia’s Electrical College in 2016, the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal in 2018 and the David Dewhurst Award from Engineers Australia’s Biomedical College in 2019.
Dr Finkel spoke with create last year about the opportunities and challenges of decarbonising the Australian economy to address climate change, arguing the nation must use all the tools at its disposal. Read more here.
In the military division, aerospace engineer Air Vice-Marshal Catherine Roberts AM CSC FIEAust CPEng was appointed an AC for distinguished service as Head of the Aerospace System Division and Head of Air Force Capability. She has dedicated her career to advancing Australia’s air and space power and will become the inaugural Head of Space Division this year.
Although the engineers honoured represent many different facets of the profession, Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans AM HonFIEAust CPEng, who was herself recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours, said they all had a few things in common.
“While their contributions are all unique, they share selflessness, dedication and a passion for strengthening our communities,” she said.
“Engineers are essential to our nation’s safety, success and sustainability, playing vital roles in our community through work that touches almost every aspect of our lives.”
Member of the Order of Australia
A number of engineers were appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in the general and military divisions.
This includes Engineers Australia Honorary Fellow and Chartered engineer Peter Airey HonFIEAust CPEng for significant service to engineering, and to professional organisations.
Since starting his company Airey Taylor Consulting Engineers and Scientists in 1971, the firm has completed more than 17,000 projects in Western Australia. This includes the State Theatre Centre, which was awarded Best Overall Project at Engineers Australia’s 2011 Excellence Awards.
Joining Airey on the list was Engineers Australia Fellow and former Engineering Education Australia board member Thomas Fricke FIEAust, for significant service to engineering, to professional societies, and to the community.
Fricke has worked for GHD Australia for almost 55 years, most recently as an Executive Consultant. He was also a member of Monash University’s Infrastructure Advisory Council from 2017 to 2021 and Chair of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Engineering Industry Advisory group from 2009 to 2013.
Group Captain James Badgery FIEAust CPEng was recognised in the military division for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in aerospace capability development. He has demonstrated “superb engineering prowess” and transformed the Air Mobility Group from an organisation struggling to apply new Defence Aviation Safety Regulations to being at the forefront of airworthiness in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Renewable energy specialist Ken Guthrie was recognised for significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly to the solar energy sector. Guthrie, who studied mechanical engineering and solar energy at the University of Melbourne, is the Director of consultancy firm Sustainable Energy Transformation. Prior to this he wad the General Manager, Sustainable Environs at Sustainability Victoria, where he provided advice to the Victorian Government on market and regulatory programs to support the deployment of sustainable energy technologies.
Professor Xingua Wu was appointed an honorary AM for significant service to manufacturing science, to tertiary education, and to engineering. Honorary appointments are made to people who are not Australian citizens but have given extraordinary service to the nation.
Wu is the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Precinct Partnerships) at Monash University and Director of Monash International Advanced Manufacturing Hub. Her research focuses on using 3D printing to produce parts for aerospace applications. In 2014, she produced the world’s first full size, 3D-printed jet engine.
Medal of the Order of Australia
The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.
For Engineers Australia affiliate member Kate Cole AffilIEAust this service was to workplace health and safety. An engineer and scientist, Cole works to protect the health of workers on some of the country’s most iconic infrastructure projects. She is currently Acting Deputy Executive Director, Health and Safety at Sydney Metro and a member of the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce.
Engineers Australia Fellow and Chartered engineer Henk van den Heuvel FIEAust CPEng was recognised for service to the building industry. A leader and innovator, van den Heuvel has been General Manager of remedial building specialist firm Andersal since 1992.
Campbell Bolwell was recognised for service to mechanical engineering. Born in rural Australia in 1942, he failed his final year of high school and began designing and building sports cars. He started the Bolwell Corporation in 1962, turning his custom sports car hobby into a business which now manufactures a wide range of parts.
Senior Technical Officer at Southern Downs Regional Council Anthony McDonald received an OAM for service to engineering, and to the community.
In the military division, Warrant Officer Dane Field was awarded an OAM for meritorious performance of duty in the field of Naval Engineering.
Engineers were also recognised for their service outside of the profession, including:
- Founder of Kilic Engineering Ante Kilic, for service to the Croatian community of South Australia.
- Former ABC engineer Peter Nosow, for service to horticulture, and to the community.
- Ian Tate, a former chief engineer and mechanic for Holden’s racing team in the 1970s, for service to historic motor sports.
- Aircraft engineer and recreational pilot Greg Davies for service to recreational flying. Davies got his start in 1976 with an aircraft maintenance engineer apprenticeship at Qantas. Now semi-retired after decades working in ICT, he is Vice-President of the Sydney Recreational Flying Club.
- Charles Clark for service to the community through a range of roles.
- The late Anthony De Luca for service to motoring clubs, and to the community.
- Local government engineer turned council CEO Lyndon Webb, who was posthumously recognised for service to local government, and to the community of Sale in Victoria.
ACT Fire and Rescue Station Officer Brendan Cross was awarded an Australian Fire Service Medal. He began studying engineering while working as a firefighter, focusing on fire engineering. He now provides advice to developers and local government on fire safety to ensure buildings are safe for residents, the public and, in the world-case scenario, for firefighters, should they have to attend a building fire or other emergency.
Airfield engineer Squadron Leader Kenneth Edwards MIEAust CPEng was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement in the infrastructure redevelopment of Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal.
The Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) is given out for meritorious achievement or devotion to duty, in non-warlike situations.
CSM recipients included:
- Lieutenant Colonel David Marshall MIEAust CPEng for meritorious devotion to duty in engineering and airworthiness management for the MRH90 helicopter at the Army Aviation Systems Program Office.
- Captain Cameron Laing MIEAust for meritorious devotion to duty as the Project Engineer for Fiji Projects at the 19th Chief Engineer Works.
- Lieutenant Commander Kate Carriage Ran for meritorious devotion to duty as the Naval Aviation Systems Program Office Deputy Chief Engineer between January 2019 and December 2020.
- Petty Officer Paul De Keizer for meritorious devotion to duty as the Propulsion Supervisor for HMAS Choules and delivering vital engineering training to marine engineers and technicians.
Have we missed someone? Comment below or send us an email to let us know who should be added to the list.