Engineers Australia Excellence Awards celebrate vital profession

by Helena Morgan
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At this year’s awards in Melbourne, Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew emphasised the value engineers offer to society as changemakers and innovators.

The recognition of the nation’s acclaimed engineers and engineering projects at last week’s awards prompted Madew to applaud the efforts of engineers in delivering a positive impact on multiple areas of society. 

“Our 2023 people and finalists are the innovators, changemakers, leaders and mentors for the next generation of engineers,” said Madew. 

An exemplar of sustainable construction

Also the recipient of the highly coveted Higher Education and Research award at the recent World Architecture Festival, Murdoch University’s new community-centric learning space Boola Katitjin by Melbourne-based engineering firm Aurecon took out the title for ‘Project of the Year’.

Boola Katitjin achieves numerous sustainable build goals as Western Australia’s first mass-engineered timber building, sporting a 6 Star Green design rating and net-zero carbon emissions to boot.

Additionally, users of the energy-efficient space will feel immersed in nature via breezeways and generous views of the Beeliar wetlands. With a keen emphasis on enriching user well-being, Boola Katitjin has rightfully earned the honour of ‘Project of the Year’.

Forty-year career respected  

South Australia-based Dr Mark Skanes, a chartered professional engineer and Engineers Australia Fellow, was awarded ‘Professional Engineer of the Year’. Skanes has more than four decades of experience leading and consulting projects across a vast array of industries such as defence, utilities, mining, manufacturing, sports and construction.

He has held the position of non-executive director at multiple organisations and mentored in the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM program. 

This year’s honour marks the addition of another accolade to his already impressive award history, earning the South Australian Premier’s Science Excellence Award and the AGM Michell Medal from Engineers Australia in 2019.

Advocacy for teamwork and inclusive leadership awarded

Engineers Australia has acknowledged mechanical engineering lecturer and course coordinator at Charles Darwin University (CDU) Dr Hooman Mehdizadeh Rad as  ‘Emerging Professional Engineer of the Year’.

Rad’s speciality involves engineering for positive social impact through work in solar cell technology and zero-energy buildings, namely improving the environmental conditions of tropical cities such as Darwin. 

His research skilfully benefits both academia and industry interests, in addition to successfully securing grants for advanced manufacturing facilities at CDU. 

Additional awards 

Additional awards include Robert Ladd recognised as ‘Engineering Associate of The Year’, Laura Miranda as ‘Emerging Engineering Associate of the Year’, Victoria-based Professor Qing-Long Han receiving an ‘Honorary Fellow’ appointment, the chair of Engineers Australia’s Civil College Paul Collier securing the President’s Prize and many more. 

The award-winners’ work elevates the profession and raises its profile in the community, and with industry, government and educators,” concludes Madew. 

Photography supplied by Aurecon. 

Lead Image: Boola Katitjin at Murdoch University’s Perth campus, Western Australia.

Global cement and concrete industry pledges net-zero by 2050. 

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