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Top 100 : 2006
100Leaders in engineering and beyond TOP Australia’s top engineers work in a variety of fields in Australia and overseas. by Dietrich Georg Managing Editor T he 2006 list of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers is the third Engineers Me- dia has produced. Again we found many engineers in very senior positions, not only in engineering but also in other areas of leadership. The list focuses on current influence as we don’t want to create an historic list. All of the 100 engineers are currently in positions of influence, either as leaders of large organisations or by virtue of their engineering expertise. As for citizenship and location, we included engineers working in Australia independent of their citizenship, as well as Australian engineers working overseas. We did not rank the names, as the level of influence in the different areas of activity would have been very difficult to compare. This year we divided the list into seven cat- egories – Industry, Consulting, Academia/Research, Engineering Expertise, Associations, Public Service and Other. Of these, the Engineering Expertise and the Public Service categories are new, while the others are the same as last year. With 43 engineers the Industry category is the largest, followed by 12 in the Other category, 11 each in the Consulting and Academia/Research categories, eight each in the Engineering Expertise and Associations categories, and seven in the Public Service category. We introduced the Engineering Expertise category to more distinctly accommodate engineers who chose to stay in engineering rather than move into management. While acknowledging that it is notoriously difficult to assess influence in technical engineering and research, let alone make a comparative judgement about who is more influential, we decided that it was worthwhile to have that category. The Public Sector category was introduced because this year we discovered a sufficient number of engineers in senior positions to warrant it. Leaders of government corporations appear in the Industry category because we decided that those organisations are virtually run like industry bodies. In the Industry category we found a significant number of Australian engineers in very se- 28 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA JUNE 2006 28-g-100 content 28 6/1/06, 8:16 PM nior positions of international companies, based overseas. They are Leigh Clifford of Rio Tinto, David Clarke of Rinker, Bob Johnston of Bovis Lend Lease, Greg Lewin of Shell, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemicals, Advisory panel Stuart McGill of ExxonMobil, Mike Quigley of Alcatel and Ralph Waters of Fletcher Building. Similarly in the Consulting category, two Australian engineers have moved into more senior international positions in their firms. They are David Singleton of Arup and Mike Wilke of Parsons Brinckerhoff. The Associations category also includes two engineers who head international organisations – Brian Haynes of the International Combustion Institute and Chris Smallbone of the International Welding Institute. In the Other category Mike Dureau heads RedR International. This year there are only two women on the list – Else Shepherd from Powerlink and Elizabeth Taylor from the Queensland Board of Professional Engineers. Overall, there are 34 new names on the list. This turnover is due to a number of factors – mainly retirement, promotion of new people into senior positions and the introduction of the two new categories. In addition to the Top 100, we again in- cluded a list of Top 10 young engineers to the age of 35. We received the largest number of nominations in this category, which acknowledges those young engineers who, while still at an early stage of their careers, already hold influential positions. I was assisted in the selection process by a panel of five – four retired engineers, who all had distinguished careers and are still very active in other roles, and one internationally renowned leadership consultant. They were David Croft, General Peter Gration, Professor Rolf Prince, Dr John Nutt and Margot Cairnes (see sidebar). Inevitably the selection process contained a subjective element and we don’t imagine everyone will agree with our choices. But we are confident that the list demonstrates the wide spread of engineers in influential positions in this country. ■ Our selection process was assisted by an advisory panel of five. They were: Margot Cairnes, director of corporate transformation and leadership consultant Zaffyre International and regular columnist of Engineers Australia. Electrical engineer David Croft, former chief executive and managing director of Transgrid, NSW. Civil engineer General Peter Gration, former chief of the Australian Defence Force. Chemical engineer Emeritus Professor Rolf Prince, former head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Sydney University. Civil engineer Dr John Nutt, former chair of Ove Arup & Partners in Australasia. ass