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Top 100 : 2006
100 TOP Industry Doug Aberle, 52 Managing Director, Western Power, Perth In April Doug Aberle became managing director of the newly-established Western Australian state utility Western Power. He is responsible for operating, maintaining and expanding the electrical transmission and distribution network in the southwest of the state. Aberle has overseen extensive changes within the business to prepare it to operate as a stand-alone entity in the new electricity market in WA. This included expediting Western Power’s success in securing a $2.3 billion investment in the network to improve reliability of supply. He will also oversee the allocation of $483 million, allocated in the recent state budget for 2006/2007, to assist the utility to meet growing demand pressure in the network area. Aberle has a masters in engineering sci- ence and bachelors degree with honours in power systems from the University of Western Australia. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. Peter Brecht, 50 Managing Director, Abigroup, Sydney “We have had a very good 12 months with a record turnover ($1.3 billion for 2005) and record levels of work in hand,” Peter Brecht told Engineers Australia magazine. Abigroup employs about 1520 staff and is active in civil engineering, building, project management, infrastructure development, toll road operation, asset maintenance and specialist property advisory services. A graduate in civil engineering from Newcastle University, Brecht has been man- 30 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA JUNE 2006 30-38 g- industry 30 6/1/06, 8:26 PM aging director of Abigroup since January 2004. After working with BHP at its steelworks and with an underground mining construction company, Brecht joined Abignano (which later became Abigroup) in 1983 where he worked as project manager on various highprofile projects including the Windemere Dam and Cullom Deviation on the Hume Highway. Between 1990 and 1998 he held various management positions with Abigroup including project director for the M2 Motorway and general manager for NSW. In July 1998 he was appointed managing director of Abigroup Contractors and, after Bilfinger Berger purchased Abigroup in 2004, he was appointed to his current position. Peter Farrell, 64 Chairman and CEO of ResMed, San Diego Dr Peter Farrell is chairman and CEO of ResMed Inc, a US and Australian dual-listed public company and a leader in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of devices for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep disordered breathing (SDB). A chemical engineering honours graduate from Sydney University, he also holds a masters degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD from the University of Washington in biomedical engineering. In 1984, after a distinguished academic career in the US and Australia he became both vice-president, Research and Development at Baxter Healthcare (the world’s biggest hospital-medical supply company), and director of Baxter’s Japanese subsidiary. In 1986, he formed ResMed to design, manufacture and market, on a global basis, a range of continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) devices for treating sleep apnea, based on the invention of Professor Colin Sullivan of Sydney University. Philip Aiken, 57 Group President Energy, BHP Billiton, Melbourne Under Philip Aiken’s nine-year leadership, the Energy Division of BHP Billiton has moved from being a predominantly Australian-based producer to an international energy company, with operations in Algeria, Pakistan, Trinidad, the UK and the Gulf of Mexico. Aiken will retire from BHP Billiton at the end of this year. ResMed markets SDB products in more than 60 countries. The company has 1300 employees and revenues of almost $500 million. Grant Every-Burns, 54 Managing Director, Macquarie Generation, Sydney NSW state-owned Macquarie Generation is one of Australia’s largest electricity generators. The utility’s power- stations are located in the Hunter Valley and about 40% or 4640MW of the state’s electricity demand can be met by Macquarie Generation’s two giants – Bayswater and Liddell Power-stations. Electrical engineer Every-Burns was ap- pointed as chief executive in 1996, following the establishment of Macquarie Generation when the former Pacific Power state utility was dissolved. He has an honours degree in electrical en- gineering from the University of NSW. For almost 30 years he worked in six of the seven major NSW powerstations, including senior management positions at Liddell, Bayswater and Eraring, before joining the executive of Pacific Power as assistant general manager. He has been vice-chair of the National Generators Forum since 1998 and is chair of the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) Participant Advisory Committee. industry