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Top 100 : 2006
100 TOP Christopher Roberts, 53 President and CEO of Cochlear, Sydney Chris Roberts has been president and CEO of Cochlear since 2004. The company develops implantable hearing technology. Roberts has rebuilt the senior management team, redirected research and development and broadened direct distribution through acquisitions in Japan and Europe. He also led a strategic acquisition into implantable bone conduction technology. Roberts graduated with honours in chemi- cal engineering from the University of New South Wales in 1975. Since then, he has worked in the medical device industry. From 1992 to 2004, he was director and ex- ecutive vice-president of ResMed, where he was responsible for 450 people in Europe and the Asia Pacific and a turnover of US$180 million. He remains a nonexecutive director of the ResMed board. Outside of work, Roberts is chairman of Research Australia, a not-for-profit organisation of over 180 entities promoting health and medical research as a national priority. He believes his engineering education contributed to his success: “I have spent 30 years in the medical device area, and chemical engineering was a most useful base, indeed the older I get the more I realise how my engineering training, systems thinking for example, shaped my approach to things, particularly my approach to business.” Wayne Osborn, 54 Managing Director of Alcoa World Alumina Australia, Perth Wayne Osborn is the managing director of the Australian operations of Alcoa which exports $2.8 billion of product annually. He leads an integrated business of bauxite mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting in Victoria and Western Australia, providing 7500 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs. The company currently holds over 36 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA JUNE 2006 30-38 g- industry 36 6/1/06, 8:29 PM $2 billion of projects, including the $580 million major upgrade of Alcoa’s Pinjarra alumina refinery in Western Australia. Osborn received his degree in electrical engineering (electronics) from the Gordon Institute of Technology, Geelong, in 1972. He also has an MBA from Deakin University. He began working in the iron ore industry and joined Alcoa in 1979 at the company’s Point Henry smelter in Victoria. Osborn supports workplace diversity and has pursued ways to attract more women into the resources sector. Within Alcoa, there has been a rise in the number of female managers from six women 10 years ago to 47 this year. When not engineering, Osborn enjoys sail- ing, scuba diving and underwater wildlife photography. Last year, he dived with sperm whales in the Azores and photographed Australian sea lions in the Abrolhos Islands. His underwater interests have led to his appointment as a fellow international of the Explorer’s Club in New York. He is also vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Western Australia and a chair and board member of the Australia Business Arts Foundation, West Australian Chapter. Carlo Salteri, 85 Nonexecutive Chair of Tenix Group, Sydney Carlo Salteri chose the engineering profession to follow his grandfather, who was an engineer. “I have never regretted it,” he said. He is a nonexecutive chair of the Tenix Group. The company earns almost $1 billion annually and employs over 3000 people. It is currently delivering Anzac frigates for the Australian and New Zealand navies as a defence and technology contractor. Salteri was one of the founding sharehold- ers of the Transfield Group and was its joint managing director to 1989 and joint chairman until the formation of the Tenix Group in 1997. Born in Italy in 1920, he gained a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Milan in 1946. He came to Australia in 1951 to work on a project for an Italian company building a 132KV powerline from Tallawarra powerstation to Homebush substation. He emi- grated to Australia with his family the same year. Salteri then worked on various projects including a hydroelectric powerstation in Cairns, oil and gas platforms in the Bass Strait, a 15km jetty for the Bundaberg bulk sugar terminal and the Mt Newman iron ore mine in Western Australia. In 1999, the Italian government awarded him the title of Grande Ufficiale, Italy’s second-highest honour. Peter Watson, 49 Managing Director and CEO of Transfield Services, Sydney Peter Watson, a civil engineer from Caulfield Institute of Technology, has been the managing director of Transfield Services since June 2002. Transfield Services is a provider of operations, maintenance and asset management services with activities throughout Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and the Gulf Region. The company has more than 130 contracts across 11 industries, including major national and international companies as well as all levels of government. Under Watson’s leadership the company has become a significant investor in infrastructure, with the company owning 100% of Collinsville, Townsville and Kemerton powerstations; 50% of the Macarthur and Yan Yean water treatment plants; and 30% of the Kwinana Powerstation. Today Watson oversees a company with more than 14,000 employees with a turnover approaching $2 billion. A highlight in his job in the past year was the transition of the company from an Australian to a global service provider. A major challenge was “the successful adoption of company’s brand promise ‘Partners for Change’ across many new and culturally diverse employees”, he said. Watson sits on the Strategic Advisory Panel for Sydney University’s Project Management Graduate Program; and is a member of the Australian Industry Group Defence Council’s National Executive, a founding sponsor of the Australian Sustainable Industry Research Centre, and a member of the Save the Children Australian Business Alliance Council. industry