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Top 100 : 2005
India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia. Prior to his current position Johnston was chief operating officer for Lend Lease’s US Real Estate Investments Business and played a lead role in its break-up and sale. Bovis Lend Lease is the construction arm of parent company Lend Lease, founded in Sydney in the 1950s. Headquartered in London, Bovis Lend Lease is one of the world’s top 12 construction management firms. Grant King, 50 Managing Director of Origin Energy, Sydney Grant King was appointed to his present position in 2000. Origin Energy has 3000 employees and about two million electricity customers. Prior to his current position he was managing director of Boral’s energy group since 1994. A civil engineer from the University of NSW and with a masters in management from Wollongong University, King has had extensive experience in the oil and gas industry. He holds a number of directorships includ- ing chairman of Contact Energy. He is a councillor of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and an advisory council member of the Australian Graduate School of Management. Lee Kernich, 49 General Manager of R&D at Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Adelaide Currently, Lee Kernich’s biggest challenge is overseeing the closing stages of development of the new car to replace the current Mitsubishi Magna at the company’s Tonsley Park factory in Adelaide. Although the car will be similar to one of the firm’s products in the US, it is being heavily reengineered to suit Australian environmental and market conditions, and to comply with new Australian Design Rules for safety, exhaust emissions and noise. On this 40 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA JUNE 2005 36-44 g - industry 40 6/2/05, 8:42 PM project Kernich’s team has worked closely with engineers based at the parent company’s R&D facility in Okazaki, near Nagoya in Japan. Until a few years ago, Kernich devoted what spare time he had available to preparing classic motorcycles for racing, but lately, with the time and responsibility demands of his job, his highest spare-time priorities are his wife and two teenage children. In an industry where there is traditionally a mix of disciplines, Kernich believes being an engineer enables him to provide technical leadership and to validate the output of the R&D team. He has an honours degree in mechanical engineering from Adelaide University. Wal King, 60 Chief Executive of Leighton Holdings, Sydney Despite a couple of difficult projects in the past year, the Leighton group remains the largest contracting conglomerate in Australia and Wal King is one of the country’s longest serving construction chief executives, having been appointed to the position in 1987 when he was just 43. King came from a farming community near Grafton in NSW and took part-time jobs to help put himself through a civil engineering course at the University of NSW. Following his undergraduate degree he spent another two years in Sydney completing a masters in engineering science and construction management. In 1968 he went to work as a site engineer with Leighton and was quickly made manager of a large project at Gove in the Northern Territory. This challenging project became the foundation stone for King’s successful career with Leighton. He then managed a number of projects around the country before returning to Sydney to become managing director of Leighton Contractors in 1978. In 1988 King became a Member of the Order of Australia, conferred for his contribution to the construction industry. He has received Engineers Australia’s highest individual award, Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal. His favourite relaxation is snow skiing. Bob Kirkby, 58 Group President for Carbon Steel Materials at BHP Billiton, Melbourne An honours graduate in civil engineering from James Cook University in Townsville, Bob Kirkby worked for Mount Isa Mines for the first eight years after graduation. He joined Utah Development Company in 1978 (bought by BHP in the early 1980s) and worked in the Bowen Basin at a number of open cut coalmines and at the Hay Point coal terminal. He then moved to the West Australian iron ore mining operations of BHP and into BHP’s steel business where his leadership role in a strategic review and subsequent rationalisation of business was a key event in his career. Before the merger of BHP and Billiton he was chief operation officer of BHP Minerals. He was a member of the BHP Billiton Merger Committee and subsequently has had responsibility for the multibillion dollar Carbon Steel Materials Group. Kirkby believes one of his strengths is his knowledge and experience globally in the coal, iron ore and steel industries. He is also proud of his success in safety and environmental areas. Richard Leupen, 51 Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of United Group, Sydney A graduate of Wollongong University, mechanical engineer Richard Leupen has had three decades experience in engineering and construction management. United Group became a public company in the late 1990s and Leupen has been on the company board since 2000. With its broad construction activities across railway rolling stock, building construction, maintenance and property services, the company recently added a fifth division with the acquisition of Singaporean property services group industry