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Top 100 : 2009
COVER STORY – TOP 100 AUSTRALIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL ENGINEERS ACADEMIA / RESEARCH David Skellern, 58 Chief Executive of National ICT Australia (NICTA) Electrical engineer, University of Sydney D avid Skellern oversees NICTA’s budget of some $80 million, 280 full-time PhD students and 427 staff . Its four spin-off companies employ about 80 people. Th e federal government has extended funding for NICTA until 2015. “We have also increased the average size of our research projects to close to $1 million per year by continuing a smaller number of large scale projects to achieve higher impact and deliver a greater national benefi t,” Skellern said. Last year NICTA expanded its international collaboration, forming partnerships with Singapore’s Institute for Infocomm Research, France’s Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute. Gerard Sutton, 66 Vice-Chancellor, University of Wollongong Electrical engineer, University of NSW Beverly Ronalds, 51 Group Executive, for Energy and Division Chief of Petroleum, CSIRO, Perth Civil engineer, University of Melbourne D r Beverly Ronalds oversees some 600 researchers working in areas of energy and petroleum. She has particular expertise in structural reliability of off shore platforms and has worked in engineering roles in Melbourne, London and San Francisco. She is a member of the National Low Emissions Coal Council set up by the federal government last year. The council’s job is to facilitate research and development partnerships between the government and industry. Low emissions coal technologies include carbon capture and storage. Ronalds also sits on the board of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies that is currently trialling carbon capture and storage in Victoria. She is a member of the Western Australian Premier’s Science and Innovation Council and a director of the Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia. Ronalds has obtained a master of science and a PhD at Imperial College, London. Wollongong since 1995. The university recently received federal government funding for building the SMART (Simulation, Modelling and Analysis for Research and Teaching) Infrastructure Facility and new premises for the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials. Sutton is also on the board of ITC, the university’s subsidiary company which runs pre-university courses, a film school, an aviation college and the university’s Dubai campus. P Professor Geoff Stevens, 54 Pro-Vice-Chancellor and President of the Academic Board, University of Melbourne Chemical engineer, RMIT P rofessor Geoff Stevens became the president of the Academic Board at the start of the year. In this role he is responsible for upholding the academic standards of the university. He also has input into shaping university policies by sitting on several other committees, including that of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government and the university’s supreme body, the Council. Aside from these executive roles, he remains involved in engineering as director of the university’s Particulate Fluids Processing Centre. He is also a program leader at the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies, which currently operates two large-scale carbon capture and storage pilot projects in Victoria. 54 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2009 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2009 rofessor Gerard Sutton has been the vice-chancellor of the University of