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Top 100 : 2009
TOP 100 AUSTRALIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL ENGINEERS – COVER STORY Alex Zelinsky, 49 Group Executive of Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies, and Director of ICT Centre, CSIRO Electrical engineer, University of Wollongong D r Alex Zelinsky manages 980 CS staff working at the Australia T National Facility, the Mathematical a formation Sciences unit, the ICT C and the Information Managemen Technology Unit. He is responsible for ensuring that CSIRO scientists have the resources they need for research. He also organises them into groups to work on large, multidisciplinary projects. In the past year, Zelinsky helped deliver and commercialise a sensor networks program, pre- pare a scientific research agenda for the CSIRO and establish a national facility for supercomputing. He is also helping deliver the $111 million Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder project. Zelinsky is on the board of CSIRO spinoff search engine company Funnelback and venture capital firm Epicorp. In addition to his qualifications in engineering, computer science and mathematics, Zelinsky completed an advanced management program at Harvard. Ian Young, 52 Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Civil engineer, James Cook University A s vice-chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology, Professor Ian Young is trying to develop his institution into a top research and teaching university. So far, research performance, as measured by income from grants, has been increasing by more than 10% per year. Swinburne is a dual-sector institution that offers university and TAFE courses. Young is particularly proud of articulation policies that allow TAFE students to progress into a degree. Once they reach university, students who have come through TAFE generally perform as well as top school-leavers, he said. Instead of trying to offer courses in a wide range of disciplines, he said the university has remained true to its name by deliberately maintaining high numbers of students in engineering, science and technology courses. Domestic and international student numbers have grown by 6%-7% in the past year, he said. Aside from his executive duties, Young is an active ocean and coastal engineer. In the past year, changes to legislation have made the work of the Board of Professional Engineers more effective, Taylor said. The board can now use competency standards developed by professional organisations such as Engineers Australia instead of having the government create and impose new standards. In addition, Taylor is a member of the Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council set up by the federal government last year. She is currently writing discussion papers on training workers for the new manufacturing industries, such as the “green collar” sector and biotechnology. Taylor is also on the board of RedR Australia and Engineers Media, publisher of this magazine. ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2009 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2009 55 Elizabeth Taylor, 54 Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton Chair of the Queensland Board of Professional Engineers Civil engineer, University of NSW D espite being treated for cancer over the past two years, Professor Elizabeth Taylor con- tinues to preside over the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Health at Central Queensland University and is active on a number of external boards and committees. She was instrumental in introducing the faculty’s emphasis on “work-integrated learning”, which has been made possible by its close links with industry. Academics design courses in consultation with prospective employers, and companies offer scholarships and internships to students. The university is one of the few that offer engineering degrees by distance education.