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Top 100 : 2009
TOP 100 AUSTRALIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL ENGINEERS – COVER STORY John Russell, 54 Managing director of Russell Mineral Equipment (RME), Toowoomba Mechanical engineer, Queensland Institute of Technology ohn Russell founded Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) in the mid-1980s. RME designs and manufactures mechanical solutions in mineral processing and has successfully developed a suite of grinding mill relining technologies. The RME Mill Relining System more J effi ciently and safely removes and replaces wear parts (liners) in mineral grinding mills, improving the availability of the processing plant. RME’s Mill Relining System is now the standard in most mining markets including Oceania, Africa, South America, North America, Asia and Europe, which is a refl ection of the system’s performance and quality. The Canadian Mineral Processors awarded Russell the Art McPherson Medal for contribution to comminution. RME currently employs 195 people and expects to reach sales of $50 million this year, 80% of which is from international sales. Russell is chairing the Toowoomba Region’s NEXTEP Project (a USQ initiative aimed at progressing the region into a sustainable model community). Peter Mitchell, 59 Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer, URS Australia, Adelaide Geotechnical engineer, University of Adelaide awarded Geotechnical Practitioner of the Year by the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS). He believes the biggest issue in his fi eld at presen change is aff ecting “Th is is particu O case in parts of s Australia where wa temperatures and lo winter rainfall are ca reactive soils to m adversely aff ect ever from building founda to roads,” he said. He has 38 years exp in major geotechnical projects in Australia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Apart from his role at URS, he is an adjunct professor in the ne of Australia’s top geotechnical engineers, Dr Peter Mitchell was last year School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide (UA). He is also an external supervisor to doctoral students at both UA and the uth Australia and is a young engineers. He hair of the Australian echanics Society and tributed to more than ers, publications and tions in his fi eld, sevhich have won awards. s particular expertise is in expansive and collaps- nd he is the creator of e “Mitchell Method” codified in the Residential Slabs and Footing Code AS2870-1996 and the core shrinkage test of Methods of Testing Soils for Engineering Purposes AS1289 7.1.3. Alf Taylor, 58 tna Australia, Sydney Mechanical engineer, University of NSW I n 1982 Alf Taylor and his wife Nadia established tna, initially to off er consulting services to the food packaging industry. In 1983 they backed their ideas for improving productivity and reducing wastage in packaging processes for products such as potato chips by designing, patenting and building the tna robag Vertical Form Fill and Seal (VFFS) system. tna’s fi rst major commercial milestone was reached in 1986 with the installation of a prototype system at the Smith’s Snack Foods plant in Sydney. The machines gained rapid market ac- ceptance, and by 1990 tna’s business was experiencing a 30% annual growth rate. Export opportunities were opened up, with the fi rst overseas offi ce being opened in Birmingham (UK) in 1991. Offi ces were opened in North America (Coppell, Texas, USA) in 1995, and the Middle East (Dubai) in 1997. tna’s product set has evolved through three generations of the robag machine. Th e company claims a 40% world market share in this type of packaging equipment. In 2007 tna entered into an alliance with the Netherlands food processing company Kiremko to provide a complete manufacturing and packaging solution for the production of potato crisps. In 1998 tna moved its manufacturing opera- tions to Croydon, Victoria, where it now employs about 35 people. Th e company’s head offi ce is in Sydney. Some 95% of product is exported. ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2009 59