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Top 100 : 2011
ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2011 65 TOP 100 COVER STORY Chris Vonwiller, 68 Chairman, Appen Butler Hill, Sydney Electrical engineer, University of Sydney Chris Vonwiller has established himself as a strong presence in the realm of ICT development and com- mercialisation. Previously the chairman and CEO of speech software specialist Appen, Vonwiller became the non-executive chair of a new integrated company when Appen completed its acquisition of US-based search and text analysis firm Butler Hill over the past year. Since the merger, Appen Butler Hill has interna- tionalised its operations and built additional resources overseas, particularly within the fields of intelligent text processing and linguistic solutions. Vonwiller was recently elected chairman of the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, which is an industry-linked think tank within the University of Sydney, in April. Prior to his election, Vonwiller served as the centre s deputy chairman. When not working, Vonwiller enjoys spending time with his two grandchildren. Dongke Zhang, 48 Winthrop Professor, Foundation Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Centre for Energy, University of Western Australia, Perth Chemical engineer, University of Newcastle In his role as the director of the Centre for Energy at the University of Western Australia, Professor Dongke Zhang has conducted extensive research into fuel pro- cessing and combustion science and technology with a specific focus on coal, natural gas and bioenergy. During his academic career he has supervised 38 PhD and two Masters graduates, and is currently overseeing 10 PhD students in Australia and China. He has to date raised and managed more than $36 million in research funding from the federal and state governments, in addition to Australian and overseas industries. These grants have enabled him to develop research programs and implement research outcomes in energy efficiency improvements in the processing and mining industries and regional development. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and in 2007 he was named the John Curtin Distinguished Professor by the Curtin University of Technology. Last year he was invited to deliver one of the keynote pre- sentations at the Chemeca 2010 conference in Adelaide, where he spoke on the potential of bioenergy technol- ogy in Australia. A self-proclaimed "can-do" engineer, Zhang works by the philosophy that knowledge belongs to the society and technology belongs to the industry. Innovation