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Top 100 : 2012
Adrian Paterson, 56 Chief Executive Officer, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Sydney Materials engineer, University of Cape Town, South Africa UNDER THE leadership of Dr Adrian Paterson the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has this year committed to a five-year program for capital works, as well as some emerging opportunities. It was a major turning point in his career when Paterson joined ANSTO in 2009 and he said he was proud a number of ANSTO technologies had transferred into innovative companies and CRCs in the past year, and that even though financial times are tough he has been able to maintain the organisation s financial program. For Paterson, engineering is "about pragmatism and solutions" and has provided sets of principles that are crucial to modern management. "The first is to use data and evidence to make decisions and the second is to never fully trust the data and the evidence when making decisions. The third is that human factors are absolutely crucial in modern engineering and it is essential to understand how people interact with their environment and how new innovations can transform both people and the environment itself." 33 TOP 100 COVER STORY ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 Peter Lee, 57 Vice-Chancellor, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW Chemical engineer, Monash University, Melbourne PROFESSOR PETER Lee has served as the vice-chancellor of Southern Cross University (SCU) since 2009. Over the past year he has overseen the biggest capital development program in its history. "The new campus at the southern end of the Gold Coast is an exciting development that will provide many opportunities." He said his engineering background has helped nurture his sense of proportion of "what is important to do and or pay at- tention to, while not being distracted by peripheral issues". He was exposed to the real practice of engineering when first employed at ICI Engineering after completing a PhD program that gave him the opportunity to "really examine in depth a particular problem and to hone my investigative skills". His first academic job was at the University of Queensland where he received "fabulous mentoring" by Professors Don Nicklin and Ming Leung. Before joining SCU, Lee was deputy vice-chancellor at the University of South Australia, and has also held positions at Murdoch University and the Curtin University of Technology. John Beynon, 59 President, Australian Council of Engineering Deans Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Metallurgist, University of Sheffield, UK PRESIDENT OF the Australian Council of Engineering Deans, Professor John Beynon is about to take up the executive dean role at the University of Adelaide s Faculty of Engineering, Com- puter and Mathematical Sciences at the end of July. He is also on the executive of the Global Engineering Deans Council. "As leaders in the education of engineers, [the councils of Deans] have an important contribu- tion to make on many issues. Most recently this has included engineering workforce shortages and the ongoing drive to improve the quality of the education that our universities provide." An appetite to understand how the constructed world works originally drove Beynon into engineering and this has evolved into finding the nobility of helping society through engineering education and increasing the growth of the engineering workforce. Over the past year he has helped raise the profile of engineering in federal government circles, and believes we will hear much more about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the next few years. At Swinburne University he is proud to see the new Advanced Technologies Centre come into operation and raise engineering facilities at the university to a new level, while construction starts on an Advanced Manufacturing Centre next door. Beynon said these two $100 million buildings are a major boost to STEM in Victoria. Hugh Durrant-Whyte, 51 CEO, National ICT Australia (NICTA), Sydney Nuclear engineer, University of London, UK OVER THE past year Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte has con- tinued in his role as chief executive officer of the Australian information and communications technology research institute NICTA in Sydney. "Engineering is innovation; developing a great idea into a real outcome. This is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve in NICTA, bringing together research excellence in ICT to generate real wealth creation outcomes for Australia." He noted the very best engineers and scientists are passionate about working on challenging projects which offer the real pos- sibility of delivering an outcome that could change society and the way we live and work. "In the past year, I am most proud of projects like these; our work in health and medical implants, in using ICT to assist in energy exploitation and infrastructure management, and the use of big data analytics in broadband and service applications."