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Top 100 : 2012
COVER STORY -- TOP 100 36 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 Bill Jackson, 47 National President, Association of Professional Scientists, Engineers and Managers Australia (APESMA), Adelaide Electrical engineer, University of Adelaide APESMA IS an organisation that repre- sents 25,000 members. Bill Jackson works as pricing manager at ElectraNet, an electricity transmission company. "An engineering education gives you a unique way to look at the world. One that helps you understand and solve problems. It is an excellent foundation for a career," Jackson said. "As engineers we all have the ability to understand issues and see solutions. To be truly influential we need to understand our audience and tell our story in a way that is compelling to others. "Being active as an APESMA member has given me enormous opportunities to develop management and leader- ship skills. From negotiating enterprise agreements through to leading a truly member-owned organisation has pro- vided a wealth of insight into leadership and management. "Sadly the opportunities to see the devastating consequences of poor man- agement on people s lives still abound." He said APESMA has enjoyed some re- cent successes, including saving engineering jobs at Holden, helping establish a Senate inquiry into skills shortages and working with the WA government to ensure Aus- tralian engineers benefit from high-value jobs in the resource sector. Jamie Shelton, 47 National President, Consult Australia, Sydney Civil engineer, University of NSW JAMIE SHELTON is the president of Consult Australia (formerly the Associa- tion of Consulting Engineers Australia), which represents over 260 companies collectively employing over 50,000 staff. As a representative of Consult Australia on the National Engineering Registration Board, Shelton is involved in advocating for unified registration system for the engineering profession. He has been working as a structural engineer for Northrop Engineers since he graduated from university in 1988 and is now a principal in the firm s Sydney office. "I m still involved in designing structures and servicing clients on a daily basis," he said. "Becoming a proficient engineer has enabled me to build a career, based around my strengths and passion, that has led to a much broader involvement in business and professional associations. Importantly, the first step was being able to contribute as an engineer, something I still love doing." According to Shelton, engineers need to contribute more to the public debate because they understand "the big picture". "Engineers have an unparalleled under- standing of the application of technology, and through this have an obligation to society, to inform the public on matters in which we have an informed view. The real value of engineers comes when they influence, as opposed to follow," he said. Robin Batterham, 71 President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Melbourne Chemical engineer, University of Melbourne DR ROBIN BATTERHAM is president of ATSE and Kernot Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomo- lecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne. "I have always been interested in understanding how things work, the fundamentals behind processes. If this interest was just for the sake of science and the sharing of knowledge, I would not have studied engineering. My interest, however, is driven by a passion to improve the performance of the processes and products that are part of everyday life. Chemical engineering was exactly the right choice that set me up for a lifetime of achieving process improvement and new process development in the mining and processing industries," he said. "Having a deep understanding of processes is key to influencing others. Without this, one s credibility in leader- ship and decision-making is severely compromised. Equally, personal aspects matter when it comes to influence. I have long recognised that influencing others involves the heart as well as the mind. Visceral argument is just as important as cerebral. Engineers like me can be great storytellers. We can captivate people by relating stories and the occasional relevant factoid that lift people from where they are to where they might be."