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Top 100 : 2012
58 COVER STORY -- TOP 100 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 Innovation/ Expertise Rose Amal Simon Poole Rose Amal, 47 Director of ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials, University of NSW, Sydney Chemical engineer, University of NSW PROFESSOR ROSE Amal was appointed as chair of the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2012 Research Evalua- tion Committee (engineering and envi- ronmental sciences cluster) and is tasked with evaluating the quality of engineering research within all of Australia s higher education institutions. Amal s own research has spanned varying elds in chemical engineering, from particle aggregation through to photocatalysis and functional nanoma- terials. Her research has produced over 280 refereed publications in international journals and conferences to date. As a measure of the innovation of her research, Amal received the 2011 NSW Science and Engineering Award for Emerging Research. She said the integrated engineering training -- from thinking critically to communicating e ectively -- forms the basis of her academic leadership career. Richard Tamba, 48 Senior Vice President, Passenger Car Transmissions, AVL, Sydney Mechanical engineer, University of Technology Sydney LAST YEAR, Richard Tamba was named a Warren Centre Innovation Hero. He is the author of over 50 patents of which 21 are currently in production in vehicles, boats and mining equipment. "Engineering has given me the chance to see how products materialise from a clean sheet of paper to a working product [as well as] the ability to look at problems in a broader sense in the beginning and not discount anything until it can be proven to not have a detrimental e ect." Having started NTC Powertrain with a partner in 1995, it was acquired by AVL in February 2011. In addition to now being in charge of business development for AVL in passenger car transmissions worldwide, Tamba s company Nautitech assists technology businesses in Australia and the US develop technology from a clean sheet of paper to production. He also acts as an advisor to several start-ups and continues to promote engineering at schools and universities. Simon Poole, 54 Founder and Director of New Business Ventures, Finisar Australia, Sydney Electrical and electronics engineer, University of Nottingham, UK FOR SIMON Poole, engineering provides the ability "to take a broad, dispassionate look at a problem and then work through it to try and find the best solution". Poole was one of the inventors of the Erbium-Doped Optical Fibre Amplifier in 1986, a technology underpinning today s high-bandwidth optical communications networks. He started running a new research centre at the University of Sydney in 1988 before spinning out commercial successes with companies including Engana (now Finisar Australia). In the past year, Finisar Australia won the National Export Award for a Large Manufacturer as well as an Aus- tralian Engineering Excellence Award from Engineers Australia. His company has exported over $250 mil- lion worth of Wavelength Selective Switches from its Waterloo factory over the past three years. It is now the largest global manufac- turer of such devices, which sit at the heart of optical communications systems. Poole said this has been a huge effort from a great team. Mark Kendall Richard Tamba