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Top 100 : 2012
59 TOP 100 COVER STORY ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 Matt Barrie, 38 Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Freelancer.com, Sydney Electrical engineer, University of Sydney AS AN entrepreneur and CEO Matt Barrie regards his engineer- ing degree as "the most fundamental building block discipline in problem solving and, for me, the most important degree to have". "It s been invaluable in providing a deep grasp of technology, a passion to innovate, a can do attitude, and an analytical mind. I couldn t recommend a degree at university more strongly to someone. With an engineering background, you can excel in any role put in front of you -- whether it s in technology, management, finance or even sales and marketing. Engineering provides you with a foundation to understand the world and think about ways to improve it. The business part is easy to learn on the job." Barrie has had quite a year; he was named the inaugural BRW Entrepreneur of the Year, and was then awarded the Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year. Most recently freelancer. com was awarded its third Webby Award, which is touted as "the Internet s highest honour" by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. The biggest highlight for Barrie though has been seeing the business and online economy grow on Freelancer. He said key to the success was "moving faster than the competitors and out innovating them". Barrie has also been speaking at a number of industry events, presenting keynotes at the Summit Series and The Next Web, and was one of 19 featured speakers at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Mark Kendall, 40 Group Leader, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane Biomedical Engineer, University of Queensland PROFESSOR MARK Kendall has more than 14 years of experience researching and developing in the field of needle-free gene and drug delivery to skin, authoring over 120 refereed journal and conference papers. He joined the University of Queensland for a Professorial position in 2006 after eight years at the University of Oxford, where he was associate director of the PowderJect Centre for Gene and Drug Delivery Research. Kendall has developed more than 32 patents. His Biolistics technology has been commercialised with PowderMed and was pur- chased by Pfizer for $400 million in 2006. Recently, he cofounded Vaxxas to develop his Nanopatch vaccine delivery technology as a product. He has secured $15 million of investment for Vaxxas, which is considered one of Australia s largest ever investments in a start-up biotechnology company. Last year Kendall was recognised for the Nanopatch, winning the Australian Innovation Challenge Award that was presented by The Australian newspaper. The Innovation Challenge aimed to unearth the nation s best ideas and put the spotlight on inspiring innovators who work for the greater good of others. Kendall said as many of the toughest problems we are trying to tackle do not come neatly packaged within a particular field, engineering had taught him how to build, drive and work in multidisciplinary teams to achieve goals. He finds it very energising to teach, learn from and work with outstanding people. Karen Reynolds, 47 Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Deputy Dean, Computer Science, Engineering & Mathematics, Flinders University, Adelaide Biomedical engineer, University of Oxford PROFESSOR KAREN Reynolds expressed a deep appreciation of the impact and significance that engineering can have on human health. Moving to Australia 15 years ago to take up a lecturing posi- tion in biomedical engineering at Flinders University in the early stages of the undergraduate biomedical engineering program has meant Reynolds has been involved in the education of every single biomedical engineering graduate from the university. She said the program has been going from strength to strength, and the teaching team was awarded an Australian Learning & Teaching Council Citation "for teaching, supporting, and inspiring students to learn, innovate and succeed as professional biomedical engineers". The research profile of the university has also been growing steadily, and is now represented by a dedicated Medical Device Research Institute. As director of the institute and its Medical Device Partnering Program she said a major highlight from the past year has been the growing reputation of the program as it seeks to connect unique product ideas with world-class research, manufacturing and business expertise. In 2011, the program was recognised nationally through the Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Award for outstanding achievement in collaboration in research and development.