Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2020 revealed

July 7, 2020 Mining Editor

Engineering innovation is once again on display with the release of this year’s Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers list, which features novel stadium constructions, electronic tattoos, VR driving simulators, an Australian-built ‘planet hunter’, 3D-printed thongs and much more.

KEVIN CHONG
INNOVATION:
TURNING DATA INTO INTELLIGENCE

Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers is an annual program run by create magazine, the publication of Engineers Australia. Now in its fifth year, the Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers list profiles 30 Australian engineers who are finding creative and innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said the listing seeks to recognise engineers and raise the profile of the profession within the wider community.

“The 2020 innovators span a fascinating and diverse range, demonstrating the ability of engineers to bring new ideas to life and reimagine the everyday,” said Dr Evans.

“Innovations ranged from macro-scale pieces of infrastructure like railway stations and sports stadiums, to micro-scale technology like atomically thin materials.”

DR NATHAN KIRCHNER
INNOVATION:
TOOLBOX SPOTTER

The Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers list is organised into 10 categories representing a cross-section of the profession. Applicants had to explain what their project was, the problem it solved, the benefits it offered, why it was innovative and the role they played individually on the project.

The full list of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2020 can be viewed here.

Alex Kingsbury, who has evaluated submissions for the past four years, also congratulated this year’s nominees and remarked that every year the quality of the candidates never ceases to amaze her.

“As a judge, it’s my privilege to have a bird’s-eye-view of the interesting and diverse accomplishments of engineers across the country,” said Ms. Kingsbury, who previously worked as the Innovation Centre Director at CSIRO for six years. She now serves as an Additive Manufacturing Industry Fellow at RMIT.

Increased crew safety and greater production

Austmine 2019 Awards for recognition in cutting edge tech

“Engineering is a vibrant profession and can lead to many opportunities, as evidenced by the winners this year – and every year – of the listing.”

This year’s listing found more engineers working on projects in emerging fields such as virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and data visualisation and analytics. Sustainability was also a key theme, with innovative projects including reducing CO2 emissions from oil refineries, programs the incentivise carbon savings and emissions-free phosphorous mining.

PROFESSOR JUN HUANG
INNOVATION:
REDUCING CO2 FROM OIL REFINERIES

Dr Evans added that: “It’s pleasing to note that 25 per cent of engineers featured are women, and that there was an increase across all categories in the number of young engineers putting their hand up to be recognised.”

Many innovations also had a practical focus, showing the commercial mind of engineers to contribute technologies and innovations that have the ability to improve lives and communities.

“Celebrating these innovative engineers is an opportunity to showcase the many ways engineers improve our everyday lives. This ‘behind-the-scenes’ work should rightly be taking centre stage, and this list allows us to do just that,” Ms Kingsbury said.

ACT Chief Engineer Adrian Piani, who was also part of this year’s evaluation panel, agreed, saying recognition for innovation and exceptional performance is key to highlighting the importance of the profession.

“Innovation is at the heart of engineering. Every project we deliver has an element of innovation in it,” Mr Piani said.

“Reviewing the applications reminded me of how diverse and important the profession of engineering is, and how much impact we have on people’s lives.”

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Images by Create magazine

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