Peter Nicol Russell (PNR) Memorial Medal

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2014 Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal Recipient

The Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal - Career Achievement Award in Engineering is the most prestigious award made by Engineers Australia. It is presented annually to an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia who has made a notable contribution to the science and/or practice of engineering in Australia.

The award perpetuates the memory of Sir Peter Nicol Russell, a Sydney industrialist during the latter half of the 19th century, who made major donations to the cause of engineering in Australia.

Nominations come from either three members of National Congress, a division committee, a college board, or any five corporate members of Engineers Australia.

The Honours & Awards Committee, a committee of Council, approves nominations to join the PNR Register.


As our pre-eminent award, recipients should represent to both the engineering profession and the community the high technical, professional and community service standards of the profession of engineering.

In light of this, the term “notable contribution” to the science and/or practice of engineering needs to be interpreted broadly, rather than as a narrow reflection of achievements only. This ensures the award truly reflects the broad nature and impacts of the profession of engineering within the general community.

Nomination process for Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal

Nominations are received for the PNR Medal, prepared by nominators against the same set of criteria,

  1. The H&A Committee will consider all nominations for both Honorary Fellows, as well as the PNR Medal recipient,
  2. Nominators for the PNR Medal must submit a supplementary statement, (200 word citation) on the nominee and their career achievements,

NOTE: The process for applying for these awards is also applicable for those wishing to nominate technologists and associates as Honorary Fellows or for the PNR Medal.

Criteria for the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal

The criteria for this award to be defined as:

  • Contribution to community welfare
  • Contribution to the profession
  • Technical expertise/business

As further expressed by

  • Contribution to the community's welfare through engineering works
  • Contribution to the knowledge-base of the profession through research and development activities
  • Contributions to education through teaching and/or education support
  • Contributions to the community outside of engineering practice
  • Contributions to the profession through professional society activities
  • Contributions to the profession through leadership and management

NOTE: Nominees do not need to pass every area of the above sub-sets, however these are provided as a guide for nominators. Nominators will be asked to address the sub-set areas where relevant to the nominee and their career.

Citation requirements for PNR Medal nominations

In addition to addressing the criteria, nominators for this award will be asked to write a 200 word citation on the nominee they propose for consideration for the PNR Medal.

The additional citation must demonstrate the nominee’s distinction and pre-eminence in the field, capture their entire body of work within the profession, as well outline notable/long term achievements.

In 200 a word citation, nominators will be asked to demonstrate the nominee's;

  • Technical expertise extending to business, research and/or education
  • Strong leadership in the field,
  • World expertise,
  • Currency,
  • Entire body of work and the way in which it is a notable contribution that has impacted the profession/community.

Rules for applying for the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal

  1. The PNR Medal will be awarded annually.
  2. Only Honorary Fellows of Engineers Australia will be eligible for nomination. Incoming, current and immediate past national or divisional office-bearers do not automatically join the Register.
  3. Any nomination for the PNR Medal must be accompanied by a statement (200 word citation) of the nominee's notable contributions and achievements.
  4. At 31 July of each year, the H&A Committee will consider new nominations, add those suitable to the Register and review the nominations already recorded on the Register, in order to recommend three names to Council for consideration at the next scheduled Council meeting.
  5. Cognisant of any advice from the H&A Committee, Council will select an annual PNR Medal recipient.
  6. Nominations for this award may be made by;
    - Any three members of National Congress
    - A National Congress Board
    - A Division Committee, College Board Society Board or CELM Board
    - Any five Corporate Members of the Institution of Engineers Australia
    - The National President
  7. The Chief Executive shall ensure that the Register of nominees for the award is maintained for a period of three years and kept confidential, accessed only by the National H&A Committee, Chief Executive and Secretary to the H&A Committee.
  8. At the conclusion of three years, names will be removed from the Register if not selected as the PNR Medal recipient.
  9. Contact details of the nominator will be kept on file for the three year period. Nominators will be notified of a nominee’s expiry from the Register and invited to renominate.
  10. No feedback will be given to nominators as to whether the nominee was added to the Register.
  11. The National President or representative will contact the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal winner to advise of their selection and inform them that a formal invitation will be extended to receive the award. The presentation, by the National President, might be on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of Engineers Australia, or on another occasion deemed suitable by the Honours and Awards Committee or the National President.
  12. The award consists of a framed certificate and medal prescribed by Council.

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