About Us

The National Committee on Engineering Design (NCED) aims to promote design excellence and awareness through media of publications, conferences and both national and international exhibitions. Engineering Design addresses issues of creating and delivering innovative, useful, reliable and economical technical solutions to meet human wants or needs. One of our main objectives is to promote links between industry, and tertiary and secondary learning institutions for the strategic development of design learning and experience in all aspects of design.

The Weir Warman Student Design-and-Build Competition is sponsored and funded by Weir Warman International and organised by the NCED. Now in its 26th year, the competition is an annual event for second-year students in the Mechanical Engineering courses at universities throughout Australia and New Zealand. The competitions main focus is on educational issues and identifying and encouraging the designers of the future.

Committee Members

Committee Administrator: Ms. Jenni Woodward

Email: jwoodward@engineersaustralia.org.au

Website: www.engineersaustralia.org.au

Chairman: Dr. Alex Churches

E-mail: Alex Churches
Member since: 1993
Current Employer: University of NSW
Current Position: Senior Visiting Fellow, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Website: www.mech.unsw.edu.au

After ten years as an apprentice, motor mechanic and foreman mechanic, Alex Churches undertook five years of part-time study for a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, followed by one year full time to gain a Bachelor Engineering at UNSW. After a further four years, he graduated with a PhD and joined the staff at UNSW as a lecturer, specialising in Mechanical Engineering Design. Having been promoted to Senior Lecturer, then to Associate Professor, he headed what was then the Design Department in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at UNSW until his retirement.

Dr Churches remains is a Senior visiting Fellow in the School of Mechanical and manufacturing Engineering and remains active in tutoring, with an ongoing interest in teaching engineering design and in improving the standard of engineering design in Australian industry.


Deputy Chairman: Cliff Green

E-mail: Cliff Green
Member since: 1995
Current Employer: Geng Pty Ltd
Current Position: Principal & CEO
Website: www.geng.com

Graduated from the University of WA in Mechanical Engineering. Worked with Ford Motor Company in Geelong for four years before commencing an engineering design consultancy back in Perth in 1981.

Product design work has included the agricultural, mining, marine, naval, scientific, medical, transport, electronic & defence sectors with work undertaken for clients in Britain, Japan, Germany and Malaysia. In the 1990s, work primarily stemmed from the electronics and defence areas, merging solely into defence training facilities and equipment from 2001 onwards.

Casual lectures in engineering design provided at the University of WA and Curtin University since 1985, with the occasional lecture at other universities around Australia. A judge with the Industrial Design Council of Australia in the 80s, a Member of the Design Institute of Australia until recently, a judge on the Australian Design Awards in the early 2000s.

Cliff Green is currently the Principal and CEO of Geng Pty Ltd, Consulting Engineers in Product & Manufacturing Design, a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) and on the National Professional Engineer’s Register (NPER).


Full Member: Dr. Colin Burvill

E-mail: Colin Burvill
Member since: 2007
Current Employer: University of Melbourne
Current Position: Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Website: www.mech.unimelb.edu.au/people

Dr Colin Burvill is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He joined the Department after an early career as a project and design engineer in local engineering and manufacturing companies. As coordinator and lecturer of all engineering design subjects and final year (capstone) project subjects Dr Burvill works on the administration and supervision of up to 70 projects annually, many with industry collaborators.

Dr Burvill has also taught intermediate to advanced structural mechanics (strength of materials) and conceptual design teaching to Civil engineering students

Research interests:

Principally associated with issues associated with “design for manufacturability”, encompassing issues ranging from human cognition and creativity to system automation and self-replication. Have successfully integrated research outcomes with company needs on a series of post-graduate and post-doctoral research and development projects

  • Mechanical systems design
  • Environmental design
  • Policy, Education, Process – research and innovation
  • Bio-mechanical design


Full Member: Paul van de Loo

E-mail: Paul van de Loo
Member since: 2000
Current Employer: Applidyne Australia Pty Ltd
Current Position: Technical Director and CEO
Website: www.cogenmicro.com

Prior to founding engineering product design consultancy Applidyne in 1993, Paul worked as a consulting engineer with Vision Systems and before that with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. Paul has grown Applidyne into one of Australia’s leading product design consultancies. Applidyne has developed many successful products in industry sectors ranging from consumer goods to mining equipment.

More recently he founded Cogen Microsystems, a sustainable energy technology developer which is currently commercialising its first product – a solar heat and power system for households.

Paul van de Loo has a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and is currently the CEO and Technical Director of Applidyne Australia Pty Ltd and Cogen Microsystems Pty Ltd, and is a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) and on the National Professional Engineer’s Register (NPER).


Full Member: Prof. John Raine

E-mail: John Raine
Member since: 1995
Current Employer: Auckland University of Technology
Current Position: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) Head of the School of Engineering
Website: www.aut.ac.nz

Professor John Raine is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Innovation and Enterprise) and Head of the School of Engineering at the Auckland University of Technology. He has previously held senior management positions at Massey University and at the University of Canterbury. His early career was in product development and technical management in the UK engine test plant industry. John Raine chaired the 2011 Ministry of Science and Innovation review of access to and uptake of R&D by the High Value Manufacturing and Services Sector that led to the “Powering Innovation” report to Government. He has had long term involvement in setting up university commercialisation operations, and was co‐founder of WhisperTech Ltd, the Canterbury Innovation Incubator and the HITLabNZ.

He has been a member of the Ministry of Economic Development Design Task Force, and the governance boards of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and of IPENZ. He is currently chairs REANNZ Ltd, the Crown owned Company managing the KAREN advanced research and education broadband network, is a board member of the Committee for Auckland, and is Principal Moderator for the 2012 Tertiary Education Commission Performance Based Research Fund Quality Evaluation.


Full Member: Dr. Warren Smith
E-mail: Warren Smith
National Organiser for Weir Warman Competition

Full Member: Craig Wheeler

E-mail: Craig Wheeler

Full Member: John Reizes

E-mail: John Reizes

Full Member: Shane Parker

E-mail: Shane Parker

Corresponding Member: Paul Carter

E-mail: Paul Carter


Corresponding Member: Alex Mishura

E-mail: Alex Mishura
Member since: 2012
Current Employer: Retired, Design Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Current Position:  -
Website:  -


Alex graduated from the Gordon Institute of Technology with a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, joining the Ford Motor Company Graduate Training Program in 1966. Alex worked within Product Development, retiring in 2007, returning on a part time consulting basis for a further three years.His career covered Test and Development involving durability and functional testing of vehicle components and structures; Engine Laboratory concentrating on testing, development and calibration of Ford produced power-trains; Power-train Design where he was responsible for original, local design, and validation of major engine systems, specializing in induction, combustion and exhaust components such as, the air intake system, throttle system, induction system, engine fuel system, combustion system and engine exhaust system. He proposed and designed the 4.0L I6 DOHC 4V cylinder head, with dual independent phasers as used in current Falcon / Territory vehicles.

Advanced and experimental CAE tools were extensively used for this project. Significant work was also conducted on, V6, V8 and Mazda I4 engines with Alex's responsibilities also including in-vehicle validation, calibration and liaison with numerous world wide suppliers and interfacing with customers.

Alex was principal design engineer for the dual resonance intake manifold launched in 1994 which won the Institution of Engineers Design Award. 



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Related Groups

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Directions Statement

These comments form a basis for discussion for future paths which our committee might take.

Raison d'Etre

To promote and support the development of design engineering in Australia and to promulgate its importance to the economy, our quality of life, and a sustainable future.

Conduit Organisations


  • A design or creative element nurtured in all school activities, projects and exercises.

University & Tertiary Centres

  • Support for programs and people who incorporate design and creativity into courses. A strong push to promote a design (synthesis) stream as a counter to the research (analysis) stream.

Within and Throughout the Institution

  • Committies, Societies, Colleges, Executive, city and country.

Other Professional Associations

  • ACEA
  • AIM (Australian Institute of Management)
  • DIA
  • AAEE

Business & Business Associations

  • Area business associations
  • Community organisations
  • Rotary, Lions, Apex


  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Journals

Government: Local, State, Federal & Quasi-Government

  • Political groups at these levels plus defence, power, transport & water authorities.


Possible Activities (Across All Conduit Organisations)

  • Recognition of design in engineering, engineering designers and participants at all levels, nationally and internationally.
  • Support of the Australian Design Awards, Engineering Excellence Awards etc, providing or nominating judges, providing design awards at Universities or guidance to companies wishing to sponsor awards, possibly eventually taking over the Australian Design Awards and then making them an international award.
  • Design recognition through member accolades or titles (eg the Italian or German prefix Ing).

Publications & Articles

  • To media, government, IEAust Journal, schools etc ie all of the above organisations.


  • Direct, indirect & orchestrated advertising of all activities, publications, awards, programs, etc.


  • Of visiting speakers, prizes, renowned designers, student designers, growth industries utilizing design as a core activity, orchestrating such.

Literature & information identification & dissemination

  • A direction, cataloging & support service, worldwide & web based. The orchestration or implementation.


  • Such as the Weir Minerals Competition. Schools web based competitions. Support of existing design oriented competitions (eg Solar Marathon) & possible eventual orchestration. Eventually the implementation of international competitions.

Standards liaison

  • Input, guidance or nominations to any design related standards committee, nationally or internationally.

Body of final approval for design certification authorities

  • An ambition to become the recognised umbrella for all design certification bodies.

Establishment of a national, design engineer register

  • Who does what in Australia, successes, projects.


  • Design support. Advocation of a design stream through to higher degrees in addition to a research stream.

Syllabus or program, input or consultation access

  • At all levels, schools, universities, business training.

Lectures, papers & presentations

  • Not only at academic forums, but at business luncheons, Rotary meetings, Executive training sessions etc.

Visiting speaker curriculum

  • Identifying overseas high profile or highly competent speakers, organising, sponsor organisation, orchestration.


  • From local school exhibitions to major equipment or service exhibitions, providing input, identifying resources, recommending structure.

Seminars, workshops & demonstrations

  • Use of new prototyping techniques, software, influencing technical seminars to incorporate a design element & design issues.

Initiation of a national design archive

  • Great design achievements, people, effects.

Implementation & maintenance of international engineering design association liaisons

  • Provision or encouragement of Australian participants at the international level.

Liaison & communication

  • Between all design related bodies and input provided for all design issues nationally & internationally.

Guidance on intellectual property protection

  • To individuals, industry and on policy formulation.

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Strategic Plan


To develop engineering design such that it is seen as a distinct competency adding to the achievement of sustainable national development. 

Critical Success Factors and Key Strategies

1. Convince both politicians and industry leaders about the crucial role design has to play in revitalising industry.

  • Provide for industry representation on the NCED

  • Work through the Institution of Engineers

  • Conference presentations and participation

  • Arrange for publicity (eg. Engineers Australia)

  • Lobby politicians

2. Create a pool of good experienced local designers

  • Sponsor competitions (eg. Warman Competition)

  • Sponsor excellence awards

  • Develop clear and rewarding career paths

  • Influence young people in schools

  • Involve more women

3. Improve the quality of education in engineering design

  • Influence the way Universities select staff

  • Educate present teaching staff

  • Arrange for design lectures to be given

  • Develop teacher resource kits

  • Engage eminent speakers

  • Develop WEB page

  • Influence engineering course carricula

  • Develop compentency standards

4. Develop and document best practice

  • Issue project / product design checklist

  • Develop engineering data base

  • Prepare appropriate guidelines

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Contact Us

For any enquiries regarding the National Committee on Engineering Design please contact:

Executive Officer

P: 02 6270 6186
E: nced@engineersaustralia.org.au

Engineers Australia
Engineering House
11 National Cct
Barton ACT 2600

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