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The 18th Australian Engineering Heritage Conference is to be held 7-9 December 2015 at the Newcastle Museum, Newcastle NSW hosted by the Newcastle Division of Engineers Australia and Engineering Heritage Australia.
To introduce the varied themes proposed for the conference, a pre-conference tour will start at Sydney’s Central Station, include a descent on the world’s steepest cable railway, take in parts of the World Heritage Great North Road and visit many other sites of outstanding engineering heritage value. They include Aboriginal works, 19th and 21st century coal mines, a Fresnel solar array power booster for a power station, and a medley of 19th century timber truss bridges. The tour ends in Newcastle for the conference reception.
The organising committee is sure that those attending the 2015 Engineering Heritage Conference will enjoy the conference, and the historic city of Newcastle.
The Engineering Heritage Recognition Program is an updated version of the Australian Historic Engineering Plaquing Program which was established in 1984 as a means of bringing public recognition to engineering works of historic or heritage significance and to the engineers who created them. The aims of the program are to encourage the conservation of Australian engineering heritage, and to raise community awareness of engineering and the benefits it provides.
The National Engineering Oral History Program was established in June 2001. Its purpose is to record the experiences and achievements of nationally significant engineers. Over time it will also establish an engineering oral history data-base which can be accessed by researchers, biographers, historians, journalists, social scientists etc.
Engineers Australia is dedicated to conserving significant items of engineering heritage in a manner that conforms to both statutory requirements and the philosophy of the Burra Charter and to help provide the skills required by engineers for conservation of all the nation's built heritage.
An engineer's role in conservation of built heritage requires understanding of the conservation process. Most existing guidelines are not entirely applicable to engineering heritage in particular or the engineering aspects of built heritage in general, consequently EHA has prepared and published "Engineering Heritage and Conservation Guidelines", aimed specifically at engineers, in order to assist professionals in protecting significance during conservation projects..
Engineering works have been at the forefront of improvements to public health and quality of life. The engineering of roads, railways, telecommunications, power, sewerage and water supply etc. has produced substantial benefits for mankind and much architectural progress has depended on significant engineering input. The conservation of our engineering and industrial heritage provides continuity with the past and with the Nation's growth. It demonstrates the development of ideas and technology and celebrates the genius of our engineering forebears. The conservation of this national heritage asset is substantially dependant on heritage engineers.
Heritage and conservation engineering requires applications and adaptations of all the traditional disciplines of engineering, together with an understanding of the elementary scientific principles involved which might not be directly referenced in current practice procedures. Practitioners need to be aware of all the phases involved in conservation and the role of other professions, such as historians, archaeologists and architects.
The purpose of establishing a recognised area of practice called ‘Heritage and Conservation Engineering' is to provide accreditation for professional engineers competent in that field, and for those where heritage and conservation engineering is a significant area of their professional practice.
Management of the Specific Area of Competency for Heritage and Conservation Engineering is the responsibility of a competency panel comprising representatives of Engineering Heritage Australia and the Colleges of Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, in consultation with State heritage Bodies. The setting of standards and administration of the registration scheme is the responsibility of the competency panel, but assessment of applications is the responsibility of an assessment panel, established by Engineers Australia and comprising engineers experienced in heritage and conservation.
For more information or to apply for registration visit the National Engineering Registration Board website.
Engineering Heritage Australia is the newsletter of the National Committee on Engineering Heritage.
Engineers Australia receives many requests from Engineers and others for advice and help on assessing items and works for their cultural heritage significance and for conserving those which are considered to be of heritage significance.
Appropriate and successful assessment and subsequent conservation often require specific expertise which can only be adequately provided by engineers.
Heritage Engineering applies engineering expertise to heritage works and the Practice Notes use a broad application of the principles of the Burra Charter.
As an example, buildings are regarded by the general public as primary heritage works due largely to Architects and the National Trust. However the conservation of those buildings requires knowledge of the basic science of materials and their performance is dependent on knowledge of their attributes, their weaknesses their strengths and how best to use and protect them. The process additionally requires, to name examples, knowledge of structures, of the environment, of geology, of chemistry, of hydraulics and of construction techniques. They include the disintegrating processes of weathering, corrosion, chemical and electrolytic reactions. Public safety is an important consideration.
The scope of relevant knowledge extends to where the technology used fits into the evolution of technique, design and construction, and to the people involved in each of these.
The approach is applicable to all works involving technology.
The works cover buildings, machines, both fixed and movable, constructions such as dams and reservoirs, electricity generation and applications, communications, treatment and manufacturing plants and equipment, bridges, railways etc. They may include ideas, concepts, processes or new technology but assessment of their heritage value must always include their basic science, their evolution, their social impact and the people involved.
The Practice Notes use these concepts.
They are arranged in a progressive order of first establishing principles and philosophy then moving on to specific examples.
The list has been prepared on the basis of a logical progression from stating what engineering heritage means to how to assess, on to how to conserve - what it is, what to do and how to do it. The individual Notaes are abuitl on this basis and more Notes will be progressively added for specific topics.
- Note 1: Evaluation of Engineering Heritage
- Note 2: Assessment of Engineering Heritage Items
- Note 3: Conservation of Engineering Heritage Items
- Note 4: Assessment of an Industrial Site
- Note 5: Assessment and Conservation of an Industrial Item
- Note 6: Assessment and Conservation of a Timber Building
- Note 7: Assessment and Conservation of Movable Heritage
- Note 8: Assessment and Conservation of a Wheeled Steam Engine
- Note 9: Interpretation of an Engineering Heritage Item
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