Eminent Speaker Program

The Eminent Speaker Program enables members to hear presentations by notable persons from Australia and Overseas on key topics of interest to the profession across a range of disciplines.

The Current Speakers section will be updated regularly as tours are organised by the National discipline Colleges & Committees of Engineers Australia.

The Past Speakers section allows you to access the presentation slides & video-streamed presentations of speakers you may have missed over the past months.

Unless otherwise stated, there is now a $10 charge for non-members to attend any of the Eminent Speaker Presentations. Payment is required at registration for the presentation applicable.

Current Speakers

Dr Trevor Bird

 Principal, Antengenuity & CSIRO Fellow

Trevor Bird gained his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1977. He worked in the UK and returned to Australia to lecture at James Cook University of North Queensland before joining CSIRO in 1983.

Dr Bird has published 300 papers and 7 book chapters – including a chapter in the fourth edition of the Antenna Engineering Handbook, the standard reference on antennas since the 1960s. He holds 12 patents and his projects have earned tens of millions of dollars for CSIRO.

He is a Fellow of four learned societies, including an honorary Fellowship of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

Dr Bird has been awarded three CSIRO Medals, an IEEE Third Millennium Medal, a Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in telecommunications, five best paper awards, was named 2003 Professional Engineer of the Year by the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia and recently he was awarded the M.A. Sargeant Medal for 2012. He was made a CSIRO Fellow in 2007 and recently commenced a Post-retirement Fellowship. He is an Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University, Guest Professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and President-elect of the IEEE Antennas & Propagation Society.

Presentation topic

From Wireless to Astronomy: lessons from an engineering career

The wireless revolution in progress has produced dramatic changes in our work and social activities. The speaker, Dr Bird, was fortunate to have witnessed first-hand some of the wireless research that caused some of these changes. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s he participated in a project that aimed to achieve the then ten times the current data rate for indoor wireless local area networks. His research in antennas and propagation for WLANs anticipated later research by a CSIRO team that resulted in a patented approach that is now incorporated in most wireless chips in use today.

Earlier Dr Bird was involved in second generation satellite system design. Today the satellite industry doesn’t think twice about computerised design and optimisation of antennas, but the speaker and his team at CSIRO were some of the pioneers in the use of CAD. When Dr Bird commenced work in antenna design for on-board satellites, the industry spent a large amount of time and money on cut-and-try design that included an extensive prototype build and test phase. Now the antennas are fully designed by computer and the main function of the test phase is only to verify the fabricated flight hardware. On the ground too, for the pay TV industry, Dr Bird and his team used computer-based methods for antenna design that led to the first multibeam antenna that transmits to or receives signals from geostationary satellites. This innovation means a single antenna can replace many single dishes: they are now used in major installations in several countries overseas.  Radio astronomy has a record of providing significant downstream benefits in other areas such as communications and signal processing. Conversely, applying multibeam techniques from satellites to radio astronomy, Dr Bird developed a feed system for CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope, which led to the first sighting of a double pulsar. Observatories such as Jodrell Bank and Arecibo also have multibeam feed systems designed by the speaker.

The most prestigious publication in the antenna research field is the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. Dr Bird was the first person from outside of the United States to be chosen Editor in Chief of this journal – a position he held for six years.

Dr Bird will recount the stories behind these achievements, along with others, and on how he got into engineering from a farming background in country Victoria and where it took him in a forty year career in engineering. As well as some technical aspects, he will relate the experience of innovation in Australia and the importance of overseas collaboration for success.

Presentation locations and dates

REGISTER ONLINE NOW

 

Adelaide
Monday 13th August 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia
Level 11
108 King William St
Adelaide

Darwin
Thursday 16th August 2012
5:00pm start
Engineers Australia
14 Shepherd St
Darwin

Perth
Thursday 27th September 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia
712 Murray St
West Perth
 

 Brisbane
Monday 8th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia
Engineering House
447 Upper Edward St
Brisbane

Townsville
Tuesday 9th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
James Cook University
Building DA003
Room 002 - Humanities Block

JCU Townsville Interactive Map - please type in room number (DA003.001) and the map will locate/highlight position

 

Cairns
Tuesday 9th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
James Cook University
Room B1.108
This presentation will be streamed live from Townsville

JCU Cairns Interactive Map - please type in room number (B1.108) and the map will locate/highlight position http://www.jcu.edu.au/maps/cairns/interactive/ 

 

Rockhampton 
Wednesday 10th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Central Queensland University
Building 33
Room G.22

 

Mackay - video ISL
Wednesday 10th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Central Queensland University
Building 20, Room G.11
This presentation will be streamed live from Rockhampton

 

Gladstone - video ISL
Wednesday 10th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Central Queensland University
Building 3, Room G.27
This presentation will be streamed live from Rockhampton

 
Bundaberg - video ISL
Wednesday 10th October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Central Queensland University
Building 1, Room 1.05
This presentation will be streamed live from Rockhampton
 
 

Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt

Head, Future Submarine Program, Department of Defence

Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt has been Head of Australia’s Future Submarine Program since February 2009.

Born and schooled in Sydney, Admiral Moffitt graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay, at the end of 1975.  A surface warfare officer and specialist navigator, he completed a number of sea and shore postings before commissioning the frigate HMAS NEWCASTLE as Commanding Officer in mid-1993.  A tour as the Fleet Operations Officer followed, after which he undertook a year of full time study to achieve a Master of Business Administration.   Command of the destroyer HMAS BRISBANE preceded his promotion to Commodore and posting to Navy Headquarters as Director General Navy Capability Management at the end of 1999.   In mid-2001 he took command of the Australian Defence Force Warfare Centre located on the RAAF Base at Williamtown.

Promoted to Rear Admiral in mid-2002, he served as the Deputy Chief of Navy, Maritime Commander Australia and Deputy Chief of Joint Operations before undertaking a study into submarine workforce sustainability in 2008, a period which gave him very useful preparation for his role as Head of the Future Submarine Program.

Presentation topic

FUTURE SUBMARINES - FEW EASY CHOICES

The Government’s intention to double the size of Australia’s submarine force is a bold, game-changing rebalancing of Australia’s military order of battle. There will be few easy choices, especially since we are starting from a submarine capability that is challenged and has been delivering below expectation. 

The Defence White Paper 2009 plan to assemble new submarines in South Australia will be a long, expensive undertaking with significant risk.  For the Future Submarines Program to succeed there needs to be a national determination and willingness to work through the challenges we will inevitably confront.  Scoping the undertaking realistically will be essential, as will setting a clear vision of what we want to achieve and why.  A key part of that will be a clear understanding of what we need from industry and academia – especially in the engineering disciplines.

 

Presentation locations and dates

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Download Presentation Flyer

Kwinana
Wednesday 1st August 2012
5.30pm for 6.00pm start
Jakovich Centre
4 McGrath Road
Henderson WA

Melbourne
Tuesday 4th September 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineering House
Level 2
21 Bedford St
North Melbourne

Sydney
Tuesday 2nd October 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia
Level 3
8 Thomas St, Chatswood 

 Launceston
 Wednesday 10th October 2012
 5:30pm for 6:00pm start 
 Australian Maritime College
 Building 8, 8 Maritime Way
 Newnham
 Launceston

https://www.amc.edu.au/sites/default/files/AMCcampusmap-web.pdf

 Brisbane
 Monday 30th October 2012
 5:30pm for 6:00pm start
 Engineers Australia
 Engineering House
 447 Upper Edward St
 Brisbane

 

Dr Robert Barr

2012 National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year

Dr Robert Barr of Electric Power Consulting provides specialised electrical engineering consulting services across all Australian states and territories and overseas.  Robert's main clients include electricity supply companies, high voltage electricity customers, railway companies, federal, state & local governments, universities and other large energy users.

Robert is the National President of the Electric Energy Society of Australia and is a visiting Professor at Wollongong University. In addition to EESA membership, Robert is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a member of Consult Australia, a member of the IEEE and a member of the EEA of New Zealand.

Dr Barr is the National Professional Electrical Engineer of the year for 2012. This award is given annually by the Electrical College Board of Engineers Australia to an outstanding senior electrical engineer member of the College at the peak of his or her career. The award is designed to provide role models for younger members of the engineering profession.

Presentation topic

Australia’s Green Electricity Schemes – Costs and Benefits

Robert's presentation will provide a timely review of the many Government initiated electricity green schemes including the Carbon Tax. His presentation will also cover the influence of markets and regulation on energy and network costs and how these need to be better managed.

 

 Presentation locations and dates 

REGISTER ONLINE NOW 

 

Sydney
Wednesday 18 July 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia
Harricks Auditorium, Ground Floor
8 Thomas St, Chatswood 

Melbourne
Monday 20 August 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineering House
Level 2
21 Bedford St
North Melbourne 

Hobart
Wednesday 22 August 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Royal Engineers Building
2 Davey St
Hobart

Adelaide
Tuesday 11 September 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia
Level 11
108 King William St
Adelaide 

Darwin
Thursday 20 September 2012
5:00pm start
Engineers Australia
14 Shepherd St
Darwin 

Brisbane
 Wednesday 7 November 2012
 5:30pm for 6:00pm start
 Engineers Australia
 Engineering House
 447 Upper Edward St
 Brisbane 

 

Jacques Combault

Technical Director of Finley Engineering Group (USA)
Professor at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (France)

Jacques COMBAULT was born in 1943. After receiving a degree in civil engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, he began his career at CAMPENON BERNARD (now a division of VINCI) in the Bridge Design Department where he had the chance to work with Jean MULLER and Jacques MATHIVAT. Mr COMBAULT's early projects entailed the design of major links in France from 1970 to 1980 and more especially of the Brotonne Bridge, a world record in the field of concrete cable-stayed bridges.
 
In 1980, Mr COMBAULT was named director of CAMPENON BERNARD's Bridge Design Section. As such, he was associated with major innovations in the field of bridges and contributed to the development of external prestressing and steel-concrete composite box girders, made of concrete slabs connected to steel corrugated webs; he was also involved in the design and construction of large cable stayed bridges abroad. In 1993, Mr COMBAULT joined the GTM Group (now a division of VINCI). He served as Scientific Director and coordinated design and construction methods for most of the GTM Group’s major projects. Among them are: the Second Severn Crossing in UK, the Confederation Bridge in Canada and the Rion-Antirion Bridge in Greece.
 
Working as an independent consultant in the field of Structural Engineering since 2001, Jacques COMBAULT received the fib Medal of Merit 2004, in recognition of his carrier mainly devoted to Bridges and large Projects; he is currently professor at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (Paris – France) in the field of construction techniques and Technical Director of Finley Engineering Group (Florida – USA). President of the International Association for Bridges and Structural Engineering (I.A.B.S.E) from 2007 to 2010, Mr COMBAULT has published over 40 scientific and technical papers and has delivered talks at many international conferences as Key-Note Speaker.
 

Presentation topic

Fixed Links and Long Span Bridges
Fifteen Years of incredible Challenges in Structural Engineering

Challenges for the new millennium will lead unavoidably to the construction of long links and long span bridges which will reduce the distances between people, the cost of transportation and the necessary time to travel around the world. Several major fixed links, including exceptional long span bridges, have been built during the last fifteen years. The concept of cable-stayed bridges has considerably extended the field of Structural Engineering to the design of many crossings which were not possible in the past.

Structures to be built in the future will be gigantic, impressive, light and heavy, deep and high, wide and long. They will be challenging major straits, mitigating natural disasters, fighting the power of the wind, of the sea, of the earth, but linking people, countries, continents. They will have to be erected within a short time to improve our daily life as quickly as possible. The way this is going to be achieved can be seen from the progress made in design and construction methods. Gigantism is not a fact; it is a need to erect major links, quickly, economically, and safely.

 Presentation locations and dates 

REGISTER ONLINE NOW 

 

Sydney
Monday 9th July 2012
5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Engineers Australia - Sydney Divison

Level 3
8 Thomas Street
Chatswood NSW 2067

 

More Information

Currently Touring

  • Dr Trevor Bird
  • Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt
  • Dr Robert Barr
     

Upcoming Speakers

Details of the 2012-2013 Eminent Speaker Series Speakers.

2011-2012 Series Supporting Partners

 

 


 

 

Enquiries

Eminent Speaker Program Coordinator
eminentspeakerseries@engineersaustralia.org.au
P: 02 6270 6584

Past Speakers

 
Technical Societies     Committees & Panels