Electrical College Awards


Engineering awards conferred by the Electrical College of Engineers Australia.




About this Award

The National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year award is designed to promote excellence and the profession within the community at large, and encourage young people to consider electrical engineering (especially power engineering) as a career.

This award is an annual national award for an outstanding senior electrical engineer member of the College who would be expected to be at (or near) the peak of his or her career, and a good role model for younger members of the profession.

In contrast, the M A Sargent Medal is awarded only when there is a nomination of a candidate who meets the special requirements of that award, normally at the end or near the end of their career, as it is an award recognising overall career achievements.

In summary, the National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year award is designed to:

  • promote excellence;
  • promote the profession within the community at large; and
  • encourage young people to consider electrical engineering (especially power engineering) as a career.

The recipient will be a highly respected member of the College and a role model for young members.

Nomination Criteria

The following criteria are used to assess applicants:

  • Substantial experience in the profession of electrical engineering (in industry, government or academia);
  • Currently fully active in electrical engineering work, either at a senior managerial or specialist technical level, or a combination of both;
  • A solid history of high level achievements in the work of the profession (as a technical specialist, or manager of people and/or projects), demonstrating outstanding leadership;
  • Demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Sound awareness of the role engineering and other professions play within the community; and
  • Evidence of participation in the provision of CPD to the members of the profession.

Terms and Conditions

Nominees must be:

  • members of the Electrical College of Engineers Australia;
  • Australian citizens or permanent Australian residents; and
  • either a Fellow or have CPEng status.

Please note that if a nomination is not successful in the year of nomination, it will be considered again during each of the following two years.

Presentation of Award

The award consists of an engraved medal and framed certificate and is presented at a suitable formal Engineers Australia event.

2019 Winner

Michelle Taylor FIEAust

Michelle Taylor

Michelle has 27 years of experience in varied energy sector roles in public utilities, private consultancies and universities. She has a background in design, project management, research and development and high performing team management.  She currently works with a team in Energy Queensland enabling new technologies for customers and the electricity network.

Her background encompasses extensive experience in renewable energy and energy storage technologies including renewable energy systems, stand-alone power systems, distributed energy technologies, photovoltaic devices, energy storage devices and their associated issues. She is actively involved in the development of Australian Standards, technical and professional training and electrical safety in her area of expertise – renewable energy systems.



Past winners can be found here. 


About this Award

This is a prestigious award made jointly by the College of Electrical Engineers and the College of ITEE Engineers. It is named in honour of Dr Michael Anthony (Mike) Sargent, an outstanding Australian electrical engineer. Dr Sargent graduated from the University of Queensland in 1964 and gained a PhD in electrical engineering at the same university in 1967. After holding various engineering appointments in Queensland and North America he joined the South East Queensland Electricity Board in 1978 becoming its Chief Engineer in 1984 and became Manager, Business Systems in 1989.

Dr Sargent is an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia and has served in many positions in Engineers Australia including Chairman of the Electrical and Computing Branch of Queensland Division 1976, Chairman of Queensland Division 1984, member of the then Council 1984 - 1986, Vice President of Engineers Australia 1985 - 1986 and also 1988, Deputy Chairman of the Electrical College Board 1988, Deputy President of Engineers Australia 1989 and President in 1990.

Nomination Criteria

  • a highly significant contribution, through technical innovation, to the science or practice of electrical engineering; or
  • longstanding eminence in science or the practice of electrical engineering; or
  • exceptional and sustained management or leadership relating to electrical engineering; or
  • a notable combination of the foregoing qualities.

Please note that international peer recognition of contributions to the practice of electrical engineering will be well regarded.

Terms and Conditions

Nominees must be:

  • a current member of Engineers Australia
  • an Australia Citizen or a permanent Australian resident

Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Please note that if a nomination is not successful in the year of nomination, it will be considered again during each of the following two years.

Presentation of Award

The award consists of an engraved medal and framed certificate and is presented at a suitable formal Engineers Australia event.

2019 Winner

Derek Abbott

Professor Derek Abbott FIEAust

Derek Abbott is a Professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide.

Professor Abbott’s engineering research is at the forefront of photonics, advancing terahertz radiation (T-rays) techniques. Terahertz radiation lies between microwaves and infrared on the electromagnetic spectrum. Using ultrafast femtosecond lasers, he generates terahertz radiation and explores the fundamental engineering science and also the advanced electromagnetics of how terahertz radiation interacts with matter. This is aimed at next-generation non-contact sensing of biomolecules for detection of disease states and also in chemical sensing of hazardous substances for security.

In 2006, he established the first major terahertz lab in the southern hemisphere. This world-class ARC National T-ray Facility is based at the University of Adelaide, Australia.


Past winners can be found here


About this Award

This national award recognises a professional engineer who has demonstrated significant achievements in electrical power engineering during the preceding six years. Contributions to the community are also valued.

This annual award is an example of an effective partnership between Engineers Australia and industry. Engineers Australia's Electrical College Board and the Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA) jointly developed the initiative, to encourage young Australians to develop a career in electrical power engineering, and also to reward outstanding achievements.

Nomination Criteria

The candidates will be judged solely on the following criteria:

  • Your submission should detail an example of how you applied automation systems, computer modelling and other engineering techniques within a power engineering application. What challenges did you face? How did you overcome these challenges? What was the significant commercial and customer benefit from the solution that you implemented? Were there any other significant achievements that resulted from this project?
  • Achievements during the years since graduation of undergraduate degree (to a maximum of 6 years), in the form of significant practical and/or theoretical work in the practice of Electrical Power Engineering;
  • Active contributions to the community will be favourably regarded; and
  • Candidates with Chartered status will be favourably regarded.

Please note: If in the opinion of the judging panel, no suitable candidate is nominated in that year, the judging panel has the right and obligation to decline the making of an award in that year.

Terms and Conditions

A nominee must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • be eligible to be a member of Engineers Australia in the grade of Professional Engineer, Graduate or Member
  • be employed in the electrical power engineering field in any industry
  • have graduated with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering within the last six years
  • include signed letters of support from the candidate's employer/sponsor and at least one other work related reference
  • include a detailed CV
  • include a brief statement of ambitions
  • include a copy of their final tertiary results
  • include a current photo

The submission should not exceed 20 pages in total.

Presentation of Award

The winner receives:

  • Travel and registration to attend CIRED event;
  • One year free subscription to Electric Energy Society of Australia and full registration to the National Electrical Energy Society of Australia Conference and Exhibition including travel and accommodation; and
  • A framed certificate

The winner will be presented with their award at a suitable formal Engineers Australia event.

2019 Winner

Abrar Aziz

Mr Abrar Aziz GradIEAust

Abrar is a Power Engineer with research and industry experience since 2014 from Carbon Nexus, Arup Pty Ltd, AusNet Services, NHP Electrical Engineering Pty Ltd and Middleton Group Engineering Pty Ltd. Currently, he is assisting High Voltage customers to prepare for the deployment of a new earthing technology (REFCL), which is aimed to reduce bushfires caused by fallen powerlines. Abrar has been the lead electrical engineer for the delivery of impact assessments, design work for HV customers and detail design of Brooklyn and Kew HV intake switchboard upgrade for Melbourne Water.

Abrar is currently the Secretary of the Electric Energy Society Australia Victorian Committee and has made the following achievements:
. Responsible for the successful marketing campaign for EECON 2017
. Organised the EESA mentorship program 2018

Abrar has been active with Engineers Australia in ensuring their strong presence on campus as an Engineers Australia Campus Coordinator for Deakin University.

As a student, Abrar has conducted research and has currently been the guest lecturer at Deakin University and the Swinburne University of Technology in regards to protection of electrical equipment.

Abrar has been awarded the Associated Dean (Research) Summer Prize and Global Citizenship award from the Vice Chancellor of Deakin University


Past winners can be found here.

About this Award

The John Madsen Medal is awarded for the best paper written by a current member of Engineers Australia, and published in The Australian Journal of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The medal perpetuates the memory of Sir John Madsen who was Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Sydney from 1920 to 1949. Sir John Madsen was one of Australia's great electrical engineers and some of his outstanding community service was through his active cooperation with CSIRO. He proposed the founding of a Radio Research Board and was a leader in the development of radar in Australia. He was active in forming the Electrical Research Board and the National Standards Laboratory. He was a Councillor of the Institution from 1930 to 1933 and was awarded the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal in 1944.

In 1976 this medal replaced the Electrical Engineering Prize which was originally founded upon a donation made by the Electrical Association of Australia, one of the Foundation Societies of the Institution. It was first awarded in 1927 and was known as the Electrical Association Premium. The name was changed to the Electrical Engineering Prize in 1954. The award formerly consisted of a certificate and a cash premium.

Terms and Conditions

  • For a technical paper to be eligible for consideration for the Madsen Medal it must satisfy the following criteria:
    • The topic of the paper must be related to the discipline of Electrical or ITEE Engineering; and
    • The paper must have been published in the AJEEE in the previous year
  • At least half of the authors must be members of Engineers Australia during the entire period from the time of submission of the paper, to the end of the financial year during which the paper was published in the AJEEE; or
  • The principal author must be a member of Engineers Australia during the entire period from the time of submission of the paper, to the end of the financial year during which the paper was published in the AJEEE

Presentation of Award

The winner is awarded an engraved medal and framed certificate and is presented at a suitable formal Engineers Australia event, during the year following that when the paper was published. Authors who are not members of Engineers Australia will receive a certificate only.

The 2016 John Madsen Medal was not awarded due to a lack of eligible papers. The 2017 John Madsen Medal will be awarded on papers published in 2017 and the judging process will begin in 2018.

2015 Winners 

Paper - "Generation modelling of residential rooftop photovoltaic systems and its applications in practical electricity distribution networks

Peter K.C. Wong

Peter K.C. Wong FIEAust CPEng

Peter K.C. Wong was born in Hong Kong. He received the B.Sc. (Eng.) degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hong Kong in 1983. He is currently pursuing a PhD degree in electrical engineering at Victoria University, Australia.

From 1983 to 1989, he was a Protection Engineer with the Hong Kong Electric Co. Ltd. From 1989 to 1994, he was a senior Control and Protection Engineer with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, Australia. From 1994 to 1995, he was a Product Manager with Schneider Australia. From 1995 to 2007, he worked in various technical leadership roles with United Energy and Alinta. Since 2007, he worked for Jemena, an electricity and gas infrastructure company in Australia, and is currently the Manager Network Technology and Measurement responsible for new technology and smart meter strategy.

Mr. Wong is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and a Corporate Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (U.K.). He was the recipient of the Energy Networks Association Overseas Study Tour Award in 2011.

Dr Robert Barr

Dr Robert Barr FIEAust CPEng

Dr Robert Barr AM  is a consulting engineer, director of his company Electric Power Consulting Pty Ltd and the current National President of the Electric Energy Society of Australia. Robert has over 42 years experience in the field of electricity distribution, is a fellow of  Engineers Australia and a member of Consult Australia. Robert is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong and was awarded the title of Australian National Professional Electrical Engineer of the year in 2012. Dr Barr became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Prof Akhtar Kalam

Prof Akhtar Kalam FIEAust CPEng NER

Professor Akhtar Kalam has been at Victoria University, Melbourne since 1985 and a former Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science for 7 years. He is currently the Head of Engineering. He is also the current Chair of the Academic Board and lectures in the Masters by coursework program in the Engineering Institute of Technology, Perth Australia. Further, he has Distinguished Professorship position at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and 5 Malaysian universities.

He has wide experience in educational institutions and industry across four continents. He received his B.Sc. and B.Sc. Engineering from Calcutta University and Aligarh Muslim University, India. He completed his MS and PhD at the University of Oklahoma, USA and the University of Bath, UK. He has worked with Ingersoll Rand and other electrical manufacturers. He has held teaching appointments at the University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq and Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education, Rockhampton, Queensland.

He is regularly invited to deliver lectures, work on industrial projects and examine external thesis overseas. His major areas of interests are power system analysis, communication, control, protection, renewable energy, smart grid, IEC61850 implementation and cogeneration systems. He has been actively engaged in the teaching of Energy Systems to undergraduates, postgraduates and providing professional courses to the industry both in Australia and overseas. He regularly offers Continuing Professional Development and Master Class courses on Power System Protection, Renewable Energy, IEC61850, Cogeneration & Gas Turbine Operation and PBL in engineering education to practising engineers, the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) and Australian Power Institute (API). He also runs postgraduate distance education programme on Power System Protection for the ESAA. He has conducted research, provided industrial consultancy and published over five hundred publications on his area of expertise and written over 29 books in the area. More than 35 students have graduated under his supervision and he is an external examiner of many external doctoral students in Australia and overseas. He provides consultancy for major electrical utilities, manufacturers and other industry bodies in his field of expertise. Professor Kalam is a Fellow of EA, IET, AIE, a member of IEEE and CIGRE AP B5.


Past winners can be found here. 


Contact Us

For general enquiries on these awards please contact Engineers Australia's Engineering Practice directorate at: [email protected]