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.

Submission guidelines 

You must provide the following with your submission:

  1. Nominee’s Short Biography.
  2. Nominee’s Citation.
  3. Nominee’s current CV including employment history and achievements.
  4. Nominee’s information addressing each criteria.
  5. Contact details of two supporting members with CPEng or Fellow status.
  6. Nominee's portrait photo.

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 a medal and framed certificate and is presented at a suitable formal Engineers Australia event.


Nominations close Friday 23 July 2021.





2020 Joint Winners

Kate Summers hedshot

Kate Summers FIEAust

Kate is a highly respected engineer with 26 years of experience within the power industry.  She has contributed significantly to the integration of renewable energy through technical regulatory and practical work and has been a most dynamic and effective advocate for and on behalf of the power system as the most essential service that underpins the well-being of Australia’s economy. She is currently working as Technical Executive - Power Operations with WSP.

Commencing work at State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) prior to privatisation, Kate was trained in power system dynamics, control methods, operational practises and planning.  She transitioned into the Victorian Power Exchange (VPX) and was involved in early market design work, transmission planning and engineering support for operational control. At NEMMCO, prior to market start, she implemented national market systems and integrated operational processes across the regions.  In 2004 she joined Pacific Hydro, developing expertise in issues unique to renewable energy development and control, owner-operator perspectives and market integration. 

Kate advocates for engineering principles, practice and the necessary nested hierarchy of controls within the power system analysing the multiplicity of changes implemented over time for the national market. She identified the root causes of the deterioration in frequency control, which until recently had been attributed to the increasing percentage of renewable energy on the grid.


Les Brand headshot

Les Brand FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Les has 26 years of experience in the power transmission and distribution industry in Australia, Asia and North America. He has held senior and executive roles for companies within these sectors, including transmission and distribution utilities, engineering consultancies and project developers. Les has a broad background in AC transmission and distribution networks and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) projects, and applies this experience to his current role as Managing Director and  Principal Consultant with Amplitude Consultants, a Brisbane based engineering consultancy that he co-founded in 2015 which has a focus on HVDC and FACTS systems, high voltage cables and the connection of renewable energy generation to the grid.

Les has held key roles for a number of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) projects including Directlink (Australia), Murraylink (Australia), Basslink (Australia) and Trans Bay Cable (California, USA) with these roles covering  project management, site supervision, factory acceptance testing, commissioning management and operations management for the HVDC systems, HVDC converter stations and associated land and submarine cables.

Les actively contributes to the HVDC and power electronics industry at an international level, including active participation in CIGRE study committee B4 (DC and Power Electronics) and IEC Technical Committee 99.



2019 Winner


Michelle Taylor
Michelle Taylor FIEAust

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. Michelle is actively involved in the development of Australian Standards, technical and professional training and electrical safety in her area of expertise – renewable energy systems.



National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year: Past winners (177KB PDF)

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 Australian Citizen or a permanent Australian resident.

Submission guidelines

You must provide the following with your submission:

  1. Nominee’s current CV including employment history and achievements
  2. Nominee’s Short Biography
  3. Nominee’s information addressing each criteria
  4. Contact details of two supporting members with CPEng or Fellow status
  5. Nominee's portrait photo

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.


Nominations close Friday 23 July 2021. 





2020 Winner 

Ian Hiskens headshot
Professor Ian Hiskens FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Professor Ian Hiskens is a world leader in power system analysis. His work seeks to maximise economic operation of power systems whilst ensuring satisfaction of applicable reliability standards. His contributions are copious, with highly cited publications ranging from control schemes for enabling load responsiveness to algorithms for optimising grid operation. These contributions translate to operational impact on future power systems both in the U.S. and Australia, as well as across the planet.

Owing to his extraordinary understanding of power systems, Ian is often sought by eminent international bodies, most recently by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to advise on “Autonomous Energy Systems” and by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to advise on their “Grid Control Theory” program. Ian’s ability to make complex mathematics seem straightforward is unique. He is exceptionally generous with providing his time and insights, serving in leadership roles including governing boards for numerous international conferences, organiser of workshops which promote cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer, and Vice-President for Finance of the IEEE Systems Council. He established the power/energy area and curriculum at the University of Michigan (in the top two or three public university in the U.S.) creating a catalyst for now strong collaborations with the local (Detroit) automotive industry and utilities, as well as with numerous national laboratories.

Ian commenced his career in the Queensland electricity supply industry before moving to academia. Notable achievements while in industry include development and integration of one of the world's first on-line power system state estimators, and commissioning one of the largest static VAR compensators in the world at the time.

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.


M A Sargent Medal: Past winners (187KB PDF)

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.
  • 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.

Submission guidelines 

You must provide the following with your submission:

  1. Nominee’s brief statement of ambitions.
  2. Nominee’s current detailed CV.
  3. A description of your significant engineering achievements and community contributions (if any).
  4. Nominee’s copy of final tertiary results.
  5. Signed letters of support from the nominee’s employer/sponsor and at least one work related reference.
  6. Reference(s) from other work related contacts eg: supervisors, employers or client.
  7. Nominee's portrait photo.
  8. Nominee's citation (Max 100 words).

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.


Nominations close Friday 23 July 2021.





2020 Winner

Damien Vermeer headshot
Mr Damien Vermeer GradIEAust

Damien is an experienced designer and verifier of commercial grid-connected photovoltaic systems, ranging in size from 10 kW to over 7 MW. He is also a Clean Energy Council accredited designer (gridconnect PV). Key projects include lead owners engineer for a 7.5 MW solar farm, the concept design of a new 4 MW AC solar farm in Western Sydney and the tender design of a flagship 150 kWp solar PV system in Melbourne’s CBD. 
His knowledge of photovoltaic systems combined with his understanding of critical low voltage and high voltage systems makes him ideal to integrate photovoltaic systems into complex electrical systems, such as those found at industrial sites, universities, prisons, data centres and railway infrastructure.

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, he 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.


Young Electrical Power Engineer of the Year Award: Past winners (177KB PDF)

About this aAward

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 (AJEEE).

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.


2018 Winners

Paper: Experimental validation of transmission line dynamic thermal simulation model, by Germane Athanasius, Mark Davies and Angus Ketley. AJEEE, Vol 12, Issue 4, 2015.

Germane Athanasius headshot


Dr. Germane Xavier Athanasius, CPEng, MIE Aust, NER

Germane has more than twenty five years of experience as electrical engineer. Germane is currently working as Principal Engineer in System Design & Engineering Group of Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Before joining AEMO, Germane worked with Power System Consultants (PSC) and TasNetworks. Germane was also working as lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. Apart from transmission line dynamic line ratings, Germane has significant interests and contributions in power system control, small signal studies, modelling and analysis.
Currently involved in large renewable generator connections into Australian power network. Germane holds PhD, MTech and BTech degrees in electrical engineering.


Mark Davies headshot


Dr Mark Davies MIEAust 

Mark has worked in the field of HV Transmission Systems since the mid 1990s mainly on Voltage-Sourced Converters for reactive power and since 2000 (in the USA and Germany) on HVDC applications for Siemens. 

Based in Tasmania since 2006 Mark continued R&D on the world’s first multilevel HVDC systems.  Mark now works for TasNetworks on system integration studies and is currently developing real time simulation tools for the new HVDC Transmission Interconnection(s) between Tasmania and Victoria.


Angus Ketley headshot


Dr Angus Ketley MIEAust

Angus is an Electrical Engineer with over 29 year experience in transmission lines and associated infrastructure. Commencing with Hydro Tasmania in 1990 as a design engineer he developed his skills in planning, route selection and environmental assessment, the preparation of specifications and construction supervision. During this time he had the opportunity to be involved with a number of iconic renewables and infrastructure projects within the Australian and Southeast Asian regions. On joining Transend in 2009, later to become TasNetworks, his role changed to Asset Management. Initially responsible for the Tasmanian transmission line network, but in recent years this has expanded to leading a multi-disciplined team of engineers managing the entire Tasmanian transmission and distribution system.

His technical capabilities have been supplemented through an active role in project management and the completion of a Masters Degree in this field.  He is also active in mentoring and training within his organisation with an aim to providing an understanding of the processes and issues associated with developing transmission lines.

He is a past member of Cigré Australian Panel APB2 – Overhead Lines, and Standards Australia technical committee EL052-005 tasked with drafting the AS7000 Overhead line design standard and associated handbook.



John Madsen Medal: Past winners (142KB PDF)


Contact Us

For general enquiries on these awards, please contact Engineers Australia's Awards Team.