Engineers Australia pays tribute to former Queensland President

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Engineers Australia today celebrates the life of former Queensland President Michael A. Wilke, who sadly passed away on Tuesday 19 February.

Affectionately known as ‘Mike’, the Beenleigh-born Civil Engineer is best remembered for his warmth and vision for which he upheld throughout his professional career.

Current President for Engineers Australia Queensland, Mark Lendich, pays his respects to Mike for his contribution to the betterment and innovation of the engineering industry in Queensland and beyond.

“Mike was an outstanding representative of the engineering profession, which is highlighted by his outstanding list of achievements from what can be described as a colourful and successful career,” said Lendich.

“His character reflects the values of Engineers Australia and our industry as a whole, and it’s at this time that we take the time to reflect on the innovative work that has bettered the lives of people in Australia and abroad.

“Our thoughts are with Mike’s wife Jan, children Rachel, Matthew and Caroline and friends at this time.”

Growing up on a dairy farm in South East Queensland, Mike graduated from Beenleigh State High School as Dux of his year before earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Queensland University of Technology.

Mike continued his higher learning throughout his life, completing his Master’s Degree in Engineering Science from the University of Queensland and his Graduate Diploma of Management from Central Queensland University.

In 2006, Mike was the recipient of the 2006 Outstanding Alumnus in Engineering and the Built Environment at the Queensland University of Technology.

Mike’s illustrious career was headlined by a number of marquee projects and pivotal positions within leading firm Parsons Brinckerhoff (formerly known as PPK and Munro Johnson) which spanned nearly 30 years.

Beginning at the Queensland Water Resources Commission, Mike joined Munro Johnson to lead the design of the Claremont Dam at the Blair Athol Mine. Mike’s leadership on the project didn’t go unnoticed, progressing to State Manager of Queensland where he grew his team five-fold to become one of the State’s leading infrastructure engineering firms.

Mike went on to hold other significant leadership roles on iconic projects such as the Port of Brisbane Motorway project, Port of Brisbane Seawall Alliance, the Awoonga Dam Alliance, and the Grafton Gully Alliance: The first in New Zealand.

Success at Parsons Brinckerhoff saw Mike progress to the rank of Managing Director from 2004-2006, continuing his way up to Chief Operating Officer and President of the Americas from 2006-2008.

After leaving Parsons Brinckerhoff, Mike became Global Sector Director of Energy & Resources for Hyder Consulting. From 2008 to 2009, he led the initial stages of what was planned to be one of the world's largest urban renewal and development projects in Dubai.

He served as the Non-Executive Chairman of OilCorp from July 2010 to October 31, 2013, and was also Director of Beca Group.

Mike was also best known for his efforts in pioneering the development of the integrated project delivery method known as ‘project alliancing’, a method whereby the owner, design professional and contractor team would come together to design and construct the project and share its financial risks and rewards.

Additionally, Mike was also Chair of the QUT Faculty Advisory Committee for Civil Engineering, and was a Trustee of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia.

Outside of his decorated career in engineering, Mike served as President of Engineers Australia’s Queensland Chapter in 1991, and was later officially recognised as one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Engineers in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively.