Railway Engineering Awards

The Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) offers a large portfolio of awards designed to encourage railway engineering research and technology and to recognise outstanding achievement by individuals and companies in the rail industry. Details, including prizes on offer and submission guidelines, can be found on the RTSA website.


RTSA Railway Engineering Student Thesis Award

The Award is made annually for an outstanding undergraduate thesis on a rail-industry related topic.

Nomination now open


RTSA Masters Thesis Award

Rewards the author of an outstanding research masters degree on a topic concerned with the rail industry.

Nomination now open


RTSA PhD Thesis Award

Rewards the author of an outstanding doctoral thesis on a topic concerned with the rail industry.

Nomination now open


RTSA Individual Award

Offered biennially to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the railway industry

Nomination now open


RTSA Biennial Railway Project Award

Acknowledges a project that is worthy of public recognition.

  • RTSA Biennial Railway Project Award criteria and submission guidelines (PDF) 

Nomination now open


RTSA Railway Professional of the Year

The RTSA Railway Professional of the Year Award is offered to a person at or above the age of 35 who has made an outstanding contribution to the Railway Industry in Australia or New Zealand. The award, if made, comprises a trophy, which will be presented at the Awards Presentation Ceremony at the CORE 2021 Gala Dinner and a full registration at the Conference on Railway Excellence (CORE 2021) in Perth, 21 - 23 June 2021


  • Nominees must be aged 35 or above as of 1 January 2021
  • Nominees must be employed in the railway industry for at least 10 years in Australia or New Zealand


To assist nominators to assemble appropriate information for the consideration of the judging panel, listed below are details of the judging criteria that are used as part of the process of evaluation of nominations:

  • Career work achievements: describe the biggest achievements that the nominee has had in their career to date which could include anything from completed projects, previous awards, management/engineering successes, and any other relevant achievements.
  • Contribution to the well-being of people and the wider Railway Community: describe the way in which the nominee’s engineering work has delivered benefit for individuals, groups, communities or the environment in which they reside, work, learn or enjoy recreation.
  • Pioneering in the use of innovative technologies and/or methods: describe the way in which the nominee has utilised materials or employed practices or methods which are novel, inventive and creative.
  • Provide evidence of displaying leadership and mentoring younger railway professionals
  • Contribution to and promotion of the railway engineering profession: give details of the nominee’s activities outside his/her work which are voluntary engineering-related pursuits or which have furthered the engineering profession. This includes the publishing of technical papers, presentations, and/or publications.


  • Applications for the 2021 RTSA Railway Professional of the Year Award will close Friday 9th April 2021. The application shall submit online.
  • In the following, the RTSA presents to potential nominators (self or third party) the following guidelines for the collation and submission of high quality and meaningful nominations
  • a copy of the nominee’s current CV;
  • Write the nomination on the basis that the members of the RTSA Awards Sub-Committee know nothing about the nominee.
  • Write the nomination on the assumption that it will be considered purely on its merits alone, and that any past, related nominations will not have any bearing on the current nomination.
  • Write the nomination in the knowledge that the members of the RTSA Awards Sub-Committee will be able to consider only what is presented to them in the nomination form and its attachments.
  • Write the nomination with a view to presenting material about the nominee that addresses the judging criteria, bearing in mind the equal weightings which will be applied to those criteria by the RTSA Awards Sub-Committee.
  • Recognise that the nomination shall have a principal objective of identifying the main attributes of and the contributions that have been made by the nominee.
  • Full details of any papers, presentations, articles, project briefs and the like, where applicable, shall form part of the nomination to illustrate the body of work with which the nominee has been involved.
  • Ensure that referees provide signed letters of reference to support the nomination.


  • Applications for the 2021 RTSA Railway Individual Award will close Friday 9 April 2021.
  • The application shall submitted online.
  • The nomination shall be accompanied by two copies of a citation and other supporting documents, which shall be sufficiently detailed for the judging panel to appreciate all aspects of the contribution. It will assist the process of selection if a copy of the candidate’s current CV can accompany the nomination.
  • The Nominators should indicate in the online submission form if they wish these copies to be returned on completion of judging.

Nominations are now closed


RTSA Annual Rail Scholarship

The Scholarship is offered annually to professionals and technicians who work in the rail industry in Australasia for at least two years and are desirous of attaining a higher level of qualification by attending a university course that is relevant to their work either at graduate or undergraduate level.


The Scholarship recipient shall:

• be responsible for making an application to attend the preferred course, managing the admission process and all aspects of completing the course.

• commence the course within 12 months of receiving the Scholarship or the offer will be withdrawn.

• receive no further payments within 4 years of receiving the Scholarship

Course costs will be reimbursed by the RTSA up to the limits set out in the above upon the submission by the Scholarship recipient to the RTSA of receipts for payment to the university for fees, for the costs of text books and/or approved study materials. Academic transcripts demonstrating successful achievement of the units studied during the period of the claim also shall be presented to the RTSA at the time of making a claim.
Should the scholarship recipient fail any subject(s) in a year, the RTSA will not reimburse any costs for that year. The cost of re-sitting the subject(s) shall be at the scholarship recipient’s own cost. When/if the failed subject(s) are retaken successfully, the claim may be re-submitted for the year in which the subject(s) have been completed. If the scholarship recipient withdraws or does not complete the course then the scholarship will cease, with future claims not being entertained.


Applicants for the Scholarship shall:
• be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand.

• be eligible to attend a suitable rail industry related post graduate rail industry related course of study in Australia or New Zealand by meeting the admission and entry requirements of the relevant university
(the applicant is responsible for ensuring that he or she satisfies this criteria).

• have been working continuously in the Australasian rail industry for at least two years prior to lodging an application.

• not be currently participating in study for any graduate or post graduate rail industry related university course, unless the applicant can demonstrate special circumstances. Please attach details.
In exceptional circumstances, approval may be given for an applicant to undertake a specialist rail course by distance learning, from an overseas university, if such courses are not available in Australia or New Zealand.

Nominations are now closed



RTSA Graduate Engineer

The Award is made to professional railway practitioners whose degree has been conferred within the previous four years.


 Applicants for the Graduate Engineer Award shall:

• Have graduated with a recognised engineering degree or related technical qualification from a University in Australia or New Zealand or hold an overseas degree that is recognised at the time of submission of the application, by either Engineers Australia or Engineering New Zealand, or other relevant professional body, as being suitable for CPEng or equivalent professional qualification;

• Be able to demonstrate that in the years since graduation, they have developed their knowledge of the practice of railway engineering in the form of either practical or theoretical research work. The submission of appropriate career episode reports shall be used to support the development of such knowledge; Ideally to have contributed actively towards the objectives of the RTSA; and

•Understanding obtained in the various elements of engineering systems; i.e. design, procurement, estimating, construction systems engineering, planning, safety, quality, project close out etc.

Other favourably considered criteria:

• Attainment of, or work towards chartered status of Engineers Australia, Engineering New Zealand or another relevant professional body;

• Acted as a role model for prospective engineering graduates; and

• Technical papers or reports, technical analyses or modelling, presentations (company internal and/or external), and publications.

Nominations are now closed



RTSA Young Railway Engineer

For outstanding outstanding young professionals up to the age of 35.


The RTSA 2020 Young Railway Engineer Award will be awarded by the Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) to reward young professional engineers, technologists or associates in Australia or New Zealand who have:

• reached a demonstrated level of achievement and involvement in any field of railway engineering;

• exhibited technical competence, good character and integrity; and

• assisted in developing or improving the attitude of the public and/or within the engineering ranks towards railway engineering.

Nominations are now closed


RSTA Life Membership Award

The highest honour that can be bestowed upon a member.