Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year 2020 Awarded

Civil Engineer who continues to add immeasurably to the wellbeing of many through a strong commitment to detailed research and practical engineering solutions, wins esteemed Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year Award for 2020.
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Civil Engineers make a major contribution to our quality of life through the integral role they play in the provision of services and facilities for the general benefit of the community.

The Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year, sponsored by John Holland, is the pre-eminent civil engineering award presented annually by Engineers Australia’s Civil College.

The Award provides a high-profile focus on engineering achievement and serves as both a showcase for civil engineering and a focus for young people interested in pursuing a career in engineering.

This year, Engineers Australia bestowed the Sir John Holland Award for Civil Engineer of the Year to Emeritus Professor Raphael Grzebieta FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus) on Friday 11th December at a virtual Engineers Australia Fellows Celebration hosted by the Victoria Division.

"Raphael is a world-recognised authority in the fields of structural crashworthiness and the associated fields of road safety and injury prevention research," says Paul Collier FIEAust CPEng EngExec, Co-Chair of the Civil College of Engineers Australia.

"He established Australia's first research-based crash test facility at Monash University with world leading blast and biomechanics injury measurement capabilities. The outcomes of his crashworthiness research are most obviously evident in the rollout of the wire rope barriers evident on many of our major roads and the associated substantial reduction in road fatalities."

"Raphael has supervised and mentored numerous PhD, Masters and project students and continues, since his retirement, to contribute his skills in the areas of forensic engineering, biomechanics, transport investigations and reconstruction, , all with a strong focus on injury prevention."

"Engineering, being technically based, makes it easy to recognise technical excellence. What is often harder to quantify is our contribution to society. Raphael's work will have touched many people worldwide through his approach to injury prevention and his contribution to the Safe Systems Approach to road safety introduced in Victoria and later adopted by the United Nations, World Health Organisation and the World Bank. There is no doubt that his commitment to thorough and detailed research and investigation and the resultant practical engineering solutions have helped to save thousands of lives and added immeasurably to the wellbeing of many. He is indeed a worthy recipient of the John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year Award for 2020." concluded Paul Collier.

Engineers Australia is proud to showcase engineers who display extraordinary vision, leadership and creativity through our awards programs. 

Our Recognition Awards celebrate engineers in varying technical and sector-based awards, medals and scholarships. View the full list of Awards here.

For general enquiries on these awards please contact Engineers Australia's Program Manager via email [email protected].


Image: Emeritus Professor Raphael Grzebieta FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus) holding the "path from the tower sculpture" designed by Jeremy Lepsisto from Beaver Galleries to honour Raphael’s work.