Craig Gilbert Leadership Award

About Craig Gilbert

He joined Australian Construction Services, where he spent the first two years of his professional career undertaking a variety of projects, including work on airfields at Woomera and Tindal.

In 1988, he joined BC Tonkin and Associates (now Tonkin Consulting) and played a key role in developing major South Australian projects.

Of note was Craig’s contribution to the duplication of Robe Terrace and the design of the Port River Expressway. While this was happening, he also led the team selected to undertake a project of national significance, the rehabilitation of a major part of the water supply in Western Victoria. In 1993, just five years after arriving at the firm and at the age of 28, Craig became a director.

In 1997 he was appointed Deputy Managing Director and in December 2001 at the age of 36, Craig became the third Managing Director in the 48-year history of Tonkin Consulting.

During Craig’s career he displayed the most outstanding self-discipline, practical engineering ability, interpersonal skills and leadership qualities. These qualities were admired, even as a student, by his peers and served him well in his professional career. Craig passed away on 27 July 2003 at the age of 38, after a short illness.

The award

The award has been created as a perpetual tribute to the memory of Craig Gilbert, former Managing Director of Tonkin Consulting. It is presented by the peak body of the engineering profession, Engineers Australia.

The Craig Gilbert Leadership Award is presented annually to the South Australian Engineering student who, having completed the penultimate year of their degree, has demonstrated the most outstanding self-discipline, practical engineering ability, interpersonal skills, and leadership potential amongst their peers.

Benefits of the award

The Award signifies professional recognition of the leadership qualities of the recipient and finalists, a valuable addition to the curriculum vitae of all finalists.

Employers expect good academic results from graduates. However, demonstrated leadership in graduates is more difficult to determine. The Craig Gilbert Leadership Award identifies young leaders prior to graduation and will be a valuable indicator for employers when selecting prospective employees.

Combined with good academic results, this Award will give finalists the best chance of employment with prestigious engineering practices.

The winner of the award will receive the following:

  • Trophy and certificate
  • Name included on an honour board displayed in the Engineers Australia premises
  • $1,500 cash prize.
  • In addition, finalists will receive a certificate recognising that they have been selected as a leader amongst their peers.

The process

The award will be introduced to students early in the academic year. Universities will invite academic staff and student peers to nominate a student who they believe has exhibited outstanding leadership qualities throughout the year. There will be two students from each university nominated each year.

Following the end of year exams, nominees will be asked to submit a 500 word essay addressing leadership. In mid-December nominees will make a short presentation to the judging panel. The panel will consist of:

  • Division President of Engineers Australia
  • Representative of Engineers Australia
  • Leader of local business
  • Representative from the Gilbert family.

The winner will be presented with the Craig Gilbert Leadership Award at the Engineers Australia Sir Eric Neal Address early the following year.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].