Leaders of the Profession: Western Australia

An introduction to the 2020 Western Australian Division Committee

The role of the Western Australian Division Committee is to provide leadership and direction consistent with Engineers Australia’s Strategic Priorities and to communicate, advocate, connect and promote the engineering profession across academia, government, industry and the wider community, and contribute to the best engineering outcomes that the profession can deliver for the benefit of the whole community.


Jill Formentin
Jillian Formentin CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aust)

Jillian, Director, Formentin Consulting, is driven by a strong desire for people and organisations to achieve peak performance.  She believes that anything is possible when people’s commitment is harnessed in aligned action to fulfil on a shared vision.  After an early career as a Project Leader, Operations Manager and Principal Engineer of gas supply, distribution and storage facilities, Jillian specialised as a consultant in team performance and risk management in heavy industry.  She understands how individuals with very different work styles or personalities can complement each other.  Jillian searches for, designs and facilitates ways people and organisations can use their talents to resolve issues and move closer to achieving goals.  She produces workplace cultures of responsible leaders creating environments that are productive, safe and satisfying.


Brian Haggerty
Deputy President
Brian Haggerty, FIEAust CPEng NER GAICD APEC Engineer IntPE (Aus)

Brian, VP Innovation Capability, Woodside Energy Ltd, is passionately interested in ensuring current and future engineers have the capability and skills to adapt to a rapidly changing world.  He currently has responsibilities for capability and sustainable development in Woodside. Previously he had responsibility for Woodside’s technology and data science programmes (VP Technology) and LNG developments (VP LNG Development). He has 10 years’ international experience with Royal Dutch Shell on LNG and gas to liquids developments and was based in Europe and Middle East.


Paul Young
Past President:
Paul Young FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aust)
Paul, Project/Study Manager Capital Sustaining Group, Engenium, is a mining advocate for Western Australia, Paul works at Engenium, a specialist project delivery group serving the Mining, Energy and Infrastructure sectors both on-site and off-site. Based in the Perth office as part of our Capital Sustaining and Brownfields project group, he has over 20 years’ experience delivering projects in the Pilbara with a focus on simply getting things done and building long term relationships.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), a Master of Business Administration (Finance) and a Masters of Project Management (Leadership).


James Westcott

James Westcott, FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aust)
James, General Manager Engineering & Operations, Momentum Engineering Pty Ltd, has been an engineer for 30 years, mostly in the oil and gas Industry, but also in aerospace, fuel cells, electric vehicles and renewable energy. He has worked in Australia, UK, Norway, USA, Canada, Denmark and The Netherlands, primarily in the areas of leadership, project management, business development, subsea operations, mechanical design, and offshore construction.  He is passionate about the engineering profession, particularly about ensuring a strong future for engineers in Western Australia.  His involvement with the WA Division Committee over the past 4 years includes serving as WA President in 2017 and 2018. James holds a First Class degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Australia, an MBA from INSEAD in France. He is chartered as an engineer in the UK and Australia. 


Doug Bruce
Doug Bruce, FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE (Aus)
Doug, Manager – Project Management, City of Swan, is a pragmatic engineering professional with over 28 years' experience in both the public and private sectors with a passion for doing things smarter and more efficiently. He has a personal commitment to the concept of lifelong learning and a strong passion for local government and its promotion – it has so much to offer engineers at all stages of their career.  As the Manager - Project Management, at the City of Swan, he leads a team of professional engineers, architects, civil designers and landscape architects, delivering the City's $100M (2019/20) capital works program. 


Gary Bryant
Gary Bryant, FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE (Aus)
Gary is an experienced General Manager, with a Chemical Engineering background and a Diploma in Law. A Fellow of Engineers Australia, he has been part of the WA Division Committee for four years and is the Engineers Australia representative on the Mining Industry Advisory Committee.  He has been in the utilities industry for over two decades, starting at Redbank Power and now currently with Alinta Energy. Gary has spent 12 years as the General Manager Power Development where he was responsible for power development, major customers, business and commercial development, strategy and planning before progressing to General Manger Asset Strategy.  He has a demonstrated working history and skills in energy, risk management, renewable energy, power plants, EPC contract administration and strong contract negotiation skills.


John Cahppell
John Chappell, MIEAust CPEng NER
Senior Mechanical Engineer & Project Engineer – WSP / Covalent Lithium.   John currently works as a Project Engineer for Covalent Lithium, a joint venture of SQM and Wesfarmers. He has spent the majority of his career in Western Australia servicing the resource industry with a focus on mechanical design and management of design and construct projects.  For over a decade he has played a very active community role supporting emerging engineers and the engineering community.  In addition to being on the WA Division Committee, John is the Chair of the Mechanical Committee in WA and a member of the Workplace Health and Safety working group.


Francis Norman
Francis Norman, PhD, AFIEAust CEngA EngExec NER IntETn(Aus), MAICD, MICCPM
General Manager Innovation and Strategy, NERA (National Energy Resources Australia).  As a past WA President (2015), Francis continues to be a passionate advocate for the engineering profession. His ongoing roles within the WA division are Chair of the College of Leadership and Management and the WA representative to national congress.  After over 30 years global engineering practice in process intensive resource projects, his current role as General Manager Innovation and Strategy NERA provides him with opportunities to be part of the development and deployment of a number of new and emerging technologies in Australia as well as supporting the identification of future skills requirements across the resources sector.


Amanda Pearce
Amanda Pearce, MIEAust CPEng NER
Amanda is a Senior Structural Engineer with Aurecon. She was a key member of the structural design team for the iconic Perth Arena and has spent time in Christchurch working on the rebuilding works following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes. Her current focus is on delivering projects for the Department of Defence through various small, medium and large estate and infrastructure upgrade projects. She has been a Division Committee member since 2017.  Amanda was awarded the Young Professional Engineer of the Year (Western Australia) by Engineers Australia in 2016 and was an award winner at the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Crystal Vision Awards for Excellence, WA Chapter, in 2013. Amanda’s passion within the industry is inspiring and developing the next generation of engineers; especially females, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and she volunteers for the Engineers Australia EngTalk program.


Kassia Ralston
Kassia Ralston, MIEAust
Kassia, Project Manager, METRONET, has had a rewarding early career engineering experience in roles focussed on the delivery of business cases and design for major infrastructure projects including Sydney Metro and METRONET. She sees her role in the project management and planning of major public transport infrastructure projects across Australia as an opportunity to forge more inclusive, sustainable and accessible communities.  Kassia is particularly passionate about making a difference to the attraction and retention of engineering talent in Australia and has recently been appointed to the Engineers Australia Women in Engineering National Committee.


Shalini Saldanha
Shalini Saldanha, FIEAust CPEng NER
Shalini, Principal Advisor – Koodaideri Implementation, Information Systems and Technology, Rio Tinto, has extensive experience in the Western Australian resources industry in the areas of engineering, operations, maintenance, deploying asset management processes and systems, optimising asset performance and managing information technology projects.  Shalini is the Information Systems and Technology lead for Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri mine, opening in 2021. Engineering has provided Shalini a diverse and rewarding career and she is passionate to share and inspire high-school students, undergraduates, young professionals and members of the local community via Engineers Australia.


Robert Williams
Robert Williamson, AFIEAust CEngA EngExec NER IntETn(Aus)
Robert, Managing Direction and CEO, Red River Group, holds many current positions which include Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at Lodestone Mines Ltd and Braemar Infrastructure, Managing Director and CEO at Red River Group, Director at Mak Corporate and an experienced Chairman at REMSMART. Robert has an extensive history working in resources, with businesses in China and in non-profit organisation management industries. He is also the Chair of the Advisory Board for Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance.  Robert is a Fellow, Engineering Executive and a Charted Engineer at Engineers Australia. He has also recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors making him a very strong engineering professional. His extensive history has demonstrated his skills in mineral exploration, process control, feasibility studies; and the iron and steel industry.


James Brooks
James Brooks, MIEAust CPEng
Manager Transport Planning, RAC, James is a civil engineer and transport planning and policy professional with experience in infrastructure planning for road, rail, aviation and ports across Australia.He currently works in an advocacy role for a member organisation and has nine years’ experience working across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.  James has been a regular volunteer for Engineers Australia as part of a technical society over the past five years to help deliver professional development events and advocate on behalf of its members.  In having worked and lived in the Pilbara region he recognises engineers in Western Australia work across an extraordinary range of conditions and locations. He understands the importance of making it easier for more engineers across Western Australia to access the benefits of an Engineers Australia membership.


Sammar Abbas
Sammar Abbas, MEng (Maritime) FIEAust CPEng NER CEng MRINA Marine Engineer Officer Class 1 (AMSA) Accredited Marine Surveyor (AMSA) CAMA CPAM
Life Cycle Engineer – ASC Pty Ltd.  A chartered professional engineer with more than 23 years of engineering experience in almost all facets of Maritime, Power Generation and downstream Oil & Gas industries. Starting his career in Merchant Navy after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Maritime Studies, Sammar realised the limitations involved in a career for a typical sea-going marine engineer and commenced a master’s degree in Petroleum Technology. This led Sammar to a successful career in power generation and then the downstream oil and gas sector.  Having successfully changed careers and having gained invaluable experience at shore, he decided to resume his career in the maritime industry. Sammar’s strong commitment to continuous professional development, challenging experiences and his diversified industry portfolio has provided him several opportunities to learn and implement unique knowledge throughout his career as a professional engineer.