Engineering Excellence Awards

Engineering Excellence Awards 2018

In 2018 we have received 106! Award Nominations across 10 categories.
Projects, Programs and Profiles have been nominated and is now in the run for the 2018 Engineering Excellence Awards.
The Awards Gala Dinner will take place at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley as part of the annual State Conference 7-9 November.

The Judges will be inspecting these during July/August/September.

 password: hunteripwea

Gala Dinner
Red Carpet



Judge’s Comments

Highly Commended


Design and/or Construction of a Local Government/Public Works Project (less than $500,000)

Presented by IPWEA (NSW) Board Member Bill Woodcock

Hilltops Council – Harden Skate Park, Mark Crisp, Engineering Delivery Manager

Hilltops Council commenced the pre-delivery process for its first skateboard park five years ago, with construction commencing in May 2016. A committee was formed to oversee the project which guided Council on the overall project. Plans for the project were drafted by a skateboard design specialists based in Melbourne. One design with three variations was adopted and the Projects aesthetics from the street; all age use and ensuring a point of difference were key design points.


Sutherland Shire Council – Activity Based Working Refurbishment, Aaron Leahy,  Manager Building Operations

Nambucca Shire Council – Volunteers Providing New Infrastructure, Paul Gallagher, Assistant General Manager, Engineering Services


Design and/or Construction of a Local Government/Public Works Project (greater than $500,000 less than $5 million)

Presented by IPWEA (NSW) Board Member Gary Woodman


City of Canada Bay – Five Dock Main Street Streetscape Improvements, John Earls, Group Manager City Assets & Stephen Ellul, Group Manager, City Services


The objectives of the project were to improve the visual and aesthetic qualities, amenity, live ability and attractiveness of Five Dock focusing on pedestrian safety by slowing down vehicles by use of pedestrian refuges. One pleasing feature of the footpath vegetation was the planting of a line of Buxus shrubs on the footpath which separates the pedestrian movements from car doors opening. The upgrade has greatly improved the Shopping Centre with a substantial vacancy reduction.


Fairfield City Council and COMPLETE Urban – Prairiewood Waterpark ‘Aquatopia’, Kerry Whitehead, Manager Major Projects and Planning

Nambucca Shire Council – Macksville Sports Park Revitalisation, Paul Gallagher Assistant General Manager Engineering Services


Design and/or Construction of a Local Government/Public Works Project (greater than $5 million)

Presented by IPWEA (NSW) Paul Gallagher

Port Macquarie Hastings Council – Stingray Creek Bridge Replacement, Gary Randall, Group Manager & Peter Jenkins, Senior Works Engineer 


The replacement of the existing concrete bridge on Ocean Drive over Stingray Creek between Laurieton and Port Macquarie is a project spanning 18 years in the preplanning and construction. The project culminated in the switch of traffic onto the new bridge in February 2017.



Tamworth Regional Council – Gunnedah Road Upgrade, Jay Morrow, Senior Engineer Transport & Assets

Bayside Council – Angelo Anestis Aquatic Centre, Faisal Nadeem, Project Engineer


New or Improved Techniques

Partnered by Roads and Transport Directorate

Presented by IPWEA (NSW) Board Member Garry Hemsworth

Bega Valley Shire Council – The Network Operation Centre,  Jason Deller, Manager Strategy & Asset Services 


Bega Valley Shire Council has developed a Network Operation Centre enabling data mining between Council’s separate Corporate Information Management Systems. The concept originated from a need to manage and utilise Council’s intellectual property so that staff in the organisation do not duplicate or miss opportunities. The viewing platform of the Network Operation Centre uses cutting edge technology to display and provide  access to voluminous quantities of data compiled through the use of drones, video and photographic evidence. 


Muswellbrook Shire Council – Water Main Asset Management and Improvement, Phil Redan, Executive Manager, Water & Waste

Blacktown City Council – Development of Standard WSUD Drawings and Online Tools, Mark Liebman, Senior Engineer


Innovation in Water Supply & Wastewater Partnered by the Water Directorate

Presented by Gary Mitchell, Director Water Directorate

Eurobodalla Shire Council – Rosedale and Guerilla Bay Pressure Sewerage Scheme, Royce Toohey, Support Services Engineer 


This project involved construction of 9.3 kilometres of pressure sewer mains and installation of 340 onsite sewage pumping stations to address the public health and environmental issues existing within the small coastal villages of Rosedale and Guerilla Bay. The project required innovative construction techniques to overcome the challenging bushland environment and social constraints of identified endangered ecological communities, known aboriginal sites and very steep terrain.


Narrabri Shire Council – The Baan Baa Water Supply Project, Darren Raeck, Director Infrastructure Delivery

Shoalhaven City Council – Porters Creek Dam Upgrade, Carmel Krogh, Director Shoalhaven Water 


Workplace Health and Safety

Partnered by Pro-Visual

Presented by John Hutchings, CEO Pro-Visual

Lismore City Council – Civic Pride, Marcus Ellison, Interim Civic Pride Manager & Darren Patch, Manager Civic Pride 

Civic Pride was a 12 month initiative run by Lismore City Council with the key aims to improve the image and reputation of Council. The initiative focused on areas of Council that were known to have long term management issues in an unproductive and poorly engaged works team. The project had a substantial positive impact on Council and the works team as a whole. The image has vastly improved with staff, sporting clubs and the community now trusting that Council can deliver consistently.


Sutherland Shire Council – Figtree Online WHS Reporting, Gavin Smith, Coordinator Reactive Maintenance


Excellence in Road Safety Engineering

Presented by IPWEA (NSW) President Warren Sharpe OAM

Public Works Advisory, Roads & Maritime Services and Specialised Geo – Bulli Pass Landslide Barrier,  Phil Beddoe, Senior Project Mgt (PWA) Rachel Metcalfe, CEO (Spec Geo) and Alex Dunstan, Asset Manager, Southern Region (RMS) 

The Wollongong Escarpment Area is unstable and Bulli Pass is subject to rockslides especially in times of heavy rainfall. The project reduces the residual slope risk profile from landslide and rock fall events. The project consisted of a high energy absorbing and high volume rock fall and landslide protection barrier system over a length of 1.1 kilometres.  The barrier is 3,5m high including over 1000 rock nail anchors constructed in difficult terrain. The fence is capable of containing a 500kg rock travelling at 160 km/hour.

Wingecarribee Shire Council – Braemar Rail Bridge and Intersection, Tim Wadling, Civil Design and Projects Engineer 


Environmental Enhancement Project or Initiative including Recovering, Recycling and Reusing

Partnered by COMPLETE Urban

Presented by Scott Williams, Managing Director COMPLETE Urban

Ballina Shire Council – Coastal Recreational Path Project, John Truman, Group Manager City Services 


The construction of the final 3 km section of shared pathway, completes a 6 km recreational pathway connecting East Ballina to Lennox Head including a series of Boardwalks, Viewing Platforms and small bridges as well as access for people with disabilities. The project also involved installation of a series of 22 large interpretative signs along the pathway, recognising the Aboriginal Cultural Values and stories of historical events connected to the area.


Randwick City Council – Seawater and Freshwater Separation for Irrigation at Yarra Bay, Todd Clarke, Coordinator Projects

Kyogle Council – Kyogle Weir Fishway, Matt Sorensen, Urban and Assets Engineer 


Local Government Excellence in Road Safety

Presented by IPWEA (NSW) Board Member Will Barton

Eurobodalla Shire Council – Kings Highway Safety Initiative, Warren Sharpe OAM,  Director Infrastructure Services 

The Kings Highway Road Safety Initiative a partnership between Eurobodalla Shire Council, Queanbeyan Palerang Council, Roads & Maritime Services and NSW Police. The partnership was also supported by funding from the ACT Government and NRMA. Council's Traffic Officer and Road Safety Officer played a major role in the initiative. The road safety initiative saw a significant drop in accidents demonstrating the value of the Local Government Road Safety Officer Program and collaboration across Councils, Government and the NRMA.


This road safety initiative used an evidence based 'safe systems' approach with an innovative media campaign combined with enforcement and a range of road improvements that more than halved serious crashes within the Eurobodalla section of the Kings Highway.



Multi-Disciplinary Project Management

Partnered by Public Works Advisory

Presented by John Anderson, Regional Director, PWA

Randwick City Council – Chifley Sports Reserve, Stage 3, Ryan Zammit, Project Manager and Todd Clarke, Coordinator Projects


This multi-disciplinary project consists of three projects including Chifley Sports Reserve; Inclusive Playground and Fitness Stations. The multi-disciplinary project involved the following disciplines: Project Management, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Environmental Hygienist and Remedial Consultants, Sport and Recreational Consultant.


The David Abbott Award

Presented by Gladys and Todd Abbott, Widow and Son to David Abbott  


Highly Commended:

Nick Havyatt, Manager Works Delivery, Upper Hunter Shire Council


Todd Clarke, Coordinator Projects, Randwick City Council

Todd Clarke has been employed at Randwick City Council for ten years, for seven of these he has been studying part time for his Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Diploma in Engineering Practice at the University of Technology. He is now completing his MBA. Todd is quick to dedicate his fast progression through Council to the mentorship of peers and members of senior management. He is taking the opportunity to mentor students within his department on their journeys from internship to graduate positions. Part of Todd’s leadership success can be put down to having worked in both the administrative and operational environment enabling Todd to bridge the gap between office staff and employees on the ground. 


Todd is currently on the board of the Randwick City Council Sports Committee and as a member of the local community Todd is passionate about delivering quality customer service ensuring he and his team go out of their way to meet residents and discuss their issues face to face. Todd is an enthusiastic advocate for local government engineering believing that councils can attract young engineers from private enterprise because of the breadth of opportunities available. Todd empowers his project managers and staff by developing their skill set in all aspects of the public works industry so that everyone in his multicultural team is capable of delivering any project required within the capital works budget.

Todd is a genuine and authentic leader who takes the time to get to know each of his team personally supporting each individual to reach their full potential. He plans to achieve 60 years at Council.


Public Works Leader of the Year

Partnered by Boral Asphalt

Presented by Rick Jones, BDM Boral and Warren Sharpe OAM


John Maretich, Assets Section Manager, Port Stephens Council


John Maretich is “a musician with an engineering problem” according to his colleagues.  A classically trained guitarist and one time member of a rock band on the local scene, John draws on his creative instincts and his Master of Business Administration, Diploma in Management and Bachelor of Civil Engineering to deliver innovative and pragmatic engineering solutions. 


As the Asset Section Manager for Port Stephens Council, John leads a team of more than 30 people and he is accountable for the full breadth of engineering areas from Road Safety and Transportation to Civil Assets Planning, Project Management and Assets Systems through to Community and Recreation Planning and Capital Works. Considering his background it is not surprising that he has developed his own unique approach to asset management. 


John has coined the phrase "asset service delivery practitioners" to describe how all of his diverse teams focus on delivering outcomes for customers. John takes his knowledge transfer responsibilities seriously. He combines technical capability with business excellence which ensures he takes a natural leadership role in varied multidisciplinary groups and projects. 


He is an active member of the IPWEA NSW Division Asset Management Panel, is entering his sixth year as Hunter Group Chairman, and has presented at Regional and State IPWEA conferences.


John understands people. He knows that community members are only interested in council issues when they are personally affected. Yet he is driven to get community buy in to council asset management strategy and he is effective because he is skilled at telling stories that people can relate to. John believes leadership is all about integrity – doing what you said you’d do.  And it’s about getting to know each member of your team as an individual and tailoring your communication with them accordingly.


He has vision, he’s energetic, and he takes people with him, but he is also quick to own up to his mistakes because it’s important to be transparent. For John, the future is engineering and he is committed to investing in his people. He says engineers can see the choices, they see through the blockages and they make things happen. 


With his passion for music, his fascination with people and his self-confessed love of concrete, John is a unique and worthy IPWEA NSW Leader of the Year.

Special Award

Presented by Greg Moran and John O'Connor (Excellence Awards Judges)

Ballina Shire Council – Marine Rescue Tower Project, John Truman, Group Manager Civil Services 

This new Marine Rescue Tower replaces an old facility on the northern break wall of the Richmond River, at its point of access to the ocean at Ballina. The tower is a custom designed facility utilising latest building materials for a hostile coastal environment, and is equipped with modern search and rescue communication equipment. The tower also includes an observation and communication room, training and storage rooms, disabled access and full facilities for the team of volunteers who man the tower 365 days a year.


Special Award

Presented by Greg Moran and John O'Connor (Excellence Awards Judges) 

Wollongong City Council – Waste and Recovery Park – Cell Development and Expansion, Mark Roebuck, Manager City Works + Services 

As Whytes Gully Landfill is about to expire, Council undertook an innovative step to construct a new landfill site over the existing occupied site. This approach is understood to be an Australian first and will give Council a further 6 million cubic meters of storage which equates to a further 50 years of life to the facility.  The high specification cell construction consists of coal wash and clay earthworks, polymer liner placement and welding, geo-synthetics deployment, subgrade and surface pipe instillation, gravel placement and surface drainage works.


The Minister for Local Government’s Award for Innovation in Local Government Engineering

Endorsed by the Hon Gabrielle Upton, Minister for Local Government.

Presented by Mr Scot MacDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter


 Ku-ring-gai Council – North Turramurra Recreation Area, Parissa Ghanem, Strategic Asset Coordinator, Deborah Silva, Manager Integrated Planning, Property & Assets and Andrew Watson, Director Strategy and Environment

The project has transformed an ordinary 9-hole Golf Course into a major Recreational Reserve that any Council would treasure. Facilities include: a further eleven golf holes including the reconfiguration of seven holes together with three floodlit multi use sports fields covering over 33,000 square meters, three training fields with irrigation or synthetic turf, four netball training courts, a new amenities building including change rooms and golf cart storage together with a 265 vehicle car park for the reserve users.