2023 Engineering Excellence Awards

The IPWEA Victoria recently celebrated significant achievements in public works engineering with the presentation of its Engineering Excellence Awards at their annual Conference. A highlight of the event for members and sponsors is the Awards Presentation Dinner, where Public Works projects from across Victoria are showcased and recognised for their innovation, achievement and the positive impact they have for their municipalities.

The IPWEA Victoria Engineering Excellence Awards are proudly sponsored by RMIT University

RMIT logo

2023 saw several high-quality projects entered from across the state...and the winners were:


Innovation Award

Winner: Veris Australia, Using Spatial Technologies to Reduce Costs and the Environmental Impact of Road Upgrades

Cardinia Shire Council is using advanced 3D technology for the upgrade of their town centre and road infrastructure to reduce the environmental impact and cost whilst easing community consultation. Veris employed the latest ground penetrating radar and mobile laser scanning to identify tree root systems and accurately capture the road corridor in 3D. With this technology, the Council has identified impacted tree roots and adjusted the road design to protect hundreds of trees.

This innovative approach has resulted in savings of more than $300K and a 60% reduction in survey time. The optimised design was presented to the community with 3D flythroughs, which aided consultation and reduced pushback.

Using Spatial Technologies to Reduce Costs and the Environmental Impact of Road Upgrades


Asset Management Award

Winner: Northern Grampians Shire Council, A Tale of Many Budgets: Story-Telling with Data

Every year Northern Grampians Shire Council must find an appropriate balance between its capital works program and pressure for funding other programs.

An enormous amount of data is hidden in an asset database that could be leveraged but isn’t because it is in a form that’s incomprehensible to a person.

Council is now using predictive asset management modelling and visual storytelling to inform decision makers of the effects of different funding scenarios on the future level of service of Council’s assets.

A Tale of Many Budgets: Story-Telling with Data


Public Works Project Award

Winner: Latrobe City Council , Community Infrastructure Restoration: Learnings After Severe Weather Events

Repeated significant storm events struck the Strzelecki Range causing over 100 landslips at an estimated restoration cost of $16m. The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DRFA) to restore these public assets has been a complex process to follow with significant potential financial liabilities to Council's. The magnitude of the required remediation response and timeframes made a traditional delivery models impractical and exceeded the local civil contractor market capacity.

This project consolidates the experience of Latrobe City Council and Fulton Hogan in delivering these works and makes recommendations to ensure your agency can get the best outcome from the DRFA process.

Community Infrastructure Restoration


Environmental Sustainability Award

Winner: RapidMap, Innovations in GIS / GNSS: Using AI & Drones to Wage a More Effective War on Weeds

The future of biosecurity surveillance is well on the way to the next leap in productivity through digital weed identification and control by combining digital GIS/GNSS field inspection software with smart automated workflows to empower biosecurity officers in Local Government and other Local Control Agencies across several States and Territories.

The RapidMap spatial technology experts have been working with Government and Industry to address the challenges of weed infestation surveillance and control since 1993. Latest innovations in AI, drones, GNSS and airborne herbicide deployment are rapidly changing the landscape on this overwhelming task of controlling weeds to protect infrastructure, agriculture, parks and open spaces.

Using AI & Drones to Wage a More Effective War on Weeds


Emerging Public Works Leadership Award

Winner: Jessi Raj, Environmental Engineer, Morphum Environmental

Jessi is an Environmental Engineer at Morphum Environmental with experience working on a wide range of environmental, sustainability, and stormwater management-focused public works projects across Victoria. She has worked with a number of urban and regional Councils across the state as well as larger, state-level organisations such as EPA and Melbourne Water.

Jessi's achievements extend beyond her work with Morphum. She has also made significant contributions to the wider IPWEA community, firstly in joining the Young IPWEA Victoria committee in 2021 and since 2022 as the Chair.

Her ability to manage projects, communicate effectively with stakeholders and develop innovative solutions to complex problems makes her an outstanding young leader in the public works sector.

Jessie Raj


Public Works Leadership Award

Winner: Gary Driscoll

Gary holds a Bachelor of Engineering – Civil (Hons) and has had extensive and diverse experience in the Public Works Engineering industry, particularly in regional Victoria. Gary has been actively involved with IPWEA Victoria and its predecessors in the Central Highlands Region over many years. He has been a strong advocate for applying sound asset management principles in the projects he has delivered.

His efforts in mentoring younger public works practitioners in taking a professional and ethical approach to their work is to be commended as a very worthwhile and genuine leadership contribution to the industry.

Seagull Paddock Pedestrian Bridges