Day 1

17th September

Day 2

18th September

Day 3

19th September

Day 1 / 17th September


Breakfast – Women in Engineering

Parkside Ballroom, Level 2


Registrations Open (tea and coffee served)

Darling Harbour Theatre Foyer, Level 2

0830 – 0915

Conference Opening

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

Master of Ceremonies: Michael Pascoe, Contributing Editor, The New Daily

Welcome: Peter McIntyre, FIEAust CPEng EngExec, CEO, Engineers Australia

Opening Address: The Hon. Trish White, FIEAust CPEng EngExec, National President & Chair, Engineers Australia

0915 – 1015

Session 1 – The future of intelligence: artificial and natural

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

A world run by robots is no longer just a notion. Signs of the growing prevalence of robotic technology are. At the onset of the 21st century, it will be an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will be both enriched and challenged, as our species breaks the shackles of it’s genetic legacy, and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress, and longevity.  The paradigm shift rate is now doubling every decade, so the twenty-first century will see 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate. While the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and the threats they pose considerable, we will ultimately merge with our machines, live indefinitely, and be a billion times more intelligent…all within the next three to four decades!

Chair: Mr Peter McIntyre, FIEAust CPEng EngExec, CEO, Engineers Australia

Keynote Speaker: Mr Ray Kurzweil, Inventor, Author, Futurist (Live via satellite from the USA)

1015 – 1045

Morning Tea

The Gallery, Level 2

1045 – 1130

Session 2 – The Spanner in the Works

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

After taking two steps forward, there is a real risk of taking one step back. Jonar Nader warns that some of the greatest accelerators could cause us to hit a brick wall. What will cause us to falter and stumble? What are the potholes that will take the shine off the world’s greatest innovations?  Can anything be done to pre-empt the failures? Or are we destined to crash and burn after daring to challenge the immutable laws that govern a computer so grand, that it may cause its own demise?

Keynote Speaker: Jonar Nader, Digital Age Philosopher, Author and Principal, Logictivity

1140 – 1240

Session 3 –  What Will Happen to Infrastructure Design and Development when AI graduates to become HI (higher intelligence)?

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

People speak of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as some sort of alternative to human labour, as if AI is just a way of automating what we do. Standby the imminent future wherein computer assisted design and development of infrastructure exceeds human capability, thereby elevating most engineers to the level of genius, thanks to Higher Intelligence systems that will do more than operate faster or more efficiently. In fact Higher Intelligence (HI) will unearth new solutions to problems that had hitherto been regulated to the “too hard” basket.

Chair: Anthony Roe, Head of Digital Technology – Mining, Energy and Industrial, Downer

Keynote Speaker:  Tim Chapman, Leader, Infrastructure Design Group, Arup Group Limited (UK)

1245 – 1345


The Gallery, Level 2

1350 – 1450

Session 4 –  Engineers as part of the great leap forward (Panel Discussion)

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

It took a decade for people to understand that e-business was not about electronics in business. Rather, it refers to doing business in an electronic networked world. It was not about using technology to streamline a business, but about restructuring an entire organisation and it’s workforce so that it can function in a modern networked world. Similarly, engineers have been lapping up technological tools which had promised speed and efficiency. This is the archaic way of thinking about technology within the realm of engineering.

By 2045, engineers will partner with high-technology in order to venture into a new frontier. However, many will lag behind. Only the daring few will be at the leading edge of innovation through high technology. The new era will require a new mind-set, sharpened via a whole new set of skills that will need to be embraced. What are those skills and how will the education system need to adapt?

Moderator: Dr. Michael McAllum, Chief Steward, Centre for Future Academy and Director, Global Foresight


  1. Professor Elanor Huntington HonFIEAust, Dean, College of Engineering & Computing, ANU
  2. Tim Chapman, Leader, Infrastructure Design Group, Arup Group Limited (UK)
  3. Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University
  4. Matt Michalewicz, Chief Executive Officer, Complexica
  5. Professor Euan Lindsay, Foundation Professor of Engineering, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst


Afternoon Tea

The Gallery, Level 2

1520 – 1620

Session 5 – How the past has changed the present and how the present will change the future

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

Innovation drives our industry and our world forward. How will we make sure we keep innovating? In this panel discussion, we will hear perspectives from the research and startup sectors.

Dr John O’Sullivan, FIEAust (the elder statesman): In the early 1990s, Dr O’Sullivan led the team of CSIRO researchers whose invention now exists in approximately three billion devices world-wide. At the time, there were wireless networks, but they were slow, portable computing was just starting to take off with the first laptops and in research environments, the network was starting to make its presence felt through email data transfer.  To date CSIRO has earned more than $430 million out of this technology.

Rhonan O’Brien, Managing Principal, Mode: Introduced to a love of timber by his father who dies when he was only 13, Rhonan O’Brien is more than just an architect. His vision is for a firm on a global scale which can deliver life-changing outcomes for every member of society they touch. He’s already proving it is possible through some high-profile, inspirational community and Government projects.

Elizabeth Williams, Research Fellow, 3A Institute. In 2016, the World Economic Forum suggested we were entering the 4th wave of industrialisation; one characterised by cyber-physical systems. These systems will rely on the mainstreaming of the Internet of Things, Big Data, and Machine Learning. This new Era could result in significant economic, social and cultural shifts.  The 3A Institute is researching a set of critical questions around Autonomy, Agency and Assurance for cyber-physical systems and exploring the metrics by which the success of these systems can be measured as well as the possible interface(s) between humans and CPS.

Interviewer: Michael Pascoe, Contributing Editor, The New Daily

1630 – 1730

Session 6 –  Cyber & Space Security

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

In response to the emergent phenomenon of information warfare, the Australian Defence Force must adapt to a new operating environment, including the consideration of technical and non-technical information related threats. In a congested and increasingly contested information environment, the Australian Defence Force must be capable of actively defending its own cyber and space-based systems. In addition, learn about the continuing development of cyber threats to industry, the current headwinds that defenders face, and ongoing efforts to mitigate the threats and alleviate the headwinds.

Chair: Luke Brown, Chief Engineer, CASG

Keynote Speakers:

  1. Major General Marcus Thompson AM FIEAust CPEng EngExec, Deputy Chief Information Warfare, Australian Defence Force
  2. Brendan Hopper, General Manager, Cyber Security Centre, Commonwealth Bank of Australia


Close of Day 1

1730 – 1930

Networking reception 

The Gallery, Level 2

Day 2 / 18th September

0715 – 1200

Offsite Concurrent Technical Forums

The concurrent offsite technical forums, which include many world class innovations, provide an opportunity to showcase Australian engineering excellence.  Those behind the innovations will be available to discuss how the innovation came about and the impact it is having on the community and future engineering.

Please note comfortable shoes will be required due to the walking involved, sometimes on uneven ground.  Disability access is not available with the exception of Forum 13. As numbers are strictly limited at each forum, they will be filled on a first come basis.  Please choose only one Forum.

Forum 1 – Amphibious Assault Ship – Garden Island

The Canberra-class Amphibious Assault Ship gives the Australian Defence Force one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea deployment systems in the world.

These 27,000 tonne ships also known as a Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) are 230m long with 15 deck levels. They can land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and watercraft, along with all their weaponry, ammunition, vehicles and stores.

The ships’ purpose is to:

  • Embark, transport and disembark large forces along with their equipment and aviation units
  • Carry out and support humanitarian missions

The forum on the Amphibious Assault Ship will include visits to the:

  • Bridge and Communications deck
  • Combat systems
  • Flight deck
  • High-voltage power system
  • Well deck for loading/unloading
  • Machinery space

Captain Jonathan Earley – HMAS
Systems Engineering Society, Society for Defence Engineering, Electrical College

Sponsored By:

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 2 – Urban Regeneration – Barangaroo

Barangaroo is currently one of the largest urban renewal projects in Australia.

When completed in 2024 with a new metro station, more than half of Barangaroo will be set aside as public space. The space will encompass a continuous Sydney Harbour promenade, expansive parklands, plazas, coves and a brand new metro station.

Barangaroo will support up to 23,000 permanent jobs, provide a home to 3,500 residents and contribute more than $2 billion to the NSW economy each year.

Work on the development of Barangaroo during 2018 includes:

  • Remediation of the old Millers Point Gasworks onsite and under Hickson Road
  • Completion of the southern precinct including Renzo Piano’s residential buildings, Hickson Park, Waterman’s Cove, Crown Sydney Hotel Resort and a new public pier
  • Development of Central Barangaroo to complete the precinct
  • Upgrade of Hickson Road to provide a ‘people boulevard’
  • A new metro station as part of the largest rail project in Australia

By joining this forum you’ll have an opportunity to visit either the:

  • Buildings Option – including Barangaroo Office Tower (structure, innovative fit-out, building services) and Crown Resort (up/down construction)
  • Infrastructure Option – including the remediation of the old Gasworks site, excavation and construction of the new metro station, and Barangaroo Reserve redevelopment

Before you attend either option, you’ll hear from the Barangaroo Delivery Authority for a deeper insight into the design principles of the redevelopment.

When the forums are finished, you’ll leave by boat and enjoy a waterside view of the development and surrounding harbour developments along with your lunch.


David McCracken – Development Advisor, Barangaroo Delivery Authority

Andrew Boutchard – Infrastructure Development Manager, Urban Regeneration, Lendlease

Mark Dunn – Crown Resort Construction Manager, Lendlease

Denis Goggin – Senior Associate, Robert Bird Group

Civil/Structural Panel, Environmental College

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 3 – Icon Renewal – Sydney Opera House

Since its opening in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has become an icon of modern Australia and one of the country’s premier tourist destinations.

Now, this landmark of 20th century architecture is being renewed for the 21st century.

The Concert Hall’s upgrades will improve its acoustics, streamline accessibility to the stage and backstage areas and replace ageing theatre systems.

In addition, the Joan Sutherland Theatre’s equipment has reached the end of its operational life. Installation of new systems will see improved reliability, functionality and safety in the theatre.

The modernisation of Sydney Opera House is a major challenge. It’s the biggest refurbishment project since the Opera House was opened 45 years ago. And the Opera House needs to stay open throughout the project, with thousands of visitors flocking through the spaces.

This forum, will take you back of house to help you understand the renewal works engineering.

On this forum you’ll:

  • Witness the Renewal project in action and get an understanding of its technical complexity
  • Hear from the CEO and Building Director on the challenges of the Renewal project, their vision for the Opera House and the challenges behind its creation
  • Hear from a renowned architect about the Opera House story vision and challenges behind its creation
  • Participate in discussions about the risks and opportunities behind the Renewal project

Louise Herron, AM
– CEO, Sydney Opera House
Ian Cashen – Director of Building, Sydney Opera House
Professor Richard Johnson, AO MBE
– Founding Director, Johnson Pilton Walker Pty Ltd
Hosts: The College of Leadership and Management (CLM), The Risk Engineering Technical Society, Asset Management Council

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 4 – Transportation - WestConnex Motorway / Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

WestConnex is a 33 kilometre (21 mile) motorway currently under construction in Sydney. Once completed, WestConnex will be one of the world’s longest road tunnels.

The WestConnex project encompasses the widening and extension of the M4 Western Motorway, the building of a new section for the M5 South-Western Motorway and a new inner western bypass of the Sydney CBD connecting the M4 and M5.

WestConnex will create around 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) of new tunnels, allowing commuters to avoid up to 52 sets of traffic lights.

When you join the WestConnex forum you’ll:

  • See completed sections of WestConnex
  • Visit work in progress (should safety restrictions and construction progress allow)
  • Hear presentations followed by a Q&A on:
    • The broader business views of the WestConnex project
    • The strategy to integrate the three stages of the project together
    • WestConnex project control systems, stakeholder management, sustainability and commissioning

Terry Chapman – Project Director, Westconnex New M4, Sydney Motorway Corporation
Matt Morgan – Project Manager, M4 East, Sydney Motorway Corporation 
Abhi Datta– 
Project Controls Manager, Finance Investment and Control, Sydney Motorway Corporation
Cost Engineering Society, Tunneling Society, Geomechanics Society

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 5 – Pushing Boundaries of Technological Innovations – UNSW, Sydney

UNSW sits at the heart of a sophisticated global knowledge system shaping our future. The key to that mission is to translate research into real world solutions. That’s where engineering excels. This forum provides a unique opportunity to observe internationally recognised innovations of the Engineering Faculty in sustainable mining, nanotechnology and solar power. Those attending will visit:

  • VR Simulator
    Developed by the Interactive Cinema Research Centre to showcase the Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment, a world-class 360-degree virtual immersing people in a three-dimensional space using stereoscopic vision which has been used by the School of Mining to develop world class training programs in mine safety.
  • Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology (CQC2T)
    The Centre is the only one in the world that can manipulate individual atoms to make atomically precise electronic devices. The research team is leading the world in the race to develop a quantum computer in silicon. This will provide an exponential increase in computational power over traditional machines and great new industries.
  • Solar Industrial Research Facility (SIRF)
    Photovoltaic engineering uses solar radiation to create electricity.  It studies the manufacture and use of solar cells, which capture and convert light from the sun to create electricity that can power virtually anything electrical.   For over two decades The University of New South Wales has been a world leader in research and commercialisation of high performance silicon solar cells.

Attendees of this offsite forum will participate in:

  • The VR simulator experiencing mine safety training
  • A forum in the CQC2T laboratories to see quantum computing research equipment
  • A forum in SIRF to see advanced manufacture of silicon solar cells

This will be followed by presentations with Q&A on quantum computers and solar power RD&D with lunch while returning to ICC.

Associate Professor Alistair Sproul – Head of School Photovoltaics & Renewable Energy, UNSW

Dr. Arne Laucht – Senior Lecturer, CQC2T, UNSW

Hosts: Young Engineers, ITEE College, Complex Engineering Systems panel of CLM

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 6 – The Harbour that Worked – Heritage Engineering has been cancelled

We are no longer taking registrations for this forum.

Forum 7 – Digital Disruption in Construction – Department of Defence

Australia invests over $100bn pa in the built environment in buildings and infrastructure, but loses over 15% from wasted effort. Much of this is caused by lost data resulting in uninformed communication, unsatisfactory handover, inadequate project control and end-user dissatisfaction. Lost data is a lost return on investment and can result in a legal compliance mine field which requires that base line data be captured and passed on to supply chain members

Built environment projects essentially are a supply chain of four silos, each generating large amounts of data, the life blood of projects. Too often this data isn’t selectively captured at its source for use by later silos, as needed, by owners, designers or contractors. This results in data being:

  • either lost forever or too expensive to selectively recreate on a needs basis
  • data being “pushed” onto owners regardless of their needs for operational use or O&M requirements
  • information gaps and higher in-use costs

Digital disruption, due to inadequate systems and a blind faith in BIM, is both the cause and the potential solution to ‘Bridging the Gaps’.

 Attendees of this Forum will:

  • Visit a case study project to appreciate the challenge in providing ‘not too much data, nor too little, but just right’
  • Hear how the Department of Defence suffers from our industries data gaps with added costs and lost opportunities through lessons learnt
  • Discuss successes in bridging the gaps with financial/service benefits to end-users and supply chains
  • Hear how Australians have turned digital disruption into innovation that is exported to the world
  • Participate in a workshop to:
    • Design bridges to eliminate data gaps
    • Design a data management plan for a Defence Project
    • Plan for the projects moment of truth

Doug Fox – 
Project Director NSW, Department of Defence, Capital Facilities & Infrastructure
Stuart Smith –
 Managing Director, WebFM
Hosts:  Society for Building Services Engineers, Asset Management Council, Society of Fire Safety

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 8 – Advanced Manufacturing – University of Technology, Sydney

This forum discovers how the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) uses computer graphics to process complex data and streamline manufacturing.

UTS Data Arena 

UTS Data Arena’s highly visual 360-degree data visualisation system assists industry leaders and government bodies in identifying patterns, discovering trends and steering research.

At Data Arena, you’ll see complex information simplified with computer graphics and learn how it’s applied to manufacturing processes to speed up prototyping and improve efficiencies.

Some highlights at UTS Data Arena include:

  • Transport passenger analysis to determine ‘pinch points’
  • A 3D walk around the building to test materials, colours and layouts

UTS Centre of Autonomous Systems

The UTS Centre of Autonomous Systems (CAS) is an internationally acclaimed robot research centre. It specialises in the research and building of robots that create positive change for government, industry and the wider community.

CAS research and robots are used globally and locally. At CAS you’ll see how robotics is applied to manufacturing processes to help organisations improve worker outcomes and provide competitive advantages.

Some highlights at CAS include:

  • An inspection and sandblasting of Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Advanced condition assessment and failure-prediction technologies for optimal management of critical pipes

UTS ProtoSpace – Additive Manufacturing

UTS ProtoSpace is the largest additive manufacturing facility in Australia.

It provides access to 3D printers and equipment, allowing users to build prototypes and functional parts for testing in a variety of materials, including resin, metal, ceramic and concrete.

ProtoSpace is currently focused on exploring new applications for additive manufacturing and bringing Industry 4.0 to Sydney’s CBD.

Some highlights at ProtoSpace include:

  • Demonstrations from different machines with examples of finished products in a variety of materials
  • Talks from industry and academic leaders on how 3D technology is currently being used and how it will be used in the future

Dr. Lee “Mickey” Clemon – Lecturer, UTS School of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, FEIT
Jennifer Loy – Professor of Product Design & Design for Additive Manufacturing
Hosts: Institute of Industrial Engineers, Women in Engineering, Young Engineers

Sponsored By:

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 9 – Transportation - Sydney Light Rail

The CBD and South East Light Rail is a new rail network, currently under construction. The 12km route will feature 19 stops, extending from Circular Quay along George Street via Central Station, through Surry Hills to Moore Park, then to Kensington and Kingsford via Anzac Parade and Randwick via Alison Road and High Street.

Engineering features include:

  • First world delivery of new Citadis X05 light rail vehicles
  • Wire free ground based power supply in George Street
  • Reversible substation technologies enabling 99% recovery during braking

Attendees of this forum will see this project under construction however, what we are able to visit will depend on the construction schedule and project status.  It may include:

  • Citadis X05 Light Rail Vehicle at Randwick Stabling Yard
  • Kensington Dam
  • Royal Randwick Light Rail Stop


Glenn Bentley – Chief Executive Officer, Altrac Light Rail
Elliot Young – D & C Project Director, Acciona Infrastructure Australia

Hosts: Civil College, Electrical College, Transport Society

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 10 – Biomedical Engineering - ResMed

Founded in Sydney in 1989, ResMed is an Australian success story. ResMed is a world leading connected health company with more than 4 million cloud-connected devices for daily remote patient monitoring. The company was started on the commercialisation of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Since then, the company has grown into developing devices and software solutions to help treat and manage OSA, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions.

Attendees of the Forum will have the opportunity to visit ResMed Manufacturing in Bella Vista, Sydney.  Hosted by manufacturing engineers, visitors will be able to see the complete manufacturing process including:

  • Robotics used for the manufacturing of mask cushions
  • The assembly of devices on the manufacturing line
  • Packaging of devices
  • Methods in which the manufacturing line is loaded

Attendees will also have the opportunity to:

  • Hear from some of ResMed’s key engineering and research leaders on the technology that drives the company
  • Participate in a hands-on activity to become familiar with the design for manufacturing features of ResMed products
  • Ask questions to ResMed’s engineers on products currently in the market

Jamie Wehbeh – 
Director, Sleep Research and Technology, ResMed

John Oates – Senior Principal Engineer, Embedded Systems, Product Development-Respiratory Care, ResMed

Varuni Fernando – Systems Engineer, Product Development-Sleep, ResMed

Hosts: Biomedical College, Women in Engineering

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 11 – Smart Cities - Central Park

Since it was built, the Central Park building has become the new icon of Sydney. This forum is an opportunity to see how a transdisciplinary engineering team produced an award-winning engineering masterpiece. Central Park is smart in every aspect, maximizing self-sufficiency through renewable energy sources and sustainable water supplies. The $2 billion urban village sits across a 5.8-hectare site with one third dedicated to open space.

The $2 billion urban village features 11 buildings, 1,800 apartments, shops, restaurants and much more across a 5.8-hectare site. A third of Central Park is dedicated to open space.

Drawing on a $100 million investment in green technology, Central Park is now powered by its own tri-generation thermal energy plant making its buildings green, smart and self-sufficient.

23 green walls have their own irrigation systems supported by a building management system that monitors energy and hot and cold water consumption in 1,430 apartments and 70 retail tenancies.

Central Park also has its own recycled water network. The Membrane Bioreactor is the biggest in the world and saves up to 50% of drinking water. The network services over 4,000 residents and over 15,000 workers and visitors daily.

Forum attendees will see and hear presentations from the transdisciplinary engineering team about a range of Central Park features with Q&A and lunch. These features will include:

  • Green Wall
  • Recycled Water Treatment Plant
  • Thermal Plant

** PPE and closed shoes will be required to join this Forum

Jock Gammon
– Co-Founder and Managing Director, Junglefy
Michael Goldrick –
Development Director, Frasers Property Australia
Geof Heydon
– Principal Consultant, IoT Alliance and Creator Tech
Hosts: Chemical College, ITEE College, Sustainable Engineering Society

Sponsored By:

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 12 – Autonomous Vehicles – Transport for NSW, Sydney University (ACFR), Volvo

Autonomous vehicles are one of the engineering challenges of the 21stcentury. Joining this forum, you’ll have two options, both of which reveal leading Australian research, development and demonstration.

Option 1: Transport for NSW and Volvo at Sydney Olympic Park 

Through Transport’s Smart Innovation Centre, the NSW Government is working with industry and research partners, to trial a highly automated passenger shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park. The pilot is the first precinct-based trial of an automated shuttle in Australia and is the first trial of vehicle automation to take place in NSW.

Volvo research shows 94% of all accidents are caused by human factors. By using advanced safety technology, Volvo believes it can help to reduce the human factor in traffic accidents. In Sweden, Volvo has seen a decline of around 45 per cent in rear-end frontal crashes from collision warning with autobrake system.

Attendees of this Forum will:

  • See the passenger shuttle bus and Volvo car operate
  • Hear about future plans to operate in the regions of NSW with other vehicles and Volvo’s plans to get from levels 1 to 4 autonomy
  • Hear of the control systems and sensors being developed to ensure safe operations of all autonomous vehicles
  • Hear of Volvo’s forecast for autonomous developments

Sponsored by:

Evan Walker
– Director of Smart Innovation Centre, Transport for NSW
David Pickett – Senior Manager Product Engineering, Volvo Car Australia
Hosts: Systems Engineering Society, Young Engineers, Mechanical College

Option 2: Australian Centre for Field Robotics, Sydney University

The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), one of the largest robotics research institutes in the world, has been instrumental in developing breakthrough technologies, conducting world-renowned research and developing field robotics principles and systems. The centre focuses on the research, development and application of autonomous and intelligent robots, and apply them in industrial, social and environmental settings. Part of the ACFR is the Horticultural Innovation Centre for Robotics and AI, with a focus on robotics to increase farm efficiency and productivity for the vegetable and tree crop industries.

Attendees of this Forum will:

  • See autonomous golf carts navigating a carpark
  • See examples of autonomous agricultural vehicles and watch field video of the vehicles at work
  • See examples of underwater robots and discuss applications
  • Hear from leading researchers of the control systems and sensors being developed

Speaker: Eduardo Nebot – Director, Australian Centre for Field Robotics
Hosts: Systems Engineering Society, Royal Aeronautical Society, Complex Engineering Systems Panel of CLM

Click here for more information >

• Forums 1 to 12 will be held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour and will involve considerable walking. Please take this into consideration when selecting the forum that you would like to attend.

• Please ensure that covered footwear is worn at all times if participating in any of the forums held away from the ICC, Darling Harbour – no sandals or strapped shoes etc

Forum 13 – Executing the Project Plan – The Fighter Pilot Approach, Parkside Ballroom

For centuries, the most successful engineering projects were consummated with a handshake and trusting relationships. Then came the dinosaur moment, and a meteorite named 20% interest, changed project practices forever. Collaboration and trust became a challenge! Clients and contractors reached out to the legal profession who were happy to oblige with specialist construction groups within their practices.  Sadly, this team building culture has recently become more difficult to attain.  But engineers are not alone when it comes to project team building with a mission to accomplish.  Fighter pilots face similar challenges.

Fighter pilots operate in some of the most complex and hostile high-pressure environments, but still achieve their mission objectives 98% of the time.

They achieve this rate of success by thoroughly planning, briefing, executing and debriefing their missions. They’re also always working at improving an individual’s performance as well as the squadron’s.

In this forum, Afterburner, an Australian leader in team development, leadership and operational excellence programs, will share their team-building and high-performance secrets to help you succeed as engineers.

Drawing on years of experience in the field, a team of elite former fighter pilots and military aviators will show you how to operate more effectively and achieve top results.

You’ll learn how to assemble strong teams, coordinate staff, plan projects and carry out your mission with greater efficiency and precision – just as a fighter pilot would.

In this forum you’ll get to:

  • Work through the simple 4 step process fighter pilots use to get things done and do things better
  • See presentations containing multimedia graphics and rare aviation video footage
  • Learn how to plan missions and achieve mission success the fighter pilot way
  • Hear how to create high performance teams and a culture that fundamentally believes in success
  • Learn simple risk management tools that can be applied to any project
  • Participate in a hands-on interactive problem-solving scenario and team breakout session where participants will form “squadrons” or teams to work through hypothetical scenarios, using the pilots’ FLEX methodology, to plan a mission. Participants will learn how to apply the FLEX methodology on their projects to deliver on time and on target

Speaker: Mr Christian Boucousis, Fighter Pilot (RET), Director, Afterburner Australia
Facilitators: Fighter Pilots, Afterburner Australia

Click here for more information >

Forum 13: Executing the Project Plan – The Fighter Pilot Approach will be held onsite at the ICC, Darling Harbour

1200 – 1300

Lunch (to be held at the offsite forum venues)

1230 – 1400

Lunch (to be held onsite at the ICC)

1300 – 1330

Offsite Technical Forum participants return to International Convention Centre (ICC), Sydney

1400 – 1530

Session 7 – Hypothetical  – Do robotic slaves have rights and can a robot love? Can it think? How about kill? 

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

This, of course, is a metaphor for the very complex issues, legal, ethical, moral, and religious to be faced, not only by engineers who develop robots, but by people generally as thinking machines evolve. Engineers will be at the forefront of this modern renaissance, the point in time when the advances in technology and engineering will lead to machines that are many times smarter than human beings. This singularity has begun and is accelerating fast. Geoffrey Robertson QC hosts and orchestrates a discussion on this issue using a “hypothetical” format and an imaginary situation where a panel of experts discuss its ramifications.

Keynote SpeakerGeoffrey Robertson AO, QC, Human Rights Barrister and host of television program “Hypothetical”


  1. The Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the NSW & ACT Synod, Uniting Church in Australia
  2. Dr Catherine Ball, Scientist, Innovator and Champion of Diversity
  3. Hugh Durrant-Whyte, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer
  4. Jonar Nader, Digital Age Philosopher, Author and Principal, Logictivity
  5. Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner
  6. Sophia, Humanoid Robot
  7. Mark Morey, Secretary, Unions NSW
  8. Robert Sparrow, Ethicist, Monash University
  9. Dick Smith AC, Entrepreneur
  10. Distinguished Prof. Mary-Anne Williams, Director of The Magic Lab, Centre for Artificial Intelligence, UTS
  11. Lieutenant Colonel Keirin Joyce, CSC, Program Manager, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Australian Army
  12. Wyatt Roy, General Manager, Afiniti Sydney

1545 – 1645

Session 8 – Building Smart Cities for the Future

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

Technical innovation can help governments address the challenges of contemporary urban governance, improve the urban environment, increase their competitive edge and cope with environmental risks. To prevent and manage them, cities must innovate and become smart. To address this we bring together a panel of industry practitioners in a collaborative discussion and debate on smart city development, covering issues such as: intelligent transportation, resource and waste management, renewable energy, smart buildings, smart lighting, sustainability solutions, open data solutions, transmission networks, the internet of things, planning and design, sensors and city analytics.

Moderator: Tim Tompson, Strategic Designer, Axilo


  1. Paul Ravlich, CEO, Siemens (NZ.Z.) Limited
  2. Katherine Tobias, Internet of Things Practice, KPMG
  3. Dr Sarah Barns, Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University
  4. Swain Johnson, Territory Sales Executive, Autodesk
  5. James Glastonbury, Technical Director, Laing O’Rourke Australia


Close of Day 2

1830 – 2200

AEC Gala Dinner – Featuring the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards

The Grand Ballroom, Level 5

The AEC Gala Dinner will be held in the Grand Ballroom. The evening will provide delegates the opportunity to network with industry stakeholders and peers from all areas of the engineering profession. We will announce the 2018 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards and learn about some of the innovative projects being undertaken by the engineering community.

Day 3 / 19th September

0900 – 1015

Session 9 – The Leadership Journey 

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

Changing careers is not always an easy transformation. So how have those who have taken the leap been able to tailor their leadership style as they travelled their career journey?  What were the mistakes made and the lessons learned? And was it worth it?

Moderator: Mr Michael Pascoe, Contributing Editor, The New Daily


  1. Craig Laslett FIEAust CPEng EngExec, Managing Director, Lendlease Engineering
  2. Rob Sindel, Chief Executive Officer, CSR
  3. Roma Agrawal, Buildings & Places London AECOM (UK)
  4. Lucia Cade, Director, Engineers Australia

1015 – 1100

Morning Tea 

The Gallery, Level 2

1100 – 1200

Onsite Concurrent Forums (Subjects: Leadership, Management & Risk)

1100 – 1200

Forum 1    Progressing from Project Leadership to Business Leader:

Meeting Room C3.3

At some point in your engineering career, the question will come up of if you’re interested in the technical track or the executive track. The paths are very different. The emphasis on individual effort when working on a project in situ and is in stark contrast to the broader and commercial side of the corporate organisation where risk and uncertainty are viewed as a normal, ever-present part of doing business. So how do you make that transition from leading a project to leading an organisation?

Moderator: Joe Saliba, Managing Director, Industrial & Engineering Practice, Russell Reynolds


  1. Maureen Thurston, Global Director, Design to Innovate, Aurecon
  2. Kristen Myles MIEAust CPEng, Principal Engineer, WSP
  3. Dr. Chris Jeffery, CEO and Founder, Field Orthopaedics

1100 – 1200

Forum 2      Engineers Can Change the World:

Cockle Bay Room 2

Whether directly or indirectly, engineers impact the lives of people in the community around them.  How can we attract the right candidates to consider a career at the leading edge of engineering?  While engineers are improving the world around us, their guiding hands frequently remain invisible.  At some point, shining a light on what engineers achieve is necessary to maintain credibility and attract new talent. But how do engineers increase their influence in society and how can they ensure that their role is appreciated and acknowledged?

Moderator: Gavin Blakely OAM FIEAust CPEng, Chairman of the Board, Engineers Without Borders


  1. Stephen Langton, Managing Director, Board & CEO Advisory Group, Russell Reynolds Associates (Singapore)
  2. Hon. Mark Birrell CompIEAust, Chairman, PostSuper
  3. Dr Anne Hellstedt FIEAust CPEng EngExec, Project Director, Office of the Dean, Melbourne School of Engineering, University of Melbourne                            

1100 – 1200

Forum 3      The Genius of Naivety:

Meeting Room C3.4 and C3.5

Engineers and technologists make great entrepreneurs.  Bill Gates, Dorothy Norman Spicer, James Dyson, Limor ‘Ladyada’ Fried: from the industrial greats to today’s electronics culture, they populate the realms of new business start-ups, invention and entrepreneurial endeavor. What are the special attributes needed to succeed?  And how must we support our young engineers to gain the business skills required to lead entrepreneurial businesses?

Moderator: Prof. Roy Green, Dean UTS Business School, UTS Sydney


  1. Hartley Pike, Construction Cloud, Civil/Structural Engineering
  2. Guy Langlois, Pre-Sales Manager, Thinxtra
  3. Mahya Mirzaei, CEO and Founder, Learned Hub

1100 – 1200

Forum 4    The Future of Sustainability and Resilience:

Cockle Bay Room 1

Sustainability and resilience can work together across construction, transportation systems in the economy and in government. Resilience is not just the ability to bounce back from a disruption, but, rather “the capacity for a system to survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change and uncertainty,” and resilience is not just about physical assets but also about economies and societies. Strengthening resilience today is a prerequisite for achieving long-term sustainability.

Moderator: Neil Greet, Collaborative Outcomes, Innovative Building Resilience            


  1. Dr. Peter Newman AO, Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University
  2. Richard Palmer, Director of Sustainability, WSP
  3. Lauren Kajewski, Senior Manager, Sustainability and Housing Outcomes

1100 – 1200

Forum 5     The Grand Plan – Big Ideas for Australia:

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

This session will feature some of the big ideas that could pave the way for our prosperous nation. In the past great thinkers brought us the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Warragamba Dam, major roadways, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, expansive rail networks, a broad range of mining plus other innovations that have put Australia on the map. What is the way forward? We have invited a range of visionaries to tell us where Australia ought to invest, and to discuss the areas that need special focus.

Moderator: Jonar Nader, Digital Age Philosopher, Author and Principal, Logictivity


  1. Naomi Simson, Entrepreneur and host of Shark Tank Australia
  2. Michael Donovan, Executive Mentor, Author and Teacher
  3. Admiral Chris Barrie AC, RAN Former Chief of the Australian Defence Force
  4. Shaza Rifi, Engineer, NSW Young Woman of the Year
  5. Julian Day, Founder & CEO, Consensus Group
  6. Paris Buttfield-Addison, Founder, Secret Labs
  7. Dr Michael McAllum, Chief Steward, Centre for the Future Academy and Director, Global Foresight
  8. Angelo Nicolas, Student and author of the book “If”
  9. Darren Kwan, Executive Producer, Australian Esports League
  10. Eleanor Loudon, CEO, Engineers Without Borders

1200 – 1315


The Gallery, Level 2

1315 – 1415

Session 10 – Advancing our Cities’ Liveability, Workability and Sustainability

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

Cities have to offer attractive and affordable environments in which to live. Currently property is expensive and transport systems are grinding to a halt as they become more crowded. That’s why city planners need to think very carefully about how they free up more housing, add more transport capacity and how they plan for additional future capacity. But they also need to plan in the context of increasing energy costs and government austerity. Technology can help them function better — with better security, better real-time monitoring, better information and better connectedness with government. This is what cities need to think about to be better, more caring and more friendly places to live.

ChairJulie Mikhail, Chemical Engineer and President, Sydney Division, Engineers Australia

Keynote Speaker:  Sir Rod Eddington AO HonFIEAust, Non-Executive Director and Former Chair, Infrastructure Australia 

Interviewer: Dr. Peter Newman AO, Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University

1415 – 1445

Afternoon tea

The Gallery, Level 2

1445 – 1545

Session 11 – Australian Engineers and Space

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

With the establishment of the Australian Space Agency and Australia joining the space race along with many other countries and ambitious private space companies, will inspire many young people to be a part of this exciting new-age exploration of the final frontier. It is the engineers and scientists such as those employed at NASA and in private enterprise, who will turn the dream of exploring space into a reality. An opportunity to hear what is the role the engineering industry and business can play in space, and to opening up space to new ideas and industry players.

Moderator: Michael McAllum, Chief Steward, Centre for the Future

Speaker: Dr Anthony Murfett, Deputy Director General, Australian Space Agency


  1. Roger Franzen, Earthspace Consultant and Technical Advisor, Shoal Engineering Pty Ltd
  2. Warwick Holmes, Executive Director, Space Engineering, University of Sydney
  3. William E Barrett, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Aerospace Consultants (APAC)

1545 – 1600

Concluding Remarks  

Darling Harbour Theatre, Level 2

Mr Peter McIntyre FIEAust CPEng EngExec, CEO of Engineers Australia


Close of Conference