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Award for Technical Excellence

The Roads Australia Award for Technical Excellence recognises an individual for technical excellence in the broader transport industry.

In 2016, the Award was presented to Aurecon's Global Service Leader, Bridges and Civil Structures, John Hilton, in acknowledgement of his career-long excellence and leadership in bridge design.

John is an internationally renowned civil engineer whose contribution to the design and quality construction of bridges in Australia, South East Asia, Africa, New Zealand and the Middle East is unparalleled. His drive and enthusiasm, innovation and technical ability has not only improved the safety and strengthened the economies of hundreds of communities across the globe, it has given birth to a new generation of like-minded engineers inspired to follow in his considerable footsteps.

Under his guidance as Chairman of the Standards Sub-Committee, Part 5 (Concrete) of the new AS 5100 Bridge Code, Australia will be the first country in the world to formally introduce the innovative advancement of steel fibre reinforced concrete as a standard component of bridge construction.

His outstanding work on such innovations as the A-Bridge and U-Max girder and their further refinement will have an enduring impact on the construction industry for many years to come. 

To be eligible for the annual Award, a nominee's field of contribution must be in a technical or scientific area relevant to transport.  His or her contribution must be outstanding, measured directly in terms of impact on the industry, including the transformational change to the industry.

Nominations are now open for 2017 Award

Nominations for the 2017 Award close on September 29, with the Award presented at the RA Annual Christmas lunch in the recipient's home city at the end of the year.

Submissions must be provided in writing (Word doc or PDF) and address each of the criteria below.  Any supporting information, references or evidence may be included, however submissions should not be overly long (max. five pages).

Inquiries about the Award and completed submissions should be directed to RA Communications Director, Mark Bowmer.

Pictured: 2016 Winner, John Hilton (far right), with previous winners (from left) John Metcalf, John Hodgkinson and Mary Lydon.


The following conditions and guidelines apply in making the award:

  • Field of Contribution. The field of contribution must be in a technical or scientific area relevant to transport.  Indicative areas of contribution include road construction, design, safety, freight, research, and sustainability.
  • Impact of Contribution. The contribution must be outstanding.  This will be measured directly in terms of its impact on the industry, the advancement of science and the community.   
  • Recognition of Contribution. The extent to which the contribution is acknowledged by the candidate’s professional peers within the relevant scientific or technical field.
  • Personal Achievement. It must be demonstrated that the candidate’s contribution significantly reflects personal endeavour, as distinct from the work of others.
  • Originality. Candidates will also be assessed on the originality and unique quality of their contribution and the transformational change to the industry.  The spark of innovation must be evident.  
  • Durability. Candidates will also be assessed on the extent to which their contribution is likely to endure and be applied by future generations. 
  • Further potential. Ideally candidates for the award will still have further contributions to make to the industry and the community.  It is expected that the award will recognise their achievements to date and thereby enhance the opportunity for the candidate to make yet a further contribution. 

Roll of Honour

2016 - John Hilton

2015 - Professor Mary Lydon

2014 - Rahmi Akçelik

2013 - Kieran Sharp

2012 - John Hodgkinson

2011 - Professor John Metcalf