menu click

Award for Technical Excellence

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

In 2017, the Award was presented to Rod Troutbeck in appreciation of his internationally recognised expertise in road safety barrier design and the traffic operation of roads, in particular unsignalised intersections and roundabouts.

Rod is a former Principal Research Scientist of ARRB Group. He researched the operation of long vehicles on rural roads, principally the ability of other drivers to overtake, the performance of roundabouts and the design and performance of road safety barriers.

In 1989, he joined Queensland University of Technology where he was the Head and Professor of Civil Engineering from 1994 to 2004. His distinguished service to the national and international road transport community and to education, over some 40 plus years, has been recognized with the awarding of the Institute of Engineers Australia Transport Medal, as well as appointments as Emeritus Member of the US Transportation Research Board and Professor Emeritus at the Queensland University of Technology, where he is also currently Adjunct Professor at the Centre of Accident Research and Road Safety.

His work with the US Transportation Research Board, and through it the American Association of State Transportation Officials (AASHTO), has helped give shape to the world standards for evaluating road safety barriers.

Rod also plays a prominent role in the safety of Australian motor sports. He is a member of the National Track Safety Committee for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Chairman of the Standards Association Working group to establish Guidelines for Risk Management in Motor Sport, and a Member of the Research Advisory Group for the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety.

Right: Rod Troutbeck (centre) with RA President, David Stuart-Watt and NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey.

Nominations are now open for 2018 Award

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

Nominations for the 2018 Award close on September 28, 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.


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 in Australia.  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

2017 -Rod Troutbeck

2016 - John Hilton

2015 - Professor Mary Lydon

2014 - Rahmi Akçelik

2013 - Kieran Sharp

2012 - John Hodgkinson

2011 - Professor John Metcalf