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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 2018, the Award was presented to Dr Harry Asche, Aurecon's Design Director of Tunnels, in recognition of his career and technical leadership in road tunnels.

Since the 1980s, Harry has been part of the evolution of tunnel space-proofing research – achieving the ideal balance between safety, capacity and economics. His work has been highly influential in changing the way space is allocated in tunnels.

He is the National Vice-Chair and Queensland Chairman of the Australasian Tunnelling Society (ATS), as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Queensland, In recognition of his contribution, he was this year named Queensland’s Professional Engineer of the Year.

Nominations for the 2019 Award close on October 14

To be eligible, 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 2019 Award will close on October 14, 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. 

The Roll of Honour

2018 - Harry Asche

2017 - Rod Troutbeck

2016 - John Hilton

2015 - Professor Mary Lydon

2014 - Rahmi Akçelik

2013 - Kieran Sharp

2012 - John Hodgkinson

2011 - Dr John B Metcalf