The Ray Fisher Award for Technical Excellence recognises an individual for technical excellence in the broader transport industry. Previously known as the RA Award for Technical Excellence, it was renamed in 2019 to honour our former President and Life Member, Ray Fisher.

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

How to Nominate

Nominations must address the award criteria (set out below) and be accompanied by the nominee’s CV, along with details of two referees.

Inquiries about the Award should be directed to RA’s Corporate Affairs Officer – Mitch Itter.


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.

Our 2022 winner

Geoff Ayton was selected as the winner of the 2022 Ray Fisher Award for Technical Excellence.

Geoff’s work has driven transformational change in the field of road design, construction, and sustainability in pavements, particularly highways and similar classification roads in Australia. His work has mainly focused on non-erodible subbases, concrete compaction, jointing systems including roundabouts, construction drawings and specifications and related skills training at all levels from paving crews to project managers.

Geoff’s technical contributions have been recognised with prestigious awards in Australia and internationally. This includes the Institute of Engineers Australia Babcock Scholarship, which he used to undertake a study tour of concrete paving authorities in America and Europe. Geoff then used this knowledge to drive significant revisions and updating of Australian rigid pavement practice.

In 2015, Geoff was was made an Honorary Member of the US-based International Society for Concrete Pavements – and he remains the only Australian ever to be presented with this honour.

In presenting the award, RA CEO Michael Kilgariff acknowledged Geoff’s decades-long contribution to highway construction in Australia, as well as his ongoing commitment to sharing his expertise with the next generation of engineers though his participation in technical forums, education courses and mentoring.

RA CEO Michael Kilgariff presents the award to Geoff Ayton at the RA Transport Summit in Sydney on 27 April 2023

The Roll of Honour

2022 – Geoff Ayton

2021 – George Mavroyeni

2020 – David Hazell

2019 – Dr Richard Kelly

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