Alumni awards 2012

Graduates and postgraduates make extraordinary contributions to the University, to their local communities and on the international stage. The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies' annual Alumni Awards recognise these remarkable achievements.

The Faculty's Alumni Awards program complements those awards already established by the University of Sydney. All 2012 Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies Alumni Award recipients will be entered into the nomination process for the University of Sydney Alumni Awards in 2013.

Passion, commitment and innovation honoured

The extraordinary contribution of University of Sydney Engineering and IT graduates to Australia and developing countries has been recognised at this year's Faculty Alumni Awards.

A start-up web service based in Bangalore, an innovative low cost bridge construction program in rural Indonesia, massive coals-to-chemicals projects in China and Saudi Arabia, and a passion to provide clean water to third-world communities are among the projects that have earned this year's recipients their Alumni awards.

Each year, the faculty recognises graduates contribution to the moulding and reshaping of our world through their innovation, creativity, leadership and community spirit says Dean of Engineering Professor Archie Johnston.

The faculty's four Alumni Award 2012 winners include:

Professional Achievement

Richard Kell AM has been recognised for his lifetime achievements in the Civil and Structural Engineering profession. He worked extensively in the Asia Pacific Region on projects such as the Indonesian Steel Bridges. This project provided low cost bridging across Indonesia and helped to open up communication between the widely dispersed populations. He is also highly regarded for his mentoring of young engineers through education and research.

International Achievement

James McIlvenny a chemical engineering graduate is Senior Vice President of The Dow Chemical Company and Chairman of the Dow Sadara Project Office. He leads Dow's key, large-scale investments designed to meet the growth opportunities of tomorrow. He has shown outstanding leadership and technical management setting up one of the largest process industry R&D centres in Shanghai; in developing world-leading membrane technology; in taking to final approval massive coals-to-chemicals projects in China and Saudi Arabia; and in establishing a series of partnerships with the Chinese Government in Administration of Work Safety; Emergencies Preparedness & Crisis Management; CO2 Reduction; Cleaner Production; and Energy Efficiency of SMEs, to bring Western experience and practice to Chinese industries.

Community Achievement

Rhett Butler AM has been awarded the Community Achievement Award for his passion, expertise and commitment to providing clean water to third-world communities. He established the Skyjuice Foundation, a not for profit organisation who's charter is to provide low cost, sustainable water treatment solutions for humanitarian projects and emergency and disaster relief efforts.With his colleagues at Siemens and the Skyjuice Foundation, he developed the SkyHydrant, a small mobile water treatment system which can provide 1,000 people with clean water for drinking, cooking and washing every day. The Foundation works with major NGOs such as Oxfam, World Vision, Red Cross.In six years, the Skyjuice has distributed over 1200 water filtration units to 50 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America and the Pacific

Young Alumni Achievement

Ruchir Punjabi is founder and Director of Langoor, a web services and products agency with offices in Sydney and Bangalore, India. He has consulted and worked on several hundred digital projects for ASX listed companies, NGOs and small businesses. He says that the web design and development space is highly saturated and unorganised as a market, and aspires to change this and to make it easier for everyone to create websites. In 2011, Ruchir was a member of the steering committee which led to the establishment in of the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD). AIYD is an initiative which brings together 30 young leaders from India and Australia to discuss contemporary economic, social, cultural and political issues. Ruchir's company, Langoor and The University of Sydney are associate partners of the AIYD, which was launched in Delhi in 2012.