Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies 2013 Alumni Awards

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea treatment, novel solar thermal energy systems, transformational personal communication technology and the establishment of a student philanthropic culture are initiatives that have earned five graduates recognition in this year's faculty Alumni Awards.

The faculty's Alumni Awards recipients for 2013 are:

Alumni Award for Community Achievement

Joint recipients:   Dr Peter Farrell AM, BE (Chem) Hons (1964) MEng (Chem) MIT, United States
Christopher Lynch BE (Chem) Hons (1964)

Recognised for their critical role in the research and development of treatment strategies for Sleep-Disordered Breathing.

Sleep-Disordered Breathing is a global health problem affecting one in five adults, and has broad implications in other chronic conditions, such as hypertension and cardiac arrest.

Both were involved in the genesis of technology now referred to as continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. Together they recognised the importance of sleep apnoea treatment and commercialised early research outcomes, some of which were heralded in the work of Professor Colin Sullivan of the Sydney Medical School.

CPAP devices are now used in more than 100 countries to effectively manage Sleep-Disordered Breathing including obstructive sleep apnoea.

As Founding Chairman and former CEO of ResMed and former General Manager of ResMed respectively, their collective achievements set the stage for a revolution in the treatment of sleep apnoea.

Alumni Award for International Achievement

Andrew Tanner BE (Mech) (2004) BCom (2004)

Acknowledged for his role in pioneering world-leading renewable energy technologies and mentorship of young entrepreneurs in the early stage technologies.

Andrew Tanner's career has focussed on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life for humanity through the development of new solar thermal energy systems.

Andrew co- launched the solar technology company, Chromasun in 2008. The company is developing a solar micro-concentrator system for rooftops. This system has potential applications in absorption chiller air conditioning, hydrogen production and UV sterilisation.

In 2012 Andrew became the chief engineer with THiNKnrg, a renewable energy project developer focused on working with customers to yield the highest return on investment by evaluating both the energy needs of the enterprise and the available fuel resources. In addition to Andrew's many professional successes, he is also an active mentor with Ignition Labs Sydney, Australia's first clean-tech accelerator program for early stage technologies.

Alumni Award for Professional Achievement

Dr John O'Sullivan BE (Elec) (1969) BSc (1967) PhD (1975) DEng (2012)

Recognised for achievements in high speed wireless computer networking technology and current work in technologies for radio astronomy.

John O'Sullivan is a research scientist with the CSIRO's Astronomy and Space Science Division, developing novel receiver technologies for radio astronomy. John's scientific career spans more than three decades.

He led the CSIRO team that invented the high speed wireless computer networking technology now found in laptops, games and phones all over the world and was awarded the 2009 Prime Minister's Prize for Science.

His current work on one of the world's leading radio telescopes - the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) - is perhaps his most important yet and has the potential to create the next era of transformational personal communication technology.

Young Alumni Award for Achievement

Pratik Gidwani BE(BiomedEng)(2010)
Acknowledged for impressive academic, professional and leadership achievements.

Twenty-five year old Pratik Gidwani has solid experience in roles with Styker, Bain & Company, Biometric Pty Ltd, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Engineers without Borders (Philippines). During his time as a student with the faculty, Pratik demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities, particularly through his involvement as Executive of the Sydney University Association of Biomedical Engineers (SUABE).

During his SUABE presidency he significantly increased industry sponsorship and became the faculty's first ever biomedical engineering graduate to step straight into a role at prestigious multinational medical device company - St. Jude Medical where he played an integral role in the formation of an internship program targeted specifically at University Sydney biomedical engineering students. Leading by example, he became the first student donor/philanthropist while proactively encouraging a culture of giving among fellow students. Earlier this year, Pratik initiated a SUABE support program involving alumni giving and mentoring.