Alumni Awards 2014

Our graduates make extraordinary contributions to the University, their profession and their communities both locally and on the international stage. The faculty's 2014 Alumni Awards acknowledge and celebrate some of their remarkable achievements.

2014 Alumni Award Winners

Alumni Award for Community Achievement

Robert Leece AO, RFD
(BE(Civil) ‘69, MEng Sc ‘74 UNSW, MBA ‘85 MGSM)
Recognised for his impressive breadth of service across both the public and private sectors through the development and guidance of major infrastructure projects.

As Chairman of Health Infrastructure, Robert Leece oversees around $4.5b of procurement works in hospitals across NSW. Robert was a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House for more than ten years and oversaw the largest capital works program since its opening in 1973. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his work on the Sydney Olympic Games, in the areas of transport operations, scheduling operations and television broadcasting. In addition to the obvious impact Robert’s work has had on the community at large, he is an active member of the Scouting movement and Rotary. Robert has also been an Army Reservist for more than 20 years and is currently the Commander of the largest engineering unit in Australia.

Alumni Award for International Achievement

Sir Michael Hintze AM
(BSc ‘75, BE(Elec) ‘77, MSc(Acoustics) UNSW, MBA Harvard Business School, Honoris Causa (Business) UNSW)
Acknowledged for the impact and broad scope of his philanthropic work on the international stage.

Michael Hintze is the founder, Chief Executive and Senior Investment Officer of QCS, a global multi-strategy asset management firm. Prior to establishing QCS, Sir Michael had a number of pivotal roles in companies such as Salomon Brothers and Goldman Sachs. In 2013, Michael was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the community through philanthropic contributions supporting the arts, health and education. The following year, he was appointed to serve on the International Advisory Panel to support the Australian Government’s Financial Systems Inquiry and the board of the Vatican Bank. The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation was established in 2005 and has since supported the work of almost 150 charities across a broad range of causes related to education, health and the arts, including the Trinity Hospice in South London, the Old Vic Theatre, The Victoria and Albert Museum and medical research at the University’s Charles Perkins Centre.

Alumni Award for Professional Achievement

Dr Craig Barratt
(BSc ‘83, BE(Elec) ‘85, ME(Elec.) Stanford, PhD (Elec) Stanford)
Acknowledged as a global industry leader and innovator in wireless technology and communications.

Recognised as a global industry leader and innovator in wireless technology and communications, Craig Barratt was chief executive of Atheros Communications, where he led the company from small start-up to become one of the largest and most successful fabless semiconductor companies in the world, eventually acquired by Qualcomm in a USD$3.1b deal. Craig has been granted over 30 patents in a variety of wireless, medical imaging and related technologies. Most recently he joined Google as a VP and was swiftly promoted to the role of Senior VP, Access and Energy.

Young Alumni Awards for Achievement

James Alexander
(BCST(Hons) ’13)
Recognised for his leadership and vision in fostering innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

James is recognised for his leadership and vision in co-founding INCUBATE, Australia’s first University-based platform for fostering innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Established while James was still an undergraduate student, INCUBATE provides $5000 grants to current students, alumni and research staff to further develop innovative ideas. Now in its second year, the program has graduated 32 start-ups from more than 200 applications from the University of Sydney alone. A recent partnership with Google has ensured the program will be rolled out in other universities across the country.

Christine Chen
(BE(Elec) ‘10 Chiao Tung University Taiwan, BE(Elec) University of Illinois, ME(Elec) ’11)
Acknowledged for the significant role she plays in protecting members of the Australian Defence Force.

Christine is recognised for the impact of her work as an electromagnetic / radio frequency engineer and the significant role this plays in protecting Australian soldiers. Currently within the Specialty Engineers team at Thales Australia, Christine works on Hawkei , a highly mobile and highly protected light vehicle. She has been involved in the electromagnetic interference and compliance testing, radiation hazard analysis, radio compatibility and other EM/RF related aspects of the project. In addition to her impressive work as an engineering practitioner, Christine has been an active board member of the Young Engineers Australia (Sydney division) and Councillor with the Australian Society for Defence Engineering, with a focus on empowering other young engineers under the age of 35 to build their careers and to promote the engineering profession.

Dean’s Commendation

Given at the dean’s discretion to a highly deserving candidate across any of the four award categories.
Vince Graham
(BE(Civil) ‘72, Grad Dip(Management) NSW Institute of Technology)
Acknowledged for professional leadership and service to the NSW community.

As Chief Executive Officer of Networks NSW, which provides electricity distribution services for the State of NSW, since late 2012, Vince has led the Networks Reform Program that has been highly successful in containing costs, delivering saving to electricity customers and improving safety for both employees and the general public. Vince was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Railcorp, where during his tenure there was substantial improvement to employee and public safety, greatly improved service punctuality and cost containment.