Alumni Profiles

Read about the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies alumni, their research, achievements and contributions to society.

Gerard McGarry (MPM '11)

Transcending industries, roles and projects

Gerard McGarry

It's been a busy three years for Gerard McGarry. Completing a Master of Project Management degree in 2011, he's also managed to squeeze in immigrating to Australia, getting married, having a baby and buying a property whilst managing a successful career as a Business Analyst at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu .

Luckily for Gerard, the project management skills and concepts he learnt during his studies can be applied across a wide range of fields – both professionally and personally.

Leading the analysis stream of Deloitte Australia's enterprise projects, Gerard knows that communicating effectively through a variety of media is key to successful project management. Always looking to expand his professional network, Gerard is a keen advocate for keeping in touch with his fellow project management alumni online

He's now sharing his expertise with students at the University - tutoring in project risk management and lecturing in leadership in 2012.

Ruchir Punjabi (BCST (ADV)'08) GAICD

From USU Board of Directors to Managing Director

Ruchir Punjabi

Enjoying an active life outside the classroom during his studies, Ruchir believes that there is only so much you can learn inside the classroom. And he would know.

A former president of the University of Sydney Union, Ruchir completed his Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology (Advanced) and became a serial entrepreneur, founding his own digital marketing company with offices in Sydney, Australia and Bangalore.

He was also actively involved in youth affairs, raising awareness of international student issues and representing young professionals. Ruchir was the Founding Chair of the Australia India Business Council NSW Young Professionals Chapter, and today he sits on the steering committee and is the Founding Chair of the Australia India Youth Dialogue and on the Board of International House at the University of Sydney.

Perhaps the most valuable thing Ruchir takes from his time studying at the University is how to question things – something he has become exceptionally good at.

In 2012 Ruchir won the Young Alumni Achievement award

Jillian Kilby (BE (Civil) '05)

Taking community spirit to the world

Jillian Kilvy

Jillian Kilby established her own consultancy, JL Kilby Pty Ltd, four years out of university. Based between Walgett and Brewarrina, she focuses on improving rural infrastructure in New South Wales.

"The projects that I am involved in directly affect my community. I get a lot of satisfaction learning new skills and overcoming challenges, but most importantly I am able to enhance my community through meeting their infrastructure needs."

Jillian graduated with a first-class Civil Engineering degree in 2005.

She has been involved in encouraging greater recognition and involvement of women in engineering and professional development of engineers through her role on the Civil and Structural Panel of Engineers Australia, Sydney Division. In 2010 she was named the Engineers Australia Young Professional Engineer of the Year.

A 2013 John Monash Scholar, Jillian has taken the opportunity to study Global Leadership at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Matt Barrie

Entrepreneur and lecturer

Matt Barrie

Matt Barrie is the founding CEO of, the world's largest outsourcing marketplace. Connecting more than 7.3 million professionals from around the world, it is in the top 250 websites globally.

In 2011 he was named inaugural BRW Entrepreneur of the Year and Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.

Matt has presided over a number of start-ups in both Australia and the US, having raised more than US$40 million from venture capital, strategic investors and government grants.

A graduate of the University, Matt holds a dual first-class honours degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He was also named as our faculty's Alumnus of the Year in 2010.

He keeps busy in the academic world, too, teaching units on network security and technology venture creation in the University's School of Electrical and Information Engineering.

Watch Matt's 'Welcome to the Future' presentation.

Sir David Higgins (BE (Civil) '77)

From farm to knighthood

David Higgins

Sir David Higgins is the current chief executive of Network Rail in the United Kingdom.

Sir David grew up on a north Queensland farm, following his brother to study in Sydney. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1977 (Civil). The beginnings of his career path saw him gem prospecting in Kenya before joining Australia's Lend Lease Corporation in 1985. He was at the helm of Lend Lease when it oversaw construction for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

In 2006, as chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, he headed the biggest construction project in Europe, the 2012 Olympic Park in London - a project that transformed East London and for which he received a knighthood.

Sir David now also acts as an advisory board member for the University's newly established John Grill Centre for Project Leadership

Watch Sir David's lecture 'Innovation as a catalyst for growth'

Stewart McLeod PSM (BE (CIVIL) '75)

A history of service

Stewart McLeod

Dubbo is a friendly, vibrant and supportive community – one where Stewart McLeod feels right at home. Awarded a Public Service Medal in 2011, Stewart has served his community for over 30 years, championing the development of critical infrastructure in the region.

Although he ended up studying engineering by a process of elimination – thanks to an aptitude for maths and science – Stewart graduate from his civil engineering degree with First Class Honours in 1975.

In his third year of study, Stewart became a cadet engineer with the NSW Public Works Department, guaranteeing him work upon graduation. Placements at Manly Vale Hydraulics Laboratory, metropolitan and regional offices followed, including his now home, Dubbo.

Stewart's has served the Dubbo community at local government level and is a big advocate for living and working in regional communities. Admitting that whilst there are still great challenges still to be faced with the provision and renewal of public works infrastructure in regional Australia, the community support and lifestyle are the reasons Stewart stays passionate about his life and work in Dubbo.