Engineering alumnus receives British knighthood

23 June 2011

David Higgins.
David Higgins.

University of Sydney engineering alumnus David Higgins has been awarded a knighthood in the UK Queens's birthday honours list for his contribution to London's 2012 Olympic Games as chief executive of its Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

His knighthood is a tribute to his role in construction for next year's Olympics. He left the ODA last year to join Network Rail, which operates Britain's railway infrastructure, leaving the London 2012 project all but complete.

Higgins 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.

Higgins settled in Britain after the Sydney games, working for British construction company McAlpine before his five-year stint at the Olympic Delivery Authority. He joined Network Rail as a non-executive director in April 2010 and has been chief executive since February 2011.

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