Honorary awards

John Michael Grill

The degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) was conferred upon John Michael Grill at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies graduation ceremony held at 2.00pm on 14 May 2010.

John Grill

The Chair of the Academic Board Associate Professor Peter McCallum conferring the honorary degree upon Mr Grill, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Professor McCallum, I have the honour to present John Michael Grill for admission to the degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa).

John Grill graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science in 1966 and a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil - with First Class Honours) in 1968, and commenced his distinguished career initially working as an executive at Esso Australia. He established Wholohan Grill and Partners in 1971 as a specialised Australian structural engineering consulting practice in the oil and gas industry and has led the company as CEO since that time.

In 1987 Wholohan Grill and Partners acquired the United States company Worley Engineering (Australia) Pty Ltd and the company changed its name to Worley. Characterised by successful partnerships formed with both clients and other project service providers, Worley is widely recognised as a leader in the set-up and execution of alliance-style contracts that have been benchmarked as world class.

Building on the track record of one such partnership, in 2004, Worley acquired Parsons E&C Corporation and the company changed its name to WorleyParsons Limited. WorleyParsons listed on the ASX in 2002 and is headquartered in Sydney with John Grill as its CEO. It is a leading public company ranking in the mid 30’s in the list of Australia’s Top 150 Companies.

Today the global enterprise has 140 operating offices in 40 countries with around 30,000 personnel. WorleyParsons provides high-quality project services in the areas of Hydrocarbons, Power, Minerals Metals, and Infrastructure & Environment.

The company’s growth and success can be largely credited to John Grill’s outstanding leadership, business acumen and personal expertise in every aspect of project delivery. He has been closely involved with the majority of the Company’s major clients and joint ventures from the Company’s inception to the present day.

The company’s infrastructure group provides specialist design and project services in the civil, structural, environmental, geotechnical and coastal marine fields. Its client base covers some of the leading organisations in government, transport infrastructure, commercial and residential developments and the energy and resource sectors in Australia and a number of WorleyParsons international markets.

WorleyParsons provides a cross-section of services to the coal, nuclear and gas-fired power generation market and has performed power contracts in over 75 countries and is currently involved in approximately 36 power projects.

The company is also a major player in the world solar market, both as an engineer and a project manager, with involvement in about a third of the new solar projects in the world.

John Grill has been a driving force in committing the Company to the development of acceptable solutions of the world’s environmental problems.

Mr Grill has demonstrated his support of continued amelioration of the Company’s employees by industry leadership in health, safety and environmental performance issues. The corporate goal of Zero Harm is achieved through leadership, elimination of environmental and safety incidents and the promotion of safe behaviours.

The bulk of the Company’s profits emanate from overseas and WorleyParsons under the leadership of John Grill supports a wide range of philanthropic programs in developing and developed countries. The company has a deep dedication to education and also commitments to health, safety and the environment.

Mr Grill has taken a keen interest in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, offering counsel and support.

In 2007 Mr Grill was named the Engineers Australia Professional Engineer of the Year.

Mr Grill has an exceptional profile in the field of engineering in Australia and globally, and is a most worthy recipient; we are glad to take this opportunity to honour his contribution to the profession. Professor McCallum, I present John Michael Grill for admission to the degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa), and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.