Honorary awards

Dr John Gilmour Nutt AM

The honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering was conferred upon Dr John Gilmour Nutt AM, BE Qld PhD Manc HonDSc Macq HonDEng UTS, FIEAust FIStructE FRAHS FRSA, by the Deputy Chancellor Alan Cameron AO at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies graduation ceremony held in the Great Hall at 11.30am on 18 May 2012.

Dr Nutt gave the occasional address at the ceremony.

Dr Nutt

Dr Nutt, photo, copyright Memento Photography.

The Deputy Chancellor and Dr Nutt

The Deputy Chancellor and Dr Nutt, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Deputy Chancellor, I have the honour to present Dr John Gilmour Nutt for admission to the degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa).

Dr Nutt was educated at the University of Queensland and was awarded Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in 1955 and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Manchester in 1959.

After joining the engineering consulting firm Ove Arup & Partners in London, he helped pioneer the use of computers in engineering practice through the design and analysis of the Sydney Opera House roof. Upon commencement of construction of its shells, he moved to Sydney where he headed the design group which completed the iconic building.

In 1963 he helped found the Australian practice of Ove Arup & Partners, becoming a Partner, and Chairman and CEO in 1973. During his leadership, the Australasian practice grew to a staff of 500 with 10 offices in four countries. He introduced Arup to North America and set up their first office in New York.

Dr Nutt specialised in the design and analysis of high rise buildings, and the firm completed many tall buildings in Australia including: National Australia Bank Melbourne, and Westpac Plaza, Governor Phillip Tower and Governor Macquarie Tower, Sydney.

Under his leadership, Arup Australia won many awards including the American Institute of Architects Honor Award in 1992 for engineering on the Sydney Opera House.

As Chairman of the Australian Standards Loading Code Committee for 15 years, he oversaw the drafting of the Wind Loading Code, and advised on the Earthquake and Snow Load Codes.

In 1991, he headed a Task Force that undertook a Review of Australian Building Regulations for government. The Australian Building Codes Board was then introduced and he established and chaired the Fire Code Reform Centre Ltd, a non-profit fire research centre of excellence.

Dr Nutt has great interest in education. He established the Arup Engineering Scholarship Program to attract gifted students to engineering and provide them with international experience. He has served on a range of selection committees and reviewed various Engineering Schools in Australia at different times.

He was the Founding Chairman of the Industry Advisory Network, Faculty of Engineering at UTS for eight years where he founded and sponsored the Sir Jack Zunz Distinguished Lecture Series.

He has also been active in the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE) since his election in 1997. He served as Vice President, sat on its National Board, and, has served as a Governor of the ATSE Clunies Ross Awards.

He was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to engineering, and awarded the Centenary Medal. In 1998, the Institution of Engineers, Australia awarded him the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal, the highest honour it bestows on an individual. In 2001 he was awarded the John Connell Gold Medal of Engineers Australia in recognition of his role in many of Australia’s most significant buildings and his leadership in the field of structural engineering.

Dr Nutt has an exceptional profile in the field of engineering and education in Australia and globally, and is a most worthy recipient; we are glad to take this opportunity to honour his contribution to the profession.

Deputy Chancellor, I present John Gilmour Nutt for admission to the degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa), and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.