Honorary awards

Professor Jack William Roderick

The degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) was conferred by the Chancellor, Sir Hermann Black, upon Professor Jack William Roderick at the Faculty of Engineering graduation ceremony held on 15 March 1985.

After receiving the honorary degree, Professor Roderick gave the occasional address.

Professor Roderick giving the occasional address at the ceremony.

Professor Roderick giving the occasional address at the ceremony, photo, 'The University of Sydney News', 26 March 1985.


The presentation was made by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor John Manning Ward AO:

Mr Chancellor:

I have the honour to present to you Jack William Roderick for admission to the Degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Roderick is a graduate of Cambridge University, who had had a distinguished career in engineering in his native country before coming here as Challis Professor of Civil Engineering in 1951. He remained Challis Professor and Head of the School of Civil Engineering until his retirement in 1978. Now Emeritus Professor he is one of the most respected and esteemed members of the University.

Roderick has been a great builder. When he came here, there were only five teaching staff in Civil Engineering'", who were housed inadequately with three laboratory staff in the old Peter Nicol Russell Building. He built up staff, he fostered research and he contributed, through his own teaching and research and his contacts with industry and government, to the prestige of Engineering in The University of Sydney. By the time that he retired, the teaching staff of his School was 21, including three professors. Under his leadership the Civil Engineering School had won high international recognition for its teaching and research. Roderick himself made substantial contributions to knowledge in the analysis of steel structures and, later, of composite steel and concrete structures.

Roderick has always been mindful of links between the University and the worlds of industry, commerce and government. He was instrumental in establishing the Civil Engineering Graduates Association in 1955 and the Civil Engineering Postgraduate Foundation in 1968. Both bodies promote closer relations between the University and industry.

Roderick himself has been active outside the University. In 1962 he was Chairman of. the Sydney Division and in 1969-70 President of the Institution of Engineers Australia. He has served also on the Council of the Standards Association, the Advisory Council of CSIRO, the Australian Research Grants Committee, the Council of the Australian Academy of Science, the Defence Research and Development Policy Committee and many others. It is difficult to think of high places where he could have served, in which his wisdom and energy and skill have not been generously devoted to the good of engineering and of Australia. Inside The University of Sydney he has been Dean of the Faculty of Engineering for five terms and a Fellow of the Senate. He served on innumerable committees of the Professorial Board nd the Academic Board.

Roderick has already received many honours and distinctions. They include election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1954, and Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Newcastle in 1969, the Miller Prize, the James Forrest Medal and Telford Premium of the Institution of Civil Engineers (London) and the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. He is a Fellow of many professional bodies. Professor Roderick has made a major contribution to the development of civil engineering, both within the University and outside. His influence on his colleagues and students continues to be strong. They hold him in regard as an eminent engineer who has always had the welfare of engineering and engineers very much to his heart.

Mr Chancellor, it is with the greatest pleasure that I present to you Jack William Roderick for admission to the Degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.