Honorary awards

Albert Neville Thiele OAM

The degree of Doctor of Science in Architecture (honoris causa) was conferred upon Albert Neville Thiele OAM at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning graduation ceremony held at 2.00pm on 11 April 2008.

Albert Neville Thiele OAM

The Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO conferring the honorary degree upon Mr Thiele OAM, photo, copyright Memento Photgraphy.


Chancellor, I present to you Albert Neville Thiele for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Science in Architecture (honoris causa).

Neville Thiele was born in Brisbane in 1920. After performing on Brisbane radio as a boy soprano in the early 30’s, and later as an actor, and after seeing five years of war service, he studied mechanical and electrical engineering at the University of Sydney.

On graduating in 1952 Neville was employed at EMI (Australia) as a design engineer on special projects. With the advent of television in Australia, he led the design team that developed EMI's earliest Australian television receivers and was responsible for applying new technology to radio and television receivers and electronic test equipment.

When he joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1962 as Senior Engineer, Design and Development, Neville was responsible for sound and television broadcasting. Later he was responsible for the design of the ABC's Gore Hill television studios. During this time he also advised the Australian Broadcasting Control Board on standards for the introduction of Australia's colour television service, and worked on national and international standards for radio and television broadcasting.

From 1980 until his retirement in 1985, Neville was responsible for the ABC's engineering research and development and initiated the ABC’s introduction of digital audio. In 1993 he accepted an invitation to serve on this university’s Faculty of Architecture Audio Advisory Committee. The committee was responsible for planning the first postgraduate program in Audio Design in Australia. Since 1994 he has been an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney. He also continues to work as a consulting engineer in the fields of Audio, Radio and Television.

Neville has published numerous papers on electro-acoustics, network theory, testing methods and sound and vision broadcasting. He has spoken at many international conventions and given invited presentations to meetings of engineering organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. Some of his papers, notably on loudspeakers, television testing and coaxial cable equalisation, have become accepted internationally as references on these topics but the work for which he is most famous is on the design of loudspeakers. He holds patents on focus improvement to television picture tubes and on crossover networks for loudspeaker systems. He is the recipient of many awards (including an OAM) and prizes for his work and has an Institution of Engineers Australia prize named in his honour.

Neville is still an active member of many professional organizations and despite his busy technical life (Neville continues to undertake research, lecturing and present papers internationally) he has continued his involvement in music and theatre and, amongst other things, he has narrated two of Bruce Petty’s well-received animated films, “Australian History”, and, “The Mad Century 1900-2000”.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Science in Architecture (honoris causa) Albert Neville Thiele, gentleman, scholar and audiophile.