Lifetime Achievement Awards: Zenith Awards Finalists Revealed
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Ian Gibson works with the Institute of Instrumentation Control and Automation (IICA) as a Chairman Fellow Review Committee chairperson. The IICA is a membership body and supports the instrumentation, control and automation industry providing training seminars and exhibitions.
Beginning as the Victorian Division Chairperson, Ian progressed to Federal President before taking up his present role.
His current task is to liaise with other committee members to review applications from IICA members wishing to be considered for an upgrade to Fellow member. He also reviews nominations for the IICA testimonial award.
Ian has added value to the IICA through his various roles including that of Federal President. He was instrumental in the IICA gaining a government grant to support the IICA’s regional table top exhibitions. Being a longstanding IICA member, Ian has the knowledge and experience to represent IICA and the industry.
Major Furnace Australia & Major Engineering
Colin North joined Major in December 1970 as a project engineer, his duties involved the design, installation and commissioning of specialised furnace equipment.
One of Colin’s greatest achievements was inventing an energy saving assembly and operating technique for a large industrial afterburner and heat recovery system. In 1981 he was appointed project manager for a multi-million dollar contract with Bechtel to supply aluminium holding and melting furnaces to Boyne Smelters and New Zealand Aluminium.
Colin was appointed to the role of Chief Engineer at Major until June 1986. When the founders decided to close, Colin purchased the business from stakeholders and continued to employ the remaining 22 staff. As Managing Director, he restructured the company shortly after the acquisition and Major was awarded significant large scale contracts.
Colin’s mantra to all within the company has been “attention to detail”, an essential element when designing innovative equipment, especially one-off pieces supplied to companies who install them in production line environments both domestically and overseas.
Colin has successfully implemented this philosophy at Major. Under his leadership, the company has survived several Australian and world economic cycles, by growing, contracting and growing again as a medium-sized engineering business.
Frank Silberberg is the director and founder of Group Instrumentation. Established in 1989, the company specialises in supplying leading technology for emission monitoring and process control.
Previously the company provided 27 products to its clients, but after an assessment by Frank, Group Instrumentation was transformed into a niche company, offering four product lines. These include Dust/Particulate Monitoring, Gas Analysers, Oxygen Analyser Systems and System Integration.
Since specialising in these products, the company has seen a huge increase in sales and revenue. Frank leads a team of five and his motto is to provide the best service for their clients. He always employs engineers, to ensure that his clients are satisfied and their enquires are met.
Frank started at Honeywell where he worked in the Industrial Products Group for 13 years. His other jobs included sales manager, workshop instrumentation engineer and service engineer.
Don Erskine is the managing director of Industrial Conveying, the company he formed in 1979. Over the past 32 years he has overseen significant growth.
Don has taken an unusual step to ensure the company remained in Australian hands. He has split the entity into shares and handed it over to over 200 of his employees.
Considering the staff has been employed by the company since the beginning, Don believed it was important to reward loyalty and to maintain the ongoing existence of an important Bendigo company.
If this had not been done, an outsider could have purchased the company and jobs would not have been guaranteed. Don says he is duty-bound to make sure that all regional centres of Australia continue to grow economically to provide the nation with decentralisation options.
Don’s actions will have a positive impact on 120 families living in Bendigo, plus another 30 families associated with the company’s engineering design office in Tullamarine, Melbourne. Shares will be distributed according to the length of time an individual has spent with the company and all earnings will be managed by a shareholder trust for employees.
Mario Dona has 35 years experience in design, commissioning and operations of electrical, instrumentation and process control systems.Currently he works as a principal engineer in Power Controls at Santos, and has been working with the company for 28 years.
Mario is responsible for provision of independent Power & Controls Engineering services, to ensure appropriate and managed engineering and workflow standards for creation and operation assets are set.
In addition, he manages investigations, mentors Power & Control Engineers within operating departments and provides external consulting advice. He has added value to Santos by commissioning major plant control systems with long term stability and minor rework.
This experience was used in later years when the plant control systems were upgraded and the plant had to be rebuilt due to fire damages. Mario has contributed to the wider community by participating in the Standards Australia IT6-006-2 Industrial Process Control and Measurement IEC/AS 16508 & 16511 Functional Safety.
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