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Vice Chancellor marks 10 years in Australia’s top 100 list of influential engineers


Sharlene King
24 June 2013

The Engineers Australia top 100 list develops, recognises and promotes the ability of engineers to participate in and lead business, innovation and change.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee continues to rank among this country’s top engineering professionals, after being named in the top 100 list of Australia’s most influential engineers for the 10th consecutive year.

Engineers Australia released its "2013 list of influential engineers" last week. The Engineers Australia top 100 list develops, recognises and promotes the ability of engineers to participate in and lead business, innovation and change.

Professor Lee has appeared on the list every year since it was first published in 2004.

“While my current work does not involve as much engineering practice as it once did, I still take an active interest in the development of the profession and its important contribution to modern society,” said Professor Lee.

“Modern engineering is much more than calculations in a back room. It is about delivering complex solutions that take into account multi-stakeholder views, sustainably for the future. Modern engineers require, like every profession, great communication and problem solving skills.”

Professor Lee reflected on the past year and said the high point had been overseeing the start-up of the University’s new engineering program.

The first intake of civil engineering students has a class of 30.

“Serving the needs of regional Australia through the provision of well-qualified graduates is a vital mission for SCU and the shortage of engineers in regional and rural Australia is acute,” he said.

“We have recruited well qualified staff and the design of our new $10 million engineering laboratories is well progressed.”

Professor Lee has an academic career spanning 30 years, with leadership roles at the University of South Australia, where he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), The University of Queensland, Murdoch University and Curtin University of Technology. Professor Lee took up his appointment as Vice Chancellor to Southern Cross University in September 2009.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a PhD from Monash University. He was the recipient of the Australian Government Centenary Medal in 2003, the Institution of Engineers Australia - WA Engineering Excellence Award in 1998 and the Shedden Pacific Prize and Medal for Excellence in Chemical Engineering in 1993.

He is the author of four books and 270 journal papers and has won in excess of $4.7 million in competitive research grants for universities.

Professor Lee has managed his own consulting company, providing services to government and non-government agencies, including the United Nations Development Organisation.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK); a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia; a Graduate Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors; and Chartered Professional Engineer.

Photo: Professor Peter Lee.