Annual Awards

2021 Excellence in Engineering Awards

The 2021 annual ACSE Awards for Excellence in Engineering were presented on Monday 6 December 2021. The event was a hybrid live event with an online broadcast, hosted at the offices of Mott Mac. There were 27 submissions across the 7 categories.

2021 Awards Judging Panel:

Ali Habibi – President, ACSE NSW
Matt Harding – Retiring ACSE Board Member
Eric Smith – 2020 Gold Medal Winner
Prof. Bryan Uy – Head of School of Civil Engineering, University of Sydney
Greg Ewing – General Manager, Engineers Australia – NSW & ACT
Laura Cockburn – NSW Chapter President, Australian Institute of  Architects 
Viabhav Gaikwad – Chair, Sustainable Engineering College

Read our judges notes and comments.

Award for Large Building Projects


The locomotive workshop in South Everleigh was once the centre of Sydney’s industrial past and is now home to innovation and technology. The true challenge of this project was in bringing this 124-year-old historically significant building into the 21st century, while still celebrating the rich history behind the heritage fabric. The interfaces between the new and heritage structures were cleverly designed in such a way that minimised both structural and visual impact to the historic elements. The building, along with all its machinery collection, is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.

View the Submission

Award for Medium Building Projects

Taylor Thompson Whitting

Little National Hotel Sydney is a railway oversite development (OSD) above Wynyard Station’s Clarence Street Entry Building. The hotel structure consists of an innovative and efficient steel transfer structure distributed over the bottom four stories of the OSD which are hidden within the hotel room walls and incorporated into the reception area to maximise useable hotel space, whilst resolving the complex Wynyard Station constraints below. The project presented challenges in transferring the load from the new structure onto the existing structure underneath.

View the Submission

Award for Small Building Projects

SDA Structures

High Commendation:

Design work for Lavender Bay House began in 2016 and took 4 years to complete with 2years on site. The project involved demolition of the existing house, detailed excavation into rock behind a retained heritage sandstone wall, and the construction of a new 4 storey house with an expansive living area at the top level to take advantage of stunning harbour views. The project demonstrates the importance of structural engineering in the realisation of complex architecture, through close collaborations, creative ideas, and robust structural concepts.

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Smart Design Studio is a fantastic adaptive re-use project with numerous architectural and engineering challenges, to create what is now an apartment and a commercial office space for an architectural practice. The project involved partial demolition, strengthening and re-use of a1950’s brick and sawtooth roof warehouse; and the construction of a new three-storey building.The key challenges for this project were the parabolic brick vaults which formed the roof, the curved brickwork façade and the cable-stayed cantilever internal stairs

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Award For Unusual Building Projects


The sculptural floating stair is a wonderful example of excellence in steel design, engineering, and construction, while dealing with the constraints of an existing building and the demands of a live fit-out project. The project involved design and documentation of a self-supporting, helical structural steel stair, which spanned two storeys high and then separated into two independent flights at the upper transition. The stair was wrapped in lathed timber battens and finished with marble treads. This required significant strengthening of the existing 1914-era floors, and the introduction of tuned massed dampers, to achieve the required stiffness and vibration limits under footfall.


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Award For Sustainable Structures


To create the right environment for their School of Creative Industries and Innovation Hub, the University of Newcastle wanted a building that provided open floor plates and transparency. Northrop were engaged for the structural design of this project, and used recent experience with mass timber buildings to deliver this project alongside EJE Architecture, Hansen Yuncken, Binderholzand Savcon. The mass timber structure responded to the University of Newcastle’s sustainability aspirations, as well as to providing an elegant, exposed structure


View the Submission

Awards for People of the Year

Female Engineer of the Year:
Taylor Thomson Whitting

Emerging Engineer of the Year:

Emily Chung is a Senior Structural Engineer at TTW and currently designs in theComputational Design team as the key structural lead. Emily has pioneered a Community Social Impact Group at TTWand is leading staff at TTW to participate in rewarding technical pro-bono work and non-technical volunteering initiatives. Emily’s experience across numerous internal groups, with diversity of significant and distinctive projects, including knowledge in unique areas like timber and parametric design, makes her a point of contact for all engineers

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Mitchell began as an undergraduate at Northrop in 2015 and has become an integral member of their structural team.He strived to produce the most economical designs, spending hours learning and developing tools to minimise wastage and project costs. He loves to solve complex technical problems, exploring solutions with builders to innovate and develop practical and efficient designs that achieve great results for both the project team and end-clients. He has lead teams of engineers and drafters, in a wide variety of projects and materials, whether it’s residential, commercial, industrial, concrete, or steel. Mitchell is always eager to push his team to grow, develop and produce better engineering designs.

View the Submission

Gold Medal Award
Dr John Nutt

The ACSE Board of Director’s is delighted to present this year’s Gold Medal to Dr John Nutt.

John would probably be one of the most significant Structural Engineer’s in the history of structures in Sydney during the 1960’-80’ starting with the Sydney opera house for which he came back to Oz  from London  as Arup’s lead engineer. His achievements in structural engineering during this time are 2nd to none.

After graduating from UQ in 1955 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Dr John Nutt completed a PhD and lectured at the University of Manchester where he was also involved in some of the earliest computer applications in the world. He then joined Ove Arup and Partners where he progressed in his career over the course of more than 40 years. His most notable work was the world-renowned Sydney Opera House on which he worked for 12 years, making major contributions to the engineering design.

Receiving the highest honours from the profession and being awarded a UQ Honorary Doctorate at the graduation ceremony, Dr Nutt was an influential speaker. With his significant involvement in developing the iconic Sydney Opera House, his address theme of capturing creativity was appropriate.

He discussed the need for all disciplines to be continually collaborative to lead a workplace that encourages creativity and innovation.

Dr Nutt also encouraged a spirit of entrepreneurship in every discipline and noted that, “innovation needs continued stimulation in Australia. That requires the encouragement of champions, the entrepreneurs who drive the process. I encourage you to be different – to become engineering entrepreneurs, to be courageous and to innovate. You have the talent, and from this great University, you should be in the vanguard of change.”