The Boola Katitjin building by Aurecon at Murdoch University, also Western Australia’s first mass-engineered timber building, was named Project of the Year at the 2023 Engineers Australia Excellence Awards – People & Projects Western Australia.

“The Engineers Australia Excellence Awards go beyond recognising elite accomplishments in engineering. They highlight the pivotal role engineers play in our daily lives and their efforts in advocating for community wellbeing and the environment,” says Susan Kreemer Pickford, Engineers Australia GM Western Australia.

“These awards also serve as a platform to promote our profession, nurturing and motivating the next generation of engineering talent.”

Western Australian Project of the Year – Boola Katitjin | Murdoch University by Aurecon

Boola Katitjin is marked by excellence and has potential to be an ‘engineering influencer’. With student wellbeing at its heart, the building follows biophilic design principles, connecting occupants to nature through features such as expansive views over the Beeliar wetlands and the breezeways, which allow for natural ventilation. The project contributes to advancing the sustainable, renewable, and circular approaches required by the construction industry to assist economies to reach their net zero carbon goals. The judging panel was impressed by how this project has used ingenuity to deliver Western Australia’s first mass timber building.

Western Australian Professional Engineer of the Year – Kala Senathirajah

Kala Senathirajah has made significant contributions to the engineering profession, notably in enhancing water security and quality. Her research focuses on sustainable, country-specific solutions. With her active engagement in EA (Engineers Australia), EWB (Engineers Without Borders), and other organisations, she is a prominent figure in the engineering community, with a goal to guarantee water access for all communities.

WA Emerging Professional Engineer of the Year – Nicole Locke

Nicole Locke displays technical engineering skills, understanding the intricate links between technology, society, and stakeholders. She resonates with Engineers Australia’s vision and is actively involved with EA, Engineers Without Borders, and extensive volunteering across various regions and sectors. An emerging engineer deeply committed to sustainability, Locke aspires to lead, mentor, and collaborate with diverse teams in the future.

Achievement Award: Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering College – IREE Neville Thiele Eminence Award: Dr Walter Green

Dr Walter Green has made a sustained contribution to the engineering profession and community throughout his career, including telecommunications legislation submissions to Australian and international governments.

Achievement Award: Mechanical College – AGM Michell Medal: Michael von Bertouch

Michael von Bertouch has contributed to mechanical engineering through imaging technologies and developing partnerships for the community's benefit. Notably, his engagement with Marlee Djinda and efforts to build training programs for Indigenous youth highlight his dedication to supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion in engineering.

Local winners of the Engineers Australia Excellence Awards will go on to represent their division at the national awards in Melbourne on November 29.

Image: Boola Katitjin building by Aurecon at Murdoch University