As Melbourne city prepares to double in size and its population expected to soar to 10 million by 2051, Engineers Australia (EA) are making it known that quality engineering solutions to the city’s infrastructure is essential.

The 2014 Engineers Australia’s Victorian Engineering Excellence Awards (VEEA) held on September 9 celebrated engineering works that EA feels meet this demand, and RMIT’s $200 million Swanston Academic Building was the celebrated yardstick project of the night.

Accommodating 6,000 students and 850 staff, the RMIT building was entered by RMIT, Bonacci, and AECOM and designed by Lyons architects, taking out the Building and Structures Award. It has more than 80 teaching spaces, including lecture theatres, a cinema classroom, project and interactive spaces using state-of-the-art technologies and incorporating the largest virtual desktop initiative in Australia.

EA commended the project by suggesting it “reinforces Melbourne’s position as an international leader in university education.”

Goulburn-Murray Water received an Award of Excellence for the Hattah Lakes Environmental Infrastructure Project, acknowledging the significant contribution their engineers have made in protecting the natural environment. The project restored an area of national park allowing the natural replication of flooding through a system of channels and gates, receiving strong community support and engagement.

“These awards provide a snapshot of our society including key trends, solutions to community issues and the significant contribution professional engineers make to the State of Victoria,” said Professor John Wilson, Chair of the Victorian Engineering Excellence Awards Judging Panel.

“Being awarded an Engineering Excellence Award requires outstanding achievement in all aspects of project planning, execution and community benefit. Particular attention is given to designs which show ingenuity, have contributed to productivity in the region, created economic opportunities or improved the quality of life in the community.

“Victoria Engineering Excellence Award Winners are now eligible to nominate for the National Engineering Excellence Awards to be awarded at the Melbourne Convention Centre as a highlight of Engineers Australia’s Convention 2014.”


Full list of Award winners and Commendations:

Environment Award:

  • Goulburn-Murray Water - Hattah Lakes Environmental Infrastructure Project

Building and Structures Award:

  • RMIT, Bonacci, and AECOM - RMIT: Swanston Academic Building

Research and Development/Innovation Awards

  • Land Engineering Agency - Mine Blast Test Capability
  • La Trobe University - TIGER 3 Radar Radar
  • Austeng, Cytomatrix Pty Ltd, and Deakin University - Multi-scale Manufacturing for the Production of Novel Short Nanofibre Materials

Infrastructure Awards over $20 million

  • Melbourne Water, UGL, Black and Veatch, KBR, and Lend Lease - Eastern Tertiary Alliance
  • Melbourne Water in conjunction with Water Resources Alliance (comprising Melbourne Water, LendLease (formerly Baulderstone), UGL, Beca, MWH, and Jacobs (formerly SKM)) - Western Treatment Plant 55E Cover Renewal