Winner of John Dring OAM Young Engineer Award announced

PWI Young Engineer award winner

Congratulations to Brendan Scott of Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), winner of the John Dring OAM Young Engineer Award. The winner was announced by Shoal Group’s Deputy CEO, Mike Hartas, at the Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation of the Permanent Way Institute (PWI) SA Chapter on 3 August 2023 in Adelaide.

Brendan was recognised for his technical capability and excellence on an ARTC project relating to automation of clearance management. ARTC had embarked on an automation journey to address its critical safety around track clearance management. Clearances stand as a foundational prerequisite for any railway system, ensuring separation of rolling stock from potential physical obstructions. This can relate to other rolling stock positioned on adjacent tracks, permanent structures such as bridges, tunnels, and platforms or signalling apparatus and wayside equipment. ARTC had decided to move to LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) from manual clearance management.

Brendan applied skills and knowledge in track engineering and computer-based solutions to assist in redefining the project’s purpose, system requirements, and performance potential, while ensuring accurate clearance standards and risk control. He developed bespoke automated and interactive tools for the end-users of the data to ensure clearance infringements are both visually and numerically highlighted for attention. Brendan’s approach encompassed the formulation of a testing plan for the LIDAR system’s accuracy, working cooperatively with the broader team across the project. Although the project remains ongoing, during the past year, Brendan’s achievements made him an outstanding candidate and worthy recipient of the John Dring OAM Young Engineer Award.

As a specialist in the application of systems engineering to complex projects, Shoal was proud to sponsor the John Dring OAM Young Engineer Award to further invest in innovation in the sector. The award recognises the achievements or initiatives of young engineers in the field of railway engineering in relation to the permanent way of an operating railway and is named in honour of railway engineer, John Dring OAM. John was active on the committee of the PWI in Adelaide and was former Chief Engineer of the MTR railway system in Hong Kong.

Across the transport and infrastructure sector, Shoal has supported clients to develop and deliver complex projects, critical systems and assets, minimise risks, and maximise overall project assurance for over two decades. More recently in Adelaide, Shoal worked on the electrification of the Gawler railway line, and has applied systems engineering to requirements traceability, verification, safety assurance, system specifications and complex system modelling across major rail development projects in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Shoal was also part of the systems engineering team in New Zealand’s innovative iRex project to replace the Interislander ferries between the North and South Islands, which included roll on / roll off freight requirements.

PWI SA Award winner photo

Pictured left to right is Phil Campbell OAM, Principal Engineer and PWI SA Chapter Chair, Mike Hartas, Deputy CEO (both of Shoal Group) and Nick Petticrew of ARTC who was accepting the John Dring OAM Young Engineer Award on behalf of Brendan Scott.