The history of Engineers Australia

Serving engineers from the pre-war era to the information age and beyond.

The founding of Engineers Australia marked a new era for the profession, empowering engineers and enriching the lives of all who live in our beautiful country.

A unified body for engineering

Engineers Australia was founded in 1919 to accommodate the needs of both engineers and a modernising Australia. Until then, many smaller organisations with similar yet disconnected purposes and goals existed. After World War I the increasing demands of industry and infrastructure, together with the needs of the individual engineer, called for the creation of a unified body for the profession.

Professor William Warren, the first President of Engineers Australia, was elected during the first Council meeting in 1919. Professor Warren was a lecturer at the University of Sydney. Appointed in 1882 as the engineering professor for their new Faculty of Science, Professor Warren came into his Presidency with a history of innovation and dedication to the profession.

Seven years later, in May of 1926, Engineers Australia was incorporated as a company. In 1938 Engineers Australia was granted a Royal Charter by King George the Sixth.

The engineering emblem

The Engineers Australia logo was originally designed in 1987 by Dr Martin Cole. Dr Cole, who served as National President in 2000 and 2001, designed the first version to replace the old seal of the Institution of Engineers Australia. Dr Cole’s design was updated in 2003, which added highlights to grant a sense of three-dimensionality to the logo.

The logo holds several meanings which work concurrently to encompass the identity of engineering in a single, streamlined icon. In Dr. Cole’s own words:

“The hexagon is the benzene ring of chemical engineering, the bolt head of mechanical, the mobile telephone cell, and is part of a honeycomb representing the strength of structural and aerospace engineering.

The hexagon is divided by an arc or arch representing our heritage in civil engineering, as well as the sine wave of electrical and the trajectory of military engineering.”

- Past National President Dr Martin Cole, 2003

Patronage

From our June 30, 2014 announcement:

The Governor- General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) has agreed to be the Patron of Engineers Australia.

The decorated military leader rose to prominence during the peacekeeping mission in East Timor in the late nineties, before serving as Chief of the Defence Force.

Since his retirement from the military in 2005, he has led the taskforce to rebuild the area around Innisfail following Cyclone Larry, served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, and served on several boards including QANTAS and the Australian Rugby Union. In March this year, General Sir Peter Cosgrove was sworn in as Governor-General of Australia.

In correspondence sent to Engineers Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove said he “…sees the work of Engineers Australia as complementary to his responsibilities as Governor-General and to themes of personal interest to him”.

Engineers Australia joins a list of less than 100 organisations General Sir Peter Cosgrove has agreed give patronage to.

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