Entura engineers win top gongs for engineering excellence

August 10, 2018

Specialist power and water consulting firm Entura is committed to its vision of creating safe and sustainable power and water solutions that make a positive and enduring contribution to our clients and communities. Two of its engineers received the top accolades at the Tasmania Engineering Excellence Awards for bringing that vision to life.

Tasmania's Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Lyndon Johnson, Donald Vaughan and Tammy Chu.

Tasmania’s Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Lyndon Johnson, Donald Vaughan and Tammy Chu.

Donald Vaughan, Principal Consultant, Electrical Primary Systems, was named Professional Engineer of the Year, and engineer Lyndon Johnson won the Young Professional Engineer of the Year award.

Presented during a gala event in Hobart last night, the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards (AEEA) identify, recognise and reward outstanding achievement in the practice of engineering and service to the profession, promoting industry excellence across engineering projects and professionals, and highlighting the significant contribution engineering makes to communities.

“Donald is an industry authority on the connection of wind and solar farms to weak grids and the power system dynamics of low-inertia networks,” said Tammy Chu, Entura’s Managing Director. “Donald’s knowledge and experience places him at the forefront of efforts in Australia to transition to a renewables-based energy sector and we’re very proud to have him as part of our technical leadership team.”

“Lyndon has pioneered powerful new 3D methods for presenting and interpreting data. His work will improve engineering efficiency and accuracy, and offers safety benefits for power and water assets and for communities,” said Tammy.

Commenting on his award, Donald Vaughan said: “It’s a great honour to receive this award. I’m delighted to be recognised as an advocate for the value of engineering, and for supporting a clean energy future. Enabling more renewable energy in a way that is sympathetic to the needs of the wider power system is a major contribution engineers can make towards the good of communities and the environment.”

Lyndon Johnson said: “Being nominated for this important industry accolade was very encouraging, and I’m thrilled to be named Young Professional Engineer of the Year. I hope as an industry we can keep pushing the boundaries of data and computing technologies for quicker and more accurate problem solving.”

As divisional winners, both Donald and Lyndon automatically progress to consideration for the national Engineer of the Year award, which will be announced later this year.

Project finalists

Two of Entura’s projects were selected as finalists for the Tasmania Engineering Excellence Awards: the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Far North Queensland and the Yap Hybrid Renewable Energy Power System on the North Pacific island of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Entura’s comprehensive studies and investigations undertaken for Genex Power’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project provided confidence in the configuration, design and feasibility of this significant project, the first pumped hydro energy storage project set to be built in Australia in decades.

“Entura’s successful completion of this feasibility study supports the resurgence of interest in pumped hydro, which is an efficient, cost-effective large-scale energy storage solution,” said Entura’s Principal Consultant, Civil Engineering, Richard Herweynen.

“Australia’s transformation towards high-quality, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy will require large-scale storage to enable weather-dependent ‘intermittent’ renewable generation (such as wind and solar) to be transformed into fully ‘dispatchable’ energy,” said Richard.

On the North Pacific island of Yap, Entura delivered a hybrid renewable energy power system.

“Our team designed and detailed the power system architecture to transform what was a manually operated 100% diesel power station into a flexible, integrated and automated power system including more wind and solar generation combined with efficient diesels,” said Entura’s project manager, Dean Haley.

Entura’s combination of renewable energy generation with an innovative automated integration and control system balances and maintains the security of the energy supply, and also maximises the amount of renewable energy used on the island.

The advanced hybrid power system is enabling Yap to experience up to 70% renewable energy in the system when conditions allow, with an overall average of 17% renewable energy, delivering an annual fuel saving of up to US$500 000. The system architecture is designed to be able to incorporate even higher proportions of renewable energy in the future.

“The hybrid renewable power system will contribute greatly to the nation’s clean energy goals by reducing Yap’s dependence on expensive, emissions-intensive diesel generation. It will provide the sustainable, reliable and affordable power needed to support social and economic development in this remote location,” said Dean.