Entura expertise and contributions recognised at engineering excellence awards

September 8, 2023

One of Entura’s engineers has received the top accolade in the Tasmanian chapter of the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards for his contribution to renewable energy developments and dam safety over his 30 year career. David Gerke, a principal civil engineer at Entura, was named Professional Engineer of the Year. David will now represent Tasmania at the national Australian Engineering Excellence Awards later in the year.

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.

“David is highly valued and respected by all his colleagues at Entura and has made substantial contributions to the development of sustainable renewable energy and water projects in Tasmania, mainland Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific,” said Tammy Chu, Entura’s Managing Director.

“David is highly deserving of recognition for his lifetime achievement across hydropower, dams, water management, wind farms and a range of associated civil engineering activities.

He has demonstrated an exceptional ability to broker solutions that balance the needs of clients, stakeholders, the environment and communities. His mix of professional experience and personal qualities makes him an outstanding role model and example for the engineering profession and we’re incredibly proud to have him as part of our Entura team.”

David said, of winning the award, “I am very honoured to be recognised for my contribution to the engineering industry through 32 years of project work, teaching and mentoring, and for my voluntary humanitarian contributions in remote communities in Vanuatu.”

“I’m proud to have played a role in the development of Tasmania’s wind farms, and in creating and maintaining safe dam and hydropower infrastructure that not only meets our clients’ immediate needs, but also builds a healthier, safer and more sustainable future in Australia and around the world.”

“While this is an individual award, my achievements also reflect the expertise, innovation and professionalism of my many colleagues at Entura,” said David.

David is currently project managing upgrade works at Lake King William to prepare for redevelopment of the Tarraleah hydropower scheme to participate optimally in the changing energy market and support integration of more renewables as part of Hydro Tasmania’s ‘Battery of the Nation’ initiative.

This project is fundamental both to Tasmania’s Renewable Energy Action Plan and to the decarbonisation of Australia’s National Electricity Market.

Entura’s contribution to Tonga’s clean energy journey was also celebrated at the awards as a nominee of the Project of the Year.  The Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) targets the energy needs of eight separate islands, contributing substantially towards clean energy targets and enabling further investment. TREP will rapidly shift Tonga’s current 90% dependence on diesel generation to a lower carbon and more climate-resilient electricity system, as well as provide increased electricity access for marginalised populations on outer islands.

Entura has been well represented at the awards in previous years, with a number of individuals and projects reaching the finals or winning awards, including winning the Professional Engineer of the Year (Richard Herweynen, Donald Vaughan, Seth Langford, Paul Southcott) and Young Professional Engineer of the Year (Lyndon Johnson) and winning in the project category for our work on Meander Dam.