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Aurecon engineers named among most innovative in Australia

Aurecon engineers Adolfo Fernandez and Michael Chernyavsky named among most innovative in Australia

Adolfo Fernandez and Michael Chernyavsky on being named as two of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers for 2020

17 July 2020 – International engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon congratulates its engineers Adolfo Fernandez and Michael Chernyavsky on being named as two of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers for 2020.

Launched in 2015 by Engineers Australia’s member magazine, create, Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers List recognises the top 30 engineers bringing ideas to life and transforming the world around us.

Aurecon Chief Executive Officer William Cox applauded Adolfo and Michael’s efforts that demonstrate the breadth of digital and technical innovation undertaken by engineers.

“The projects that Adolfo and Michael have been recognised for made significant differences to local communities and are a real testament to the legacy that engineers can have on shaping and designing a better future,” Mr Cox said.

“This is a very special achievement and a great honour for our most eminent professional body to recognise Adolfo and Michael for their impressive work. Innovation is at the heart of engineering, Adolfo and Michael are both great role models for our profession.”

Enabling a carbon-neutral campus

As a Technical Director in Aurecon’s Energy Resources and Manufacturing team, Adolfo is dedicated to achieving innovative, sustainable outcomes through deep collaboration across design and client stakeholder teams. Adolfo was recognised in this year’s Most Innovative List for leading the Smart Campus Energy Upgrade project to help The University of Melbourne (UoM) achieve its carbon neutrality goal by 2030.

Adolfo and his team proposed core initiatives including upgrading the lights, adopting solar photovoltaic generation, building optimisation of mechanical systems, efficient building envelops, shifting to digital approaches for energy management, and upgrading UoM’s data centre.

The project enabled UoM to reduce its carbon footprint by 3000 tonnes and decrease its power bill by approximately AUD500,000 per year. UoM’s carbon dioxide reduction is also expected to rocket to 25,000 tonnes by 2024.

“The project demonstrates significant environmental benefits and engineering innovation in digitising the variety of building systems on campus. The savings to the university are apparent and this methodology can be applied to other buildings and groups of buildings in the future,” the judges commented.

Embedding technical innovation into design

Michael demonstrated innovation in designing the Northern Concourse Colonnade and Canopy of Sydney Metro’s Central Station while keeping the area functional and safe for its 270,000 daily customers.

Michael implemented technical innovations to ensure that works would not interrupt the station’s operations by preassembling most elements offsite including steelwork, glazing, cladding, fixtures, and fittings. This minimised the amount of time on-site and working at heights, which improved project safety.

In addition, Michael’s out-of-the-box thinking helped the project overcome significant variables and complexities including heritage interfaces dating back to 1906, existing structures which needed to be adapted and assessed, leading sustainability requirements, and the design of a structure essential for post-disaster recovery.

Michael’s noteworthy contribution to the community and profession has placed him on the list of Most Innovative Engineers for 2020.

The judges noted “This project is distinguished by the number of constraints involved, not the least of which was the requirement to keep Central Station open to the public. This made project management a particularly complex task.”

Innovation through adversity

As the world faces adversities such as those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now even more imperative for engineers to embed innovation into their projects.

“Most people are comfortable playing by the ‘rules of the game’, but what happens when the game changes at a pace that we cannot understand how to apply those rules. COVID-19 is changing the traditional rules of the game. Applying innovation is crucial in becoming game masters,” said Adolfo.

“Adverse times, like the COVID-19 pandemic, call for more innovative thinking in order to survive and thrive through the situation. For us engineers, this means rethinking the way we work and exploring opportunities to design better engineering solutions that would enable a safer and more progressive community,” said Michael. 

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