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ESG in focus as Aurecon’s Tony Barry becomes FIDIC President

ESG in focus as Aurecon’s Tony Barry becomes FIDIC President.

Tony Barry, a Senior Consultant at international engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon, is only the third Australian to have held the FIDIC presidency since 1913.

15 September 2021 – The world’s consulting engineers will be the applied scientists of its climate transition, requiring them to take personal and corporate responsibility for a more sustainable world. This is the view of Tony Barry, who from today will become President of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).

Mr Barry, a Senior Consultant at international engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon, is only the third Australian to have held the FIDIC presidency since 1913.

He is mindful that he comes to the two-year role at a critical juncture for the planet, when consulting engineers will be instrumental in helping to improve social, economic and environmental sustainability across the world.

“We cannot allow infrastructure projects to put elements of our future world at risk. Climate change is a critical and increasing threat, but this is not just about improving the carbon equation. Globally, infrastructure projects have the potential to displace people, impacting culture and taking away livelihoods, or to destroy natural habitat, driving threatened species to extinction. We have to take all of these aspects into account,” he said.

“In every sense, it’s up to consulting engineers to take this responsibility on: as individuals, as companies and as leading organisations like FIDIC. Collectively, we have the power to change what’s going on in terms of infrastructure planning, design and advising investors how to achieve their ESG goals. This will include deciding how best to apply the science in the recent IPCC report at a practical level. We must become ‘carbon engineers’.”

Mr Barry said FIDIC’s role will be to assist this process with knowledge-sharing, information and access to like-minded partners. “Working together, we can deliver a much better future than the one the world is currently looking at.”

Mr Barry became a director of the FIDIC Board in 2015 and one of FIDIC’s Vice-Presidents in 2018. He was also a member of the Board of the FIDIC Certified Consulting Engineer Pilot Programme in China and has been Vice-Chair of the FIDIC Credentialing Limited Management Board since its inception.

Aurecon CEO, William Cox, said Mr Barry is a “bit of a legend” in the company and the profession.

“Tony has a world-class reputation for his deep expertise in infrastructure projects – and visionary leadership. He’s a multi-award winning engineer, responsible for many iconic Australian projects. Even more importantly, he has a steely sense of integrity and a passion to empower the next generation of engineers to solve the world’s greatest challenges. I can’t think of a better person to step into the FIDIC Presidency at this time.”

Mr Barry’s 40-year tenure at Aurecon includes being an executive director on the Global Board of Aurecon and Managing Director, Asia until 2016 and Chairman and Director of a number of subsidiary companies in the Aurecon Group.

The many projects he led on behalf of Aurecon include Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel, the Sydney Opera House carpark and the Square Kilometre Array Telescope. In 1998, he received Engineers Australia’s most outstanding project award for the Homebush Bay Rail Link. Mr Barry was also awarded the Engineers Australia – Sydney Division’s Professional Engineer of the Year Award in 2006 and in 2009 the ACEA Presidents Award. He has been listed three times in Australia’s 100 most influential engineers.

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