Ron started his career in 1985 with the Faculty of Engineering as a technical officer in the Mechanical Engineering Workshop. Known for his approachable, down to earth attitude, extensive engineering knowledge and manufacturing ability, he quickly moved on to hold the positions of Senior Technical Officer, Workshop Manager and then Operations Manager, the position he held until his retirement in October 2020.

Ron successfully delivered hundreds of projects during his tenure, including notable input into the design of the SMART building and customised workshops and laboratories.

Ron was also an inspiring fixer of all manner of problems. Whether it was the Faculty needing supervision of major building projects, such as Building 8 refurbishment, the $61M SMART building, finding new serviced space for major engineering projects at Russell Vale, or sorting out difficult safety issues, Ron was there. He was the manager, the diplomat, the bringer together of warring parties, and the broker of consensus decisions.

Widely respected amongst academic and professional staff, Ron was also a mentor to many apprentices and technical staff, training up a highly skilled team to look after the Faculty’s technical needs. Ron’s mentoring and guidance included his special way of turning a phrase when a mistake was made or something silly was said: “Give yourself an uppercut”- became the team’s mantra to live by beyond his retirement.

This training, together with creating an accessible, user-friendly, state of the art workshop facility, played a vital role in ensuring the success of the Faculty’s research and teaching.

Ron had that rare combination of talents that combines high level technical skills with very great interpersonal skills. He has trained a whole generation of technical staff, not only in technical skills but also in collegiality. Under his management, the operations of all sections of technical support for EIS, whether in IT, chemical, materials, electrical, mechanical or civil areas, have developed from a once siloed operation to a now successful and cooperative endeavour. This has borne fruit for EIS, with the resultant increases in productivity, quality and capability inspiring and facilitating EIS researchers to greatly enhance EIS’ world rankings.

Ron was also an inspiring fixer of all manner of problems. Whether EIS needed supervision of major building projects, such as Building 8 refurbishment, the $61M SMART building, finding new serviced space for major engineering projects at Russell Vale, or sorting out difficult safety issues, Ron was there. He was the manager, the diplomat, the bringer together of warring parties, and the broker of consensus decisions. Ron has contributed enormously to EIS and UOW over many years, and been an inspiring role model for all of us. We will miss him greatly.  

Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, Professor Valerie Linton, commented: “Ron has been an invaluable member of the technical team and a tremendous asset to the Faculty. He will be hugely missed by everyone he worked with over the years. I’d like to thank him for his dedicated service and wish him well in his retirement.”

 

Ron has contributed enormously to the Faculty of EIS and UOW over many years, and been an inspiring role model for all of us. We will miss him greatly.