The state’s top engineers and engineering projects have been named at the 2023 Engineers Australia Excellence Awards – People & Projects Victoria, held at South Wharf last night.
“The Engineers Australia Excellence Awards spotlight the best in engineering innovation and highlight how essential engineers are to our everyday lives,” said Alesha Printz, Engineers Australia GM Victoria.
“It’s our way of putting the best engineering work in the limelight, setting the bar high, and inspiring what’s next for our profession.”
Victorian Project of the Year
Development of the Apple Harvesting Robot by Monash University Engineers are problem solvers, and the Monash University team exemplifies this through their development of the Monash Apple Retrieving System (MARS) apple harvesting robot. MARS addresses the apple industry’s challenges by offering a dependable solution that minimises manual labor dependency, countering labor shortages, and alleviating notable occupational health and safety concerns. The robot’s advanced ‘soft gripper’ technology coupled with its visionary system ensures precise detection and picking of ripe fruit. Gaining considerable global recognition within the fruit-growing sector, MARS holds the promise of revolutionizing the orchard industry, with potential applicability to other fruits.
Victorian Professional Engineer of the Year
Dr Daniel Prohasky
Dr Daniel Prohasky’s work exemplifies Engineers Australia’s core vision of ‘advancing society through great engineering.’ He has pioneered a fresh engineering study avenue and consistently showcases inventive problem-solving, challenging traditional paradigms. His innovations highlight efficient material usage, incorporating low-carbon, high-strength properties. Beyond mere ideation, Dr Prohasky has translated his visionary concepts into sustainable, inclusive, and ethical local manufacturing practices. His wide-ranging industry engagement spans from education to manufacturing, with notable projects like “curvecrete” and “milkdrop”. This extensive involvement allows him to touch various community aspects, underscoring the vibrancy and innovative potential in engineering.
Victorian Emerging Professional Engineer of the Year Adam Jones
Adam Jones is passionate about curbing greenhouse gas emissions in engineering. An inspiring leader, he continuously seeks to propel society forward through exceptional engineering practices. By fostering relationships with stakeholders at every project phase, Jones delves deeper to comprehend and shape their spheres of influence. He positively impacts the well-being of communities and individuals he collaborates with. Beyond his immediate work, Adam elevates the engineering profession by the way he connects with and inspires engineering talent, both on a global and local scale.
Achievement Award: Structural College
John Connell Gold Medal: Dr Joseph Correnza
Dr Joseph Correnza is a Principal and Australasian Regional Board Member at Arup. A design and innovation leader with over 27 years’ experience, Dr Correnza has significantly contributed to the engineering profession through mentoring and leadership. He has demonstrated influential leadership in structural engineering and projects of note include the London Eye, Millennium Bridge, Singapore Art-Science Museum, the National Museum of Victoria, Southbank by Beulah Melbourne and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Engineers Australia Excellence Awards seeks to recognise and reward outstanding achievement in engineering. Local winners will go on to represent their division at the national awards in Melbourne on November 29.

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