Professor Brian Anderson qualified with a bachelor degree in electrical engineering at Sydney University and then with a PhD at Stanford University. He has been an engineering academic for more than 50 years, with many forays into the private and government sectors – mainly in Australia but also Asia, Europe and USA.
How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
I joined Engineers Australia approximately 60 years ago.
Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
I was motivated by people I admired who were engineers—the fathers of two school friends and my grandfather, and at the same time I enjoyed physics and mathematics at school.
How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
I am largely retired, but I pursue work in collaboration with DSTG on current problems involving the use of drones, and I believe this work can make a small contribution to improving Australia’s security.
What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
I established a new national laboratory called National ICT Australia, with funding provided by the Federal Government for a Centre of Excellence in Information and Communications Technology. I led the team submitting the successful proposal, and was the first CEO.
What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
Increasing the flow of females into engineering.
What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
In a sense, the future is always exciting because there will be some novelty about it. I believe the convergence of technologies like artificial intelligence, high speed computing and communications, has much to offer Australians through improved operation of cities, monitoring and management of ageing and health problems, including in remote communities, and ensuring that the country is well-positioned to deal with threats – whether natural or generated by other countries.
Who is your engineering hero?
General John Monash – for obvious reasons.
Image: provided by Professor Brian Anderson AC