UQ Professor named Engineer of the Year

3 Sep 2018

Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Harry Asche from UQ’s School of Civil Engineering is one of the best engineers in the State.

Dr Asche was presented with Professional Engineer of the Year at the 2018 Queensland Engineering Excellence Awards in Brisbane.

“The award came as a complete surprise and I’m very grateful for the various organisations who supported me,” he said.

The award is presented to an engineer who has been nominated for demonstrating outstanding contribution to the well-being of people, communities and sustainable practices through engineering excellence.

This excellence includes pioneering the use of materials or methods, and the creation of resourceful, innovative and aesthetic engineering solutions.

Harry has spent the past 35 years working on the design and construction of major public infrastructure projects.

He has extensive experience in road, rail, water and tunnel design projects.

For Harry, it was a love of applied mathematics and physics that lead him to a career in civil engineering.

“As my career has progressed, I have found that tunnelling offers a satisfying opportunity to apply mathematics but it also involves practicality and judgement in dealing with uncertainty.

“Currently I am involved in some of the large tunnelling projects in Australia: the WestConnex NewM5 road tunnel in Sydney, the West Gate Tunnel Project in Melbourne, and the Inland Rail project which includes freight rail tunnels in Queensland”

Last year he became an Adjunct Associate Professor within the School of Civil Engineering.

“I earned my PhD with UQ and started giving a number of guest lectures,” he said.

“This allows me to give back to my profession by teaching and becoming involved in academic work.”

Dr Asche is supporting School of Civil Engineering academic Dr Jurij Karlovsek in developing a new course within UQ’s Master of Engineering program, focusing on Underground Structures, Design and Construction

He will bring his expertise and industry contacts through this course to the next generation of civil engineers and academics.

The Master of Engineering program develops student expertise through advance courses and specialised electives, allowing them to achieve entry-level engineering accreditation.

All courses are taught by academics with nationally and internationally recognised expertise. Students also work directly and intensively with academic mentors through a research project in their final year.

Finally, Dr Asche co-advises PhD student Mr Zhongyu Xu along with Dr Karlovsek’s in the field of Shotcrete Shrinkage in Underground Construction.

In support of this PhD research, Harry and Jurij obtained industry funding to purchase a unique non-conventional constrained tensile strength ring testing apparatus.