Alumni Awards 2015

Our graduates make extraordinary contributions to the University, their profession and their communities both locally and on the international stage. The faculty's 2015 Alumni Awards acknowledge and celebrate some of their remarkable achievements.

Alumni Award for Community Achievement

Raymond Kirby AO (BE (Mechanical and Electrical) ‘51, HonFellow ‘87)
Former Chairman, James N Kirby Foundation
Recognised for commitment to philanthropy through his 45 year involvement with the James N Kirby Foundation.

Since its establishment more than 45 years ago, Raymond Kirby AO has been closely involved with the James N Kirby Foundation, which has awarded more than $16 million to worthy causes across a variety of sectors including health, education and the arts. A talented engineering practitioner, Raymond joined the family business originally as an engineering cadet and worked his way through virtually every section of the organisation. Along with his brother, Raymond went on to build an increasingly wide range of corporate initiatives, with a continued focus on the application of latest technology and the commitment to training a skilled work force. Raymond was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in 1982 in recognition of his industrial leadership and contribution to the community and was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney a few years later.

Alumni Award for International Achievement

Mick Johnson (BSc (Hons) ’03)
Founder, Dessert Labs
Recognised for entrepreneurial success, and his technology leadership and innovation in senior international roles.

A self-confessed serial technology-based entrepreneur, Mick has been at the helm of technology start-ups as well as leadership positions with Facebook. In 2010 he co-founded Whereoscope, a location-aware smartphone app that helped parents keep tabs on their children, which was sold in a multimillion dollar deal less than 6 months after launch. Prior to Whereoscope Mick co-founded GasBag which he drove to cash-flow positive within one month. Most recently Mick has held a number of senior roles with Facebook. From 2012 to 2013 Mick led the mobile product team across iOS, Android and mobile web. The key improvements to the mobile platform helped grow Facebook mobile usage from 430M to 945M monthly users using 7000 different types of devices. Subsequently he led product for the Search and Language team where his team grew Searches from 750M to over 1.3 Billion searches per day across mobile and desktop, and developed Facebook’s first products in speech recognition and machine translation. Mick has just founded his newest venture, Dessert Labs.

Alumni Award for Professional Achievement

Dr Helen Cartledge (PhD (Eng) ’98)
Director, Scientific Adviser Office for the Australian Army
Recognised for her work as a distinguished professional in senior STEM and national security advisory roles.

Dr Helen Cartledge has worked with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) as Senior Advisor in National Security, where she was responsible for ensuring that the Prime Minster and Cabinet were appropriately briefed on all matters relating to science and technology research in the area of national security. Her advice on a number of national security related matters was well received by the government. After receiving her PhD she worked as a Tribologist and failure analyst in the Australian and US mining industry where her troubleshooting skills in the premature failure of mining equipment were very well regarded. Helen also has expertise in land warfare and underwater mine warfare. Formerly Director and Adviser for the Vice Chief of Defence Force and Navy, Dr Cartledge is currently the Director, Scientific Program for Army in the Australian Army Headquarters. Helen is also passionate about environmental sustainability and inspiring school children across the world to study science and engineering.

Young Alumni Award for Achievement

Dr Ali Fathi (MPE(Chemical and Biomolecular) ’11, PhD (Eng) ‘14)
Assistant Lecturer, University of Sydney and Entrepreneur
Recognised for excellence in research, teaching and his entrepreneurial endeavours.

A recent PhD recipient, Ali currently works in the faculty’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, where he has a reputation as a team player and thought leader, with a passion for promoting knowledge with a great generosity of spirit. In addition to his teaching excellence, Ali is a talented innovator and entrepreneur. A former participant of INCUBATE, an award-winning start-up accelerator and entrepreneur program, he is making tremendous progress in bridging the research-to-commercialisation divide. He is currently co-inventor for 3 provisional patents and is co-founder of Trimph-Gel, which aims to revolutionise medicine through biomaterials and bioinjectables.