IREE Neville Thiele Eminence Award

About this Award

The Neville Thiele Eminence Award is the most prestigious award of the ITEE College of Engineers Australia.  It is presented in memory of The Institution of Radio and Electronics Engineers (IREE) and in named in honour of the late Mr. A.N. (Neville) Thiele OAM.

The IREE represented the profession of radio and electronics engineering in Australia for many years, while Neville Thiele was an outstanding Australian Electronics Engineer, former President of the IREE and a world renowned expert on audio engineering standards and the design of loudspeakers.

The award recognises eminence in information, telecommunications and electronics engineering and will honour a member who has made significant contributions to the art of practice of engineering in the disciplines covered by the ITEE College. The award also recognises the individual’s significant contributions to the community.

2022 Nominations Open 1 March 2022
Close 1 August 2022
Eligibility Criteria
Terms and Conditions
Submission Guidelines
Presentation of the Award

Eligibility Criteria

The nominee must:

  • provide details of the nominee’s technical and professional career, and demonstrate the nominee’s compliance with the judging criteria and their contributions to the Australian community
  • provide a brief (approx 1 page) essay on how the $10,000 cash award will facilitate their professional and personal development.

The candidate will:

  • have made significant practical and/or theoretical contributions to the art and practice of engineering in any (or several) of the following disciplines:
    • Communications Engineering;
    • Computer Systems Engineering;
    • Electronics Engineering;
    • Information Engineering; or
    • Software Engineering, and
  • have made significant contributions to the community.

Nominees with Chartered status will be favourably regarded.

Terms and Conditions

A recipient of the award must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent Australian resident; and
  • be eligible to be a member of Engineers Australia, the Institution of Engineering and Technology or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in the grade of engineer, technologist or associate.

The nomination form must be signed by the nominee and two referees, at least one of whom must be a chartered member of Engineers Australia.

Submission Guidelines

The nomination must provide:

  1. Nominee’s current CV including employment history and achievements
  2. Nominee’s Short Biography
  3. Nominee’s statement addressing each criterion
  4. A 750 words essay detailling how the award will facilitate the nominee’s professional and personal development
  5. Contact details of two supporting members with CPEng or Fellow status
  6. Nominee’s portrait photo

Unsuccessful candidates may be re-nominated in subsequent years.

Presentation of the Award

The recipient will receive a cash prize of AU $10,000 provided by the IREE Foundation, a framed certificate and an engraved medal. The prize will be presented at a suitable formal occasion of Engineers Australia.

2020 Winner

Dr Mahdi Jalili

PhD FIEAust CPEng, IEEE Senior Member, ACM Member

Dr Jalili received his PhD in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences in 2009 from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Upon the completion of his PhD, he accepted a teaching and research position as Assistant Professor at Sharif University of Technology. He was a visiting Assistant Professor at Curtin University of Technology in April 2011, University of South Australia in January 2013, and RMIT University between June – December 2012. At Sharif University of Technology, he started conducting research on the application of machine learning techniques in network science, including link prediction, network inference and designing recommender systems.

Dr Jalili moved to RMIT University in February 2014 to take a research position as Senior Research Fellow after being awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discover Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellowship – a prestigious ARC program that is awarded to select high-profile early-career Australians. He also holds RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship. His DECRA provided a great opportunity to undertake substantial research activities in the field of machine learning and network science. He chose to apply for ARC DECRA from RMIT University as the host organisation, as RMIT has one of the most dynamic research environments in the field of network science and engineering. He is currently Senior Lecturer of Electrical Engineering and Discipline Manager of Higher Degree by Research at the School of Engineering, RMIT University.

Dr Jalili has extensive national and international collaboration networks. He is currently collaborating with a number of key figures in the field of machine learning, artificial intelligence, energy systems and networks science in Australia and overseas. As a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) – the largest professional organisation in his field, Dr Jalili has been involved in many IEEE activities, including organising IEEE sponsored conferences, editor-ship in IEEE journals, and reviewing research articles. He has been very active within Engineers Australia (EA), e.g. he provided input to EA’s response to Alen Finkel’s report of the future electricity grid (2017). He is selected council member of Complex Systems Society – a peak technical body in the field of complex systems and network science. The council sets the annual activity plan of the society.

Dr Jalili has received many recognitions in his career including four research projects supported by the ARC. He has active collaboration with Australian energy industries, including Centre for New Energy Technologies (C4Net) – a Victorian government initiative – Citipower/Powercor (a major Victorian energy distributor), Pacific Hydro, Desert Knowledge Australia – an NT government initiative – Findex, AGL and Origin Energy. His current research and development activities at RMIT are focused on machine learning, network science and their applications in energy systems. His passion is to develop state-of-the-art data-informed decision support technologies to help provide more affordable, reliable and secure electricity for Australians.

Past award recipients

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