Tony grew up in the UK in the 1960’s. And at the age of 15 he was at a crossroads. At school he was given only 2 choices of study – Either science or arts, you couldn’t do both. Tony really liked the arts, but the science teachers were really good. So he ended up studying physics, maths & chemistry.
And when the school holidays came around he started looking for a summer job. And this will likely sound strange to you, it certainly sounded strange to Dom & I, but Tony turned his attention to the local coal fire power station. So he called them up and asked if he could work for them during the holidays… and they said yes!He was 15.
But Tony loved his experience and wanted more . So he went to university and graduated with an honours degree in electrical university and continued to work in power stations during his vacations.
I found it absolutely fascinating place, really exciting
Extra discussions during the episode
In the episode, Tony refers to the website http://electricitymap.org – this is a really interesting breakdown of energy emission creation from around the world.
Future: Making a change for good is possible
we’ve got this major challenge with climate change. We really could make a difference in Australia.
Advice: Look to and study experienced engineers – you can really learn a lot from them.
look at how the best engineers communicate
The RTPCR (real time reverse transcription, polymerase chain reaction) which is being rolled out by the IAEA (international atomic energy agency) – this is an engineering item which has been created in response to COVID and allows for almost instant results of testing.
it really shows engineering, responding to a crisis
Adi Paterson – the CEO of ANSTO
I think he’s an engineer with vision that was able to really make ANSTO now a World-class facility.
Tony Irwin is a Chartered Engineer who worked for British Energy in the UK for more than thirty years commissioning and operating 8 nuclear power reactors.
In 1999 he moved to Australia and joined ANSTO where he was the Commissioning Manager and then first Reactor Manager of ANSTO’s new OPAL research reactor.
Tony is Chair of Engineers Australia Sydney Division Nuclear Engineering Panel, Technical Director of SMR Nuclear Technology Pty Ltd and an Honorary Associate Professor at the ANU where he is the principal lecturer for Nuclear Reactors and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
Tony is enthusiastic about passing on his nuclear experience to the new generation of engineers.
This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken during the Podcast, Season 4 Episode 22
It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Tony Irwin
Tony: [00:00:00] I found it absolutely fascinating place, really exciting.
[00:00:04]Mel or Dom: [00:00:04] can I just quickly ask, what sort of things that you get a 15 year old to do at a coal power plant?
[00:00:09] Tony: [00:00:09] well, I have a really interesting job. I worked in the efficiency department and. You know, the big cooling towers, that’s the power stations have they, they gave me a big waterproof suit and I went into the cooling towers on load with a bucket of corks and changed the flow path within the cooling tower. I don’t think you could do that under OH&S rules these days, but, uh, it was a good, it was a great adventure.
[00:00:43]Mel or Dom: [00:00:43] is there much difference in regards to the technology from coal-fire back then when you were 15 and what they do now? I can imagine all the processes and things have changed, but is the fundamentals still the same from, from all those years ago?
[00:00:55] Tony: [00:00:55] What’s happened to coal now is that they’ve got things like super critical and it’s all higher technology and more efficient than it was back in in those days. But it’s still basically the same process. Now you burn coal, you raise steam in a boiler, and it goes to a turbine generators.
[00:01:14]Mel or Dom: [00:01:15] Yeah, you don’t mess with the process. That’s the core thing. You can improve on it, but once you’ve got it down pat, and that seems to be the one that stays.
[00:01:23]after you finished your degree, what was the first project you worked on as an engineer?
[00:01:27]Tony: [00:01:28] Well, I was very lucky because when I finished my degree, I joined the central electricity generating board. So this will the, a national company and in the UK responsible the whole of electricity. So they did generation, construction, grid control, transmission, everything. And I had a two year graduate training program.
[00:01:49] It was a fabulous program. You went down all the different departments and at the end of it, they said, what do you want to do? And I said, nuclear operations because of the time UK was really getting into building nuclear power plants. but I got my first appointment at Oldbury Power Station, which is one of the last of the Magnox Series.
[00:02:12] And it was in commissioning at the time. found myself then in the main control room on the reactor panel operating a nuclear reactor and having a great time
[00:02:23] Mel or Dom: [00:02:23] How old were you? like a 24 year old was a lot of that
[00:02:28] Tony: [00:02:28] Yes.
[00:02:29] Mel or Dom: [00:02:29] out of a
[00:02:29] Tony: [00:02:29] So what they did is to train you, actually in operations, you went to Calder Hall operation school, and did a short course there and then training back on the job, at Oldbury.
[00:02:41]I had a fabulous time, the first job there.
[00:02:43]Mel or Dom: [00:02:43] Oh, wow. That is that’s some serious responsibility.
[00:02:48]so you’re actually manning the helm of a nuclear power plant as your, kind of your first role as an engineer
[00:02:56] Tony: [00:02:56] Yes.
[00:02:57] Mel or Dom: [00:02:57] Where do you go to from there?
[00:03:00] Tony: [00:03:00] Well, it was fabulous because there was starting the next generation program in the UK. This is the Advance Gascooled Reactors, you know, the next design, and Oldbury was now. So the steady and, and sort of boring. So went down to Hinkley point B and commissioned that one.
[00:03:19]and then I moved on to Heysham 1 and commissioned that, and then Heysham 2. So I did six of the AGRs in the UK.
[00:03:26] Mel or Dom: [00:03:26] So you, commissioned six nuclear facilities around England. Was it
[00:03:31] Tony: [00:03:31] Oh, plus the two Oldbury, so it was 8 in all, eight reactors in all I guess.
[00:03:37] Mel or Dom: [00:03:37] You’re an old hand at that! so where are you working now?
[00:03:40] Tony: [00:03:40] So what happened is while I was in the UK, I married an Australian,
[00:03:46] Mel or Dom: [00:03:46] Sounds good to say. How did you end up here?
[00:03:51] Tony: [00:03:51] I moved to Australia in 1999 and joined ANSTO, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization out to Lucas Heights. So initially I had an appointment in the government and public affairs section. So I manage fuel strategy for them and advised the government on nuclear issues. But then they got the license approval for the new Opal research reactor. Because I’d have this commission experience, they appointed me as reactor manager, so the new, Opal reactor. So I saw that all through commissioning and on the early operation of Opal. One of the most successful research reactors in the world. It’s really a world class facility.
[00:04:34] Mel or Dom: [00:04:34] a lot of people don’t realize what the Opal reactor’s used for. Do they look at the fact that it’s a research facility and a lot of people think that it’s used for other things. Are there any things that come up on a regular basis or like any points that sort of required demystifying in regards to nuclear energy and nuclear reactors?
[00:04:54] Tony: [00:04:54] well, the first question is always safety. is it safe? the same question – what about the waste? what we found in the UK is lots of people of course live near nuclear power plants, and generally the closer you live to them, the more happy you are with them. Cause you get used to them. I think one of the big problems in Australia is we haven’t got any nuclear power, people aren’t used to it. their vision of nuclear power is, is Fukushima explosion.
[00:05:25] Mel or Dom: [00:05:25] Or the Simpsons
[00:05:26] Tony: [00:05:26] Or the Simpsons. They’ve got a lot to answer for.
[00:05:32]So, are you still there
[00:05:34] So I retired from ANSTO. I’ve now got sort of three jobs.
[00:05:40] Mel or Dom: [00:05:40] busier than ever?
[00:05:42]Tony: [00:05:42] So I’m chair of Engineers Australia, Sydney division Nuclear Engineering panel. So we organize lots of technical meetings. I’m also a sort of poacher turned gamekeeper because I’m now a member of the nuclear regulator, ARPANSA, their nuclear safety committee. We advise the CEO of ARPANSA on nuclear issues.
[00:06:08]and then the third one, which is the real interest is this company that we now have SMR nuclear technology, which is a consultancy we formed in 2012 to really look at small modular reactors and hopefully get them deployed in Australia.
[00:06:24]Mel or Dom: [00:06:24] Who’s the we?
[00:06:26] Tony: [00:06:26] So what happened is I was actually doing a Cedar policy, a nuclear presentation, and in the audience was Robert Pritchard – eminent lawyer, Resources Law International. and he saw me afterwards and said, I’m interested in these small modular reactors. And we got to talking, then we got a couple more directors and we had a company.
[00:06:54]so we’ve been going since 2012, looking at developments worldwide and seeing how they could be deployed in Australia.
[00:07:03]climate changes is the big engineering challenge I think that we’ve got. Electricity generation is the main source of admissions. So we’ve got to really make the emissions from electricity generation, low emissions. So there’s only four low emissions technologies that we’ve got – wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear. And nuclear’s the only one that’s not weather dependent.
[00:07:30] Mel or Dom: [00:07:30] Is there much uptake in Australia or it’s, it’s an area that just, I don’t know why, but we haven’t been able to really move it along. are you seeing an uptake in it?
[00:07:41] Tony: [00:07:41] the big problem is it’s banned. It’s prohibited by law in Australia. So you can’t construct a nuclear power plant in Australia at the moment. there’s a series of nuclear enquiries taking place there’s been a Federal one, New South Wales, there’s the Victoria one is ongoing at the moment. And they’ve all come out and said, it shouldn’t be banned, it should be on the table with all the others, but it’s still banned at the moment. So this is one of our big challenges at the moment.
[00:08:12]Mel or Dom: [00:08:12] Yes, it’s, it’s almost like you’re running an illegal company because your product is essentially banned.
[00:08:19] Well only in Australia.
[00:08:21] Tony: [00:08:21] know, Australia’s got the biggest resources of uranium in the world. Third biggest producer. We export it all over these lucky countries, which then generate emissions free power with it. We don’t use it ourselves.
[00:08:34]Mel or Dom: [00:08:34] Yeah, it’s crazy. do you see a future for it?
[00:08:37] Tony: [00:08:37] I think it’s going to change because , climate changes is such an issue now. And electricity degeneration is one of the main contributors to emissions. We just have to decarbonize and we’ve got to consider nuclear.
[00:08:53]I don’t know if you know the website, electricitymap.org. If you haven’t had a look at it, have a look at that and people are listened to this should also have them have a look, because what that shows is all the countries in the world and their emissions, and it shows the emissions in real time from all the different technologies.
[00:09:15] And for Australia, they break it into States as well. So you can see which States now have got low emissions, which countries in the world have got low emissions, a lot, got low emissions. And it’s, it’s really interesting because the only countries in the world that really achieve low emissions have either got unlimited hydro or they’ve got nuclear.
[00:09:37]I was looking today, countries like France, down to 40 grams a kilowatt hour that’s compared to Australia, which is about 700 plus at the moment. So huge factor. But even if, because France has got 65% nuclear today and up to 75% sometimes. So that’s all very low emissions. Countries like Sweden, 35 again, nuclear and hydro.
[00:10:06]And then you look at somewhere like Germany that is sort of thought of as you know, the renewable center of the world. Nine times France in emissions intensities. Cause if, you know, if the wind isn’t blowing very strongly, they have to import, or they have to use their coal. so I think the more we look at it, the more we’re gonna say, we really need nuclear as part of the energy mix.
[00:10:33]It’s not that there’s one technology that’s dominant. you’re going to need a mix of technologies. And I think that the big question for us is what sort of mix we’ll require.
[00:10:45] There’s a big problem, I think with large nuclear plants for Australia. first thing is they’re expensive. You know, you’re talking about billions of dollars.
[00:10:55] It takes a long time to build, and it’s not really suitable for small grid systems like there is in Australia. So that’s why there’s this increase in interest in the smaller reactors, these small modular reactors. So that they’re defined as less than 300 megawatts electrical power. So to give you an example, about a hundred megawatts will supply 50,000 houses.
[00:11:22]So that’s the sort of supply for them. The modular means it’s factory built. So you take the whole reactor, just bring it to site, connect it up and away it goes. So much shorter build time.
[00:11:37]Mel or Dom: [00:11:37] that you say you put it small? What size are we talking about the size of a boat or the size of a house or
[00:11:43] Tony: [00:11:43] Well, the ones we’re particularly looking at at the moment is it’s about 24 meters high and four and a half metres in diameter. So it’s not tiny, but it’s a lot smaller than a big nuclear power plant.
[00:11:56] Mel or Dom: [00:11:56] And so would ANSTO or would the Opal reactor, would that be considered a big power plant?
[00:12:03] Tony: [00:12:03] No Opal is a very small one. So Opal is 20 megawatts thermal capacity. And these are typically say 60 megawatts electrical capacity, 200 megawatts thermal. So it’s probably 10 times the size of Opal still. But when you look at a big reactor, it’s 3000 megawatts thermal. So it’s a lot smaller.
[00:12:28]Mel or Dom: [00:12:28] something that you’ve said how the clean energy Grouping is, you know, wind, solar, hydro, and, and nuclear that it’s some sort of mixture of those.
[00:12:39]One of the issues with this is, coal – one solution it’s nice and basic it’s easy. It does it all better being better. Boom done. Whereas this one it’s it’s can’t be just wind, it can’t be just solar just can’t be, it just can’t be one. As you said, you need to create infrastructure for four different essential plants.
[00:12:57] So, what sort of things can engineers do to help this.
[00:13:03]Tony: [00:13:03] well, nuclear fit on any coal fired power station site. It’s very, very compact. So what we could do as good engineering is to replace the retiring coal plants with small nuclear reactors.
[00:13:18] And they would do the same sort of reliable generation that coal does.
[00:13:23]Mel or Dom: [00:13:23] That’s a good idea, based on the capacity of the majority of the coal fire plants at the moment, it’d be feasible just to swap them out and use a, an SMR to sort of take up the slack?
[00:13:34] Tony: [00:13:34] Yes. one SMR that we’re looking at is the NuScale one in the US, it comes in 60 megawatt modules and you can have up to 12 of them. So that’s 720 megawatts in one plant. So that’s a good coal replacement size, 95% capacity factor. Very reliable. Load follows with variables as well.
[00:13:59]Mel or Dom: [00:13:59] we’ve spoken to a few nuclear engineers before, even one who was working in the Opal reactor. Australia just doesn’t have the engineers that specialize in this area. Is that something that you’re seeing is improving or does it need more work?
[00:14:14]Tony: [00:14:14] Well, for instance, when I was Opal Reactor manager, we were going towards commissioning the reactor. What we did is appoint some young graduates and train them in nuclear engineering, much the same as I was trained in the UK. And. Because you go through all the commissioning process, you really learn a lot about the reactor and such that, you know, when you start operating, you’ve got a really good knowledge of it.
[00:14:42] So there’s a group out at ANSTO now that are really good reactor engineers. But our, company’s always being contacted by people saying I’ve got nuclear experience. Are there any jobs, you know, in Australia because Australia is it a very attractive place to come and work. There’s no problem in getting people.
[00:15:05]Mel or Dom: [00:15:05] it’s a case of once that decision’s overturned in that it’s no longer illegal. It would just open the flood Gates to this industry. And it would require engineers on the ground to manage it and build it and commission, all that sort of
[00:15:23] Tony: [00:15:23] Yeah. I mean, there’s some education already in, in Australia. I’m involved with the ANU was sort of a Master in Nuclear Science course there, but UNSW are back into nuclear engineering training. I mean, they, they stopped in 1984. there’s a Master of Nuclear Engineering at UNSW.
[00:15:44] So they are producing some, some people as well.
[00:15:48]Mel or Dom: [00:15:48] is it a case where, a light switch is going to flick and then suddenly nuclear will be the answer and there’s going to be a massive upskill require or is it there’s enough interest at the moment? is there enough of a ground base to support a sudden change?
[00:16:06] Tony: [00:16:06] Yes, it could be because I don’t think he did a bit that fast to do a build program because there’s all the licensing to go through and all the permitting. So it takes some time. So once we decide, yes, we go in and go have it as part of the mix. Then the peer time to be able to gather people together and get going.
[00:16:28]Mel or Dom: [00:16:28] So, what do we need to do to get it across the line?
[00:16:30]Tony: [00:16:30] now our big challenge at the moment as a company, because it’s prohibited. So we’re looking at two ways. I mean, the best way is if we can persuade both sides of government to change the law. It requires really bipartisan support. But the other way is that we’re seriously looking at now is a ground up approach.
[00:16:52] So we’re approaching communities and saying, Oh, are you interested in this low emissions technology? But the latest one, which is really interesting is some of the unions. I’ve seen this as a way forward for jobs, particularly for coal replacement. So there’s a couple of unions now that have come out and said, we ought to at least consider it. Whether or not we go down that path in the end, we should consider it.
[00:17:20]Mel or Dom: [00:17:20] it was a bit of a light bulb moment just then before, when you were saying that, replacing the coal stations with a nuclear station. yeah, I can definitely see how somebody liked the unions would jump on board that cause it, you know, change is quite scary because people get unemployed, you know, the, the horse and the car.
[00:17:42] Yeah. The horse didn’t have any say in it when they got kicked out of the transportation industry. So it’s good that there is a solution like that.
[00:17:50]just out of curiosity, do you feel like the politicians are close?
[00:17:54] Tony: [00:17:54] I think at the moment they can’t see any votes in it. I think that’s the big problem. I think this is why we’ll need some ground up pressure as well. There are politicians that are, are in favor of it. but not enough to really get it over the line at the moment.
[00:18:13] Although, you know, even the Royal commission said, you ought to remove the prohibition.
[00:18:18]Mel or Dom: [00:18:18] do you think the public’s perception is causing a large part of the problem as well? Cause it, I think particularly for the average person, when you say nuclear reactor, the first thing that they’ll sort of default to is the likes of Chernobyl. Particularly in Australia, people don’t realize that there’s so many nuclear reactors. As you said in France, it’s such a prolific source of power. Is it a case of getting the knowledge out there to just the average person so that they have a better understanding of what happens with nuclear and then they’ll help to drive the change?
[00:18:52]Tony: [00:18:52] Yeah, so, I mean, I do a lot of community talks and generally at the end of it, most people would be in favour of at least considering nuclear. ANSTO do a great job of educating as well. So there is there’s a lot going on, but it’s, it takes time.
[00:19:11]Mel or Dom: [00:19:11] Yeah. And I think what you just touching on then was about educating the younger generation. So they’re going to really push for cleaner energy. And if you mix nuclear into that, hydro/solar/wind grouping, then it’s going to be, Oh yeah. Okay, cool. That’s just all part of the solution. I’m very positive about the future.
[00:19:36] I feel like nuclear will be something on the horizon that at least the younger generation bring in, but what are your thoughts on the future? Especially in the engineering perspective of this.
[00:19:47] Tony: [00:19:47] Well, I think it’s a really exciting time. Now we’ve got this major challenge with climate change. We really could make a difference in Australia. We’re one of the worst countries. We’ve got high emissions intensity. we can really, really change and it’s all engineering. The engineers have got to provide the solutions for all of these. One interesting area that I think is the modeling of scenarios.
[00:20:15] Because what we don’t do yet is to look at the whole electricity system and say, this is the best mixture because of the way it operates and the cost and the sort of longterm effects. So that’s the sort of thing we need to do to really identify what the best mix going forward.
[00:20:35]Mel or Dom: [00:20:35] you were saying that there needs to be that integration of all the systems as well. Do you find that part of the problem too, is we’ve just, we’ve got such an aging infrastructure in some areas in regards to our electrical networks. does that really need to play into it as well? In regards to what we decide, where to locate, where and how we, uh, we distribute the
[00:20:53] power itself.
[00:20:54] Tony: [00:20:54] yeah, it’s a big part of the operation and some of the cost. We’re seeing problems with major deployment of solar because it’s located remotely. It needs long transmission lines. It only operates part of the day. So you have to have a transmission line that’s got the capacity for its maximum, but that used for very little part of the time.
[00:21:19] So we’ve got these problems with utilization of this system.
[00:21:24]Mel or Dom: [00:21:24] Yeah, it’s, it’s tough one as well. Cause I know this is going back probably about ahh.. 15 years now, but, there was a lot of work that was being done in regards to tri-gen and co-gen. And it was becoming very popular to, to put the systems in new buildings, particularly in data centers. And the problem was they didn’t have the availability to supply. That was the infrastructure wasn’t there. And I think that people kind of forget that there’s more to it. It’s great that you can plunk the solar panels in there, but if you don’t have the infrastructure that is relevant to be able to cater for it, then you kind of back to square one as well.
[00:21:58] Is that kind of where the idea of to build the reactors in power plants, coal, because the infrastructure is already there. Yeah. Well, I’m assuming it did it laid in quite. Yeah.
[00:22:09] Tony: [00:22:09] Yeah, because you’ve got the transmission lines, you’ve got the cooling water, admin buildings. You’ve got all the site infrastructure would be identical for a nuclear power plant.
[00:22:20] Mel or Dom: [00:22:20] Which then being even more environmentally friendly means you have all of that existing infrastructure, that existing buildings, so, you know, bowling things over and then starting again, you’re actually getting your lease of life. Yeah. Getting a longer life from it. So what would you say to people just starting out in engineering?
[00:22:38]Tony: [00:22:38] Look for opportunities to develop, look for opportunities to take on new projects. I think you can really learn from experienced engineers. Look at how they operate. I recommend you look for opportunity in commissioning because you get enormous experience during commissioning. Cause you see the plant develop, you see inside it, she called perhaps see, see later. So it’s fabulous experience. And I think, look at how the best engineers communicate and how they particularly recognize the contributions of their staff. I think recognition is, is a big thing. Now you want to look, so it’s a waste, which you can say you did a good job of that and give that sort of encouragement.
[00:23:26] But I think it’s exciting time for new engineers now.
[00:23:30] Mel or Dom: [00:23:30] Definitely is so much potential, so much potential out there that they can just go for it in any area they want. So, yeah. Yeah. There’s some big challenges. we’ve discovered over the years, these challenges that lay ahead of us. So there’s, um, it’s definitely going to be a lot of work for engineers in the coming years, that’s for sure.
[00:23:49]just to wrap up, I always like to delve a little bit into some fun facts, but what’s the piece of engineering that’s impressed you?
[00:23:58]Tony: [00:23:58] Well, I was going to say the Sydney Harbor bridge because I live next to it. Um, and it’s beautiful elegant engineering. You know, you’ve got these flares on the pylons, such a really nice. and it was a great vision to design a bridge with eight lanes and four railway tracks in the 1920..incredible vision
[00:24:18] But what I’ve just read about is the IAEA – the international atomic energy agency that providing nuclear derived equipment to a lot of countries, particularly the poor countries for COVID-19 detection. So they’ve got this $40 million program and Australia has contributed to this. And it uses a fantastic device called an RTPCR.
[00:24:47] Now this is right out of my sort of area, but it’s a real time reverse transcription, polymerase chain reaction. what it does, it looks for, what’s called RNA in COVID-19 and the machine changes that to DNA. And then it amplifies it 35 billion times so that you can pick up these samples and do a very quick detection of COVID.
[00:25:16] And it’s a great piece of engineering. the IAEA are doing a great job in getting it out to all of these countries that perhaps can’t afford this sort of equipment. So that’s, that’s a piece of engineering impresses me at the time.
[00:25:29] Mel or Dom: [00:25:29] Is that something that would have been just made in the last six months? Like not even six months.
[00:25:35] Tony: [00:25:35] Yes. Yes. I mean, they’ve had to sort of develop all this. It’s amazing.
[00:25:41] Mel or Dom: [00:25:41] How is it a big piece of engineering?
[00:25:44] Tony: [00:25:44] It doesn’t look very big. The photos I’ve seen this as sort of a small cabinet
[00:25:48] Mel or Dom: [00:25:48] Oh, wow. Okay. Huh? Yeah. Well the RN, yeah, cause I’m dumb suspend COVID tested. Um, and it was a case of it took three days. So the results it’s like taking forever,
[00:26:03] Tony: [00:26:03] well, they’re saying three hours of this.
[00:26:06] Mel or Dom: [00:26:06] wow. That
[00:26:07] Tony: [00:26:07] it’s be amazing
[00:26:07] a, it’s the most rapid one that you can get apparently, but it really shows engineering, responding to a crisis, you know, and this is where engineers are good at.
[00:26:17] Mel or Dom: [00:26:17] And it’s one of those things where I’m always, I’m kind of on the lookout for things that are being made now and how they can be adapted to other things so that when things go back to normal, they can be adapted. So maybe this is. A new technology that can be used to diagnose another disease. That’s very rapid, you know, that it just becomes standard instead of having to wait a week or send off the results somewhere overseas to find out what you’ve got, it could be a case of a new rapid diagnosis or something like that. I’d be curious to see where this one goes. Definitely.
[00:26:55]And so just to finish up, do you have an engineer that you admire?
[00:26:59]Tony: [00:26:59] Well, , there’s lots of historical engineers that have done a fantastic job. but I’m going to choose a living one because, one that I admire is Adi Paterson. Who’s the CEO of ANSTO. So he was appointed in 2009, to ANSTO, he came from South Africa. And he got this new Opal reactor, which was just commissioned and really recognised the potential of the reactor and the organization.
[00:27:26] So he’s expanded the nuclear medicine production. He’s got new neutron beam instruments. ANSTO already had really good capabilities in materials analysis. So that’s really been focused now on things like the next generation of reactors, the generation four reactors. We’re into fusion, it’s really World-class nuclear research organization now.
[00:27:51] So I think he’s an engineer with vision that was able to really make ANSTO now a World-class facility. He’s a Fellow of the Engineers Australia and he was Professional Engineer of the Year for the Sydney division in 2012. And he’s a STEM Champion of Change as well.
[00:28:12] Mel or Dom: [00:28:12] Oh, he does sound amazing. Like to have that vision as well to come in and lead it. Thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been a real delight.
[00:28:21]Tony: [00:28:21] thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
I’d like to thank everyone for listening to another great episode of Engineering Heroes as we present the new dawn of engineering challenges for Engineers Australia. your hosts have been Melanie and Dominic De Gioia. You can view this episode show notes or learn more from our podcast by visiting our website, www.EngineeringHeroes.com.au
If you enjoyed today’s show, all we ask you to do is go and tell someone, tell lots of people either in personal or write review, it’s that easy to show your support for engineers everywhere. We look forward to you joining us next week when we bring you another interview with one of our engineering champions.