There are certain leaders of the Engineering World who have a visionary approach; people who are able to master complex construction projects, build exemplary teams and lead them to successful completion.

Fred Garwood is that visionary leader, he is an accomplished Engineering and Construction Manager having extensive experience in the international arena.

Presently he is involved in the masterplanning and design of a provincial private airport, with associated support infrastructure.Leading the infrastructure for this project, Fred is managing international design teams based in London, New York and Paris to bring together the airport, city and site-wide infrastructure design and tender documentation.Because of his extensive Construction Management expertise, he is also leading the construction phasing and programming.

Fred has shown leadership in projects in Qatar and Dubai, where he has led both design and construction for complex buildings and infrastructure.He was very successful at managing the design and construction of 7.4km of canal works in Dubai for Meraas Development (WSP Group M.E. 2007 to 2009), keeping the project to time and budget.During this time, Fred was also managing the overall infrastructure inputs for the 7.5km2 city development, coming up with schedules for construction, logistics plans and reports while also directing the design of the city-wide infrastructure (roads, bridges, metro etc).

Fred is a very versatile Engineer, spending 18 months in India working on oil and gas undersea pipelines as Engineering Manager.In this role he designed an innovative solution to a problem of anchoring equipment to the sea bed.This solution saved 3 months on the program and US$3million on drilling and installation cost.Fred was also successful in closing out the engineering and quality documentation for the project.

Earlier in his career, Fred was leading the innovation in paper making at Wesley Vale Mill in Tasmania.He was the Head of Development for coated papers, demonstrating both expertiseand customer focus in developing specific paper grades to meet customer specific requirements.Fred was also directly involved in changing process control philosophies on the production machines to reduce production waste through off spec paper by US$10million per year (1987)

Leaving Tasmania, Fred joined the Titanium Dioxide industry in Western Australia and was successful in reducing maintenance and improving pigment quality by changing to innovative materials for grinding equipment.

In the last five years, Fred has been at the forefront of management and design of infrastructure.He is looking to continue at this executive management level.

At the moment Fred is living in Qatar with his wife and they are looking to return to their home in Brisbane.

He is seeking the next opportunity in his executive career.As Fred has excellent qualifications, working across the entire engineering spectrum - clients, consultants and contractors - it is challenging to put his skills into any specific discipline.What is clear, is that Fred has a great deal of value to offer any organisation and while the actual job title may vary, it will certainly include Construction Planning, Design and Project Management.

Work History

Work History

Development Chemist

Australian Paper Tasmania

I was employed at the Wesley Vale Mill of Australian Paper as a Development Chemist.  During this time I attended University in Hobart, Tasmania to complete my Degree.  During my tenure I completed a diverse range of projects covering all aspects of pulp and papermaking, including mechanical pulping, bleaching using peroxide and other chemicals, paper machine process control and coated paper techniques.

ISO 3901/9001 Implementation – Australian Paper

Wesley Vale mill implemented a quality policy including the terms of ISO 3902 in early 1988.  Combined with this was a need to improve order tracking and production tracking and a mill-wide computer tracking system was to be installed in parallel with ISO 3902.  My responsibility was to ensure that all paper testing methods complied with ISO 3902 and that the instrumentation could be calibrated and linked into the new computer system. As this was early in the development of instrument interfaces, many of the testing instruments did not have interfaces for connections. I did research to find retrofit interfaces that could be implemented or replacement instruments, with the economic benefits being carefully assessed.  I also researched all of the calibration standards for all of the instruments that could be sufficiently traced to satisfy ISO 3902.  This involved significant research and testing, along with the economic assessment as many of the standards were prohibitively expensive. I analysed the interfaces, primarily for the colour instruments, tested and then had software written for the interfaces.  The software was written by external consultants as part of the mill-wide system.  I was responsible for the information that was given to the software consultants for each of the instruments. I wrote the procedures and methods to suit ISO 3902 for many of the standard tests done in the laboratories specifically for optical and physical properties. The ISO 3902 program was completed in a relatively short timeframe (12 months) and Wesley Vale gained accreditation at its first assessment.

Cell Plant Decommissioning – Australian Paper

The Cell Plant at Wesley Vale Mill was old, beyond capacity and, because of environmental regulations, had to be closed eventually.  The plant consisted of flowing mercury cells for the production of chlorine and sodium/mercury amalgam for caustic soda and hypochlorite bleach manufacture.  Once the decision was made to de-commission the plant, I was responsible for the chemical decontamination along with detailed calculations for the disposal of both mercury and chlorine/hypochlorite without exceeding any environmental regulations.  I completed an assessment, in collaboration with the environmental and safety department and production department, of the residual mercury, caustic soda and other contaminants in the plant.  This was achieved by visual inspection, analysis of the remaining tanks and from production knowledge.  From this I was able to assess and recommend where the potential problems would be and how to control the discharge.  I identified a single point for the discharge and a scheme, using the existing pumps, to collect the contaminated waters in the one tank, thereby limiting the potential of uncontrolled discharge.  I designed a matrix of testing and checking the contamination levels by sampling and calculating flow rate so that contaminated water could be released in a controlled manner.  I then ensued that no further contamination was present before demolition of the plan was started.  To achieve the flow control, I calculated and designed weirs, perforated and blank flanges to be installed at the calculated points. The results of the above were that the plant was decommissioned and demolished without exceeding the limits which were monitored and sampled on an hourly basis.

Steep Bleaching Project – Australian Paper

The Steep Bleaching Project was the culmination of a policy to reduce or eliminate chlorine-based bleaches from the pulping process.  The potential investment in infrastructure and development was large and the risks were not insignificant.  My role was part of a team investigating process changes in the pulp mill. I was part of a team investigating the retrofitting of injection and mixing equipment into the existing pulp mill.  The parameters had been determined by the research department team and were used as a guide for the addition rates.  I researched and determined potential addition points for the bleaching chemicals, control points and instrumentation to be used at each point.  One of the many problems was the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide by many transition metals.  I designed the addition points so that the chemicals were added in non-metallic pipes and so that the pulp/bleaching chemical mix had time to react before contacting metal surfaces.  It also meant that all of the delivery lines had to be passivated.  I then managed the pre commissioning trials where the optimisation of the additions was done.  I monitored the process and took samples and data for analysis.  I then optimised the additions to best match the parameters required for the pulp.

Coated Papers Multiple Coating Upgrade – Australian Paper

Wesley Vale Mill is the only coated paper mill in Australia.  The product range was being overtaken in the market by imported papers from Europe and Asia that were multiple coated, rather than the standard of a single pass coating.  I was tasked with managing a project investigating a multiple coating process for Australian Paper mills. I first fully investigated all grades of paper currently in the market in Australia.  These papers were collected by Marketing personnel under strict sampling conditions and I then designed a full suite of tests that were relevant.  I then assessed what advantages the new double coated papers had over Wesley Vale grades.  I formulated a detailed set of laboratory tests to analyse and confirm the findings from the competitive papers.  I ran this matrix in the laboratory using pilot-scale machinery and standard base papers from production.  The coating formulations were also produced in pilot-scale equipment.  I then ran the laboratory made papers through the same matrix of tests and compared the results.  I was able to confirm that the benefits of multiple coating were real and obtainable from papers made at Wesley Vale.  I was then able to identify a small set of coating scenarios that gave the most benefit, and designed a set of laboratory formulations.  I made these in the laboratory and subjected them to the same matrix of tests, which confirmed the assumptions and benefits found previously.  I then published these findings internally with recommendations for machine trials. I identified a number of possibilities for mill trials, but the most economical scenario was chosen initially.  Management of the mill wanted to investigate using the available equipment before considering any new machinery.  I arranged the trials in the Burnie Mill for the base paper and then Wesley Vale mill for the finishing coating.  I designed the formulations for these trials and prepared them in the laboratory.  I then tested them as per the first round.  From these I chose a matrix of four to be trialled in the mills.  I managed the production of the formulations at Wesley Vale Mill and the transfer to Burnie Mill by tanker for the trials.  This involved insulated tankers as the base binder for the trial coatings was natural starch.  Burnie paper machines were not set up for coating.  I designed and installed a new system, retrofitted to allow for an even and consistent coating application.  I engineered and installed the system, consisting of pumps, pipework, spraybars, filters, control loops and return duct and pipework.  I ran many trials this way to improve and build on the knowledge gained in each subsequent trial.  The outcome was that coating by this method was not feasible due to the limitations of the existing press on No.4 Machine in Burnie.  I researched the problems and found that, with normal press configurations, the size (Diameter) of the rolls used in the press were too small.  The shear dynamics at the press nip dewatered the coating rather than pressing the coating into the paper sheet, leading to uncontrolled solids build-up at the press nip.  I then abandoned the trials, but the potential gains of multiple coating were sufficient to continue with the research. I switched my research effort to worlds best practice for coating and finishing.  As a result of this research, a high level team was formed to look at this further.  Trial papers were manufactured for machinery manufacturers to evaluate in their laboratories.  From this, equipment was chosen, procured and installed to give the highest quality papers available.  The investment was in excess of US$ 250 million and resulted in Wesley Vale coated papers business unit increasing profit by 85% in three years.

Control Upgrade of No.11 Machine – Australian Paper

No.11 machine is computer controlled to enable accuracy and production efficiency.  The original control strategy was installed 10 to 15 years prior to this investigation and upgrade, when machine speeds were less than half of the current rates.  The focus of my area was on the control of colour and optical brightening agent (OBA) addition and the measurement of both.  The aim of the project was to improve colour consistency from batch to batch and to reduce the “broke” (off-spec. paper) by as much as possible. I first did research into the current best practice of measuring and quantifying the colour of papers.  I studied instrumentation, methods, calibration and standards and how best to implement these on the machine and the testing laboratories.  I then recommended the purchase of new instruments for the laboratories along with reference standards, based on this research.  I wrote new methods in line with ISO 9002/3902, also based on the research.  Once these were in place I then ran matrices of checks to prove that the new methods were reliable and consistent across the whole range of tests.  This brought out many problems related to the difference in instruments used on-line and off-line.  To overcome these differences, I went back to the original signal data from the on-line instruments and re-wrote the calibrations and addition matrices to ensure that the readings were then calibrated.  I then implemented the new colour standards in the mill.  Lastly, I ensured that all of the above was correct, calibrated and documented to ISO 3902 standards. Second to my responsibilities was to improve the control strategy and instrumentation for No.11 paper machine.  I was part of a small team of engineers and I was to ensure that the on-line measurement conformed to the same standards as the laboratory.  The measuring geometry of the instrument on the machine was totally different than the standard instruments.  This presented problems with calibration.  To overcome this, I analysed the original signal (voltage) data from the instrument and re-wrote the interface matrices to improve the calibration.  I then checked these calculations by reading a full suite of papers, covering the whole range.  Finally, in collaboration with the Process Control engineers, I agreed the addition points and calculated out the gain matrices to be used for control, closing out the control and measurement strategy. The result of the project was a reduction in off-specification paper (due to colour problems) of 70% to 80%, resulting in a saving of approximately AUD 5,000,000 per annum.

Jun 2008 - Mar 2010

Deputy Project Director


Meraas Development is a Dubai Government office committed to the further development and re-generation of Dubai City as a whole.  Jumeira Gardens is the first of a series of large Urban Re-development projects being masterplanned and constructed by Meraas.  It represents the flagship development for the Dubai Government, being the largest urban redevelopment project in the world at the time and the first urban regeneration project in central Dubai City.

The project covers 17 square kilometers of urban fabric, which contains the present day Satwa and Safa suburbs which are dense, low-rise residential areas.  Old by Dubai standards, these suburbs are to be transformed into 22 million square metres of built environment consisting of iconic towers, parks, open space, retail malls and villa-style accomodation. An infrastructure of trams, waterways, roads and metro connections ensure that Jumeira Gardens has a strong transport base for the anticipated 350,000 population.  Further to this, the development is to be used as a model for the new Dubai.  All of the builldings will be LEED Gold accredited, along with many other sustainable initiatives such as central solid waste collection, district cooling and initiatives to make Jumeira Gardens a fully walkable city. There is a solid commitment to Public Transport, reducing the dependence on private vehicles.

WSP have been appointed as Program Managers (in conjunction with CH2M-Hill) and Project Managers for the Infrastructure design and Construction.  Also working on Jumeira Gardens are Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill, Gensler, Nippon Sekei, Hyder Consulting, Atkins Global, Laing O’Rourke, Samsung, BLL and other smaller design, construction and consulting houses.

As Deputy Director of Infrastructure Design, I am responsible for

Overall Planning for the Design Packages

Management of the design process

Design Consultant Management

Logistics Programming for Construction

Design review and Quality Management

Program Management of Design and Construction

Coordination of Existing and Proposed Services

Nov 2009 - Mar 2010

Design Director

WSP Group Middle East

Various Infrastructure Projects - Qatar

As Senior Projects Manager for the Qatar office of WSP Group, I managed large infrastructure and building projects across the country.The disciplines include masterplanning, civil infrastructure design and construction, building construction and project management.Liaison with international offices of WSP and international consultants is a large part of this work as is design management of complex schemes.

Al-Mal Investment Co. - Al Ha'il Economic City

Al-Mal Investment Co. is a privately owned property developer based in Kuwait.As part of the Saudi Arabian Governments directive, 4 economic cities are to be developed under the direction of the Saudi Arabian Economic Cities Authority.Al-Ha'il City is the Second of these to be developed so far and is located close to the existing city of Ha'il, 700 km north-west of Riyadh.It is to be based on its industrial sector, which will supply the economic impetus for the residential and commercial sectors.The infrastructure includes a rail link, an international airport and a solid ground infrastructure.Al-Ha'il City is at the crossroads of major transit routes, making its dry port, rail links and road infrastructure an important part of Saudi Arabia.

WSP have been appointed as Program Managers for the Infrastructure design. Also working on Al-Ha'il City are KEO International and other smaller design, construction and consulting houses.

As Design Director I was responsible for

Overall Planning for the Design Packages

        Management of the design process

        Design Consultant Management

                Logistics Programming for Construction

        Design review and Quality Management

                Program Management of Design and Construction

        Coordination of Existing and Proposed Services

Feb 2007 - Dec 2007

Engineering Manager

Leighton International


Mumbai Airport Redevelopment

Mumbai Airport Redevelopment was a Design and Construction contract to upgrade the facilities, buildings and associated infrastructure to double the passenger and freight throughput of the airport.  The completed cost was estimated at US$ 2.2 bn.  My role in this was to co-ordinate and manage the consultant inputs for design of the project including master planning of the whole airport project, architectural design for the terminals and associated buildings, passenger, baggage and freight planning, security, runways and pavements and the overall implementation to keep the airport functioning throughout.  Planning and sequencing the works was the biggest challenge of the job.  The whole scheme was planned and designed collaboratively with MIAL, the operators of Mumbai Airport.  Consultants from UK, India and Australia were used to complete design and planning phases complete with costings for construction to present to the client.  Construction was completed on several areas of the master plan before MIAL was forced to change tack and issue a Public Tender for the works.

Jamnagar Export Refinery Project

JERP was a Design and Construction contract for 124km of offshore pipelines, 3 SPMs and associated shore-works for crude import and petrol/diesel export from the Jamnagar refinery of Reliance.  Total contract value was US$ 246 mill.  As Engineering Manager for the D&C on site my duties were to cover all of the engineering issues for the construction including design of temporary  works, management of the design consultants for the D&C sector, review of all construction and design inputs and assisting with subcontracts and purchasing.  I was the front-line contact for all design and technical issues along with having inputs into planning, construction, marine spreads and all management issues.  I was instrumental in solving many technical issues with piling, temporary works for drilling, fabrication of templates and guides for pile drilling, temporary mooring works, protection cages etc.  My other duties included management of the QA/QC department and close involvement of NCR and RFI closeout, which was a contractural requirement for payment.  The technical closeout of each stage was governed by three separate agencies (RIL, Lloyds and ABS).  Further to this was the closing out of Technical Notes from ABS (American Bureau of Shipping), issued by their inspectors.  These notes were to be finalised prior to the issue of progress payments.

I was successful in completing the engineering inputs to the project before the monsoon season and the temporary suspension of work.

SAWAN Gas Compression Project

SAWAN Gas project was in Pakistan.  This was an upgrade to the existing SAWAN LPG plant to compress and de-water the feed gases to maintain production.  Leighton was preparing the bid documents for tender. Total Value of the Tender was estimated at US$ 400 Mil.  My role was to manage the pre-bid engineering, including the evaluation of the consultants, preparation of the scope of work for consultants, review of the associated costs and planning for the bid documents as a whole.  I was also responsible for the contractual content of the bid, including the definition of the scope of work, engineering resources and the review of all documents to be submitted.

Late in the bid stage, Leighton International decided to abandon its bid for this project to concentrate on Shallow Water Marine works.


Senior contact for all engineering issues for Civil, Building and Oil & Gas Operations

Overall management of all subcontract inputs, with design, engineering, contract and support issues

Planning responsibility for the works

Document Control and QA/QC management for all disciplines

Design/Engineering review and input for all disciplines

Contractor and Client relationships

Full management reporting responsibility

Sep 2006 - Feb 2007

Construction Manager

Leighton International


Al Shaqab Academy – Equestrian Arena

Al-Shaqab is the Emirs' equestrian centre for Doha in Qatar.  The project is a construct-only contract for the arena, hospital, accommodation, stables and Emiri facilities, along with the associated infrastructure.  Total project cost is US$ 240 mil.  I was Construction Manager for the Arena building for this project.  My primary duty was to sort out the construct-ability and engineering associated with the design.  The documentation of the arena was poor and the structural and MEP design had many flaws.  I was instrumental in solving many of the problems with the construction, including innovative on-site problem solving.  The second duty I performed was to control and manage the construction of the Arena.  This included all procurement, recruitment of all staff and labour, fiscal reporting, safety, QA/QC and daily running of the site.  I took the construction phase from earthworks through to construction of temporary workshops for the Structural Steel contractor and up to superstructure concrete level.

At this stage of construction I was transferred to India to continue with Leighton India.


Senior contact for all issues on site

Overall management of all subcontract inputs, with design, engineering, method and material reviews

Planning responsibility for the whole site

QA/QC and document control responsibility for whole project

Design/Engineering review and input for all disciplines

Government and Client relationships

Full management reporting responsibility

Mar 2006 - Sep 2006

Senior Resident Engineer

CANSULT-Maunsell Qatar


Al-Khor City Development

Al-Khor Development was to create a new city from a greenfield site, opposite the existing Al-Khor town settlement in the northern area of Qatar.  A consortium of companies was involved in the design with Cansult being the lead consultant.  Estimated built cost was in excess of US$ 4bn.

Al-Khor City was to be designed by the Charrette Process, a consultative workshop where all interested parties are invited to participate.  The aim of this is to shorten the development time by having agreement on basic design principles from the beginning.  The team consisted of architects, urban planners, masterplanners and engineers from Canada, Singapore, Dubai and Qatar. My role in the team was to coordinate all of the design effort and to manage the client input to the design.  The first of the Charette workshops was a great success with much of the preliminary architectural concept being completed and agreed by the client.

Amwal Tower – Doha, Qatar

Amwal Tower was a commercial development, in the most popular and attractive area of West Bay, in Doha, Qatar.  The West Bay area was the scene of frenetic building activity with approximately 50 towers being planned or under construction most of which were to be ready for the 2006 Asian Games.

The Amwal Tower was a glass and concrete facade 22-storey commercial building with ground floor podium reception area, flexible office floor space to 20 floors around a central core and a multi purpose public area top floor, fitted out as a fitness facility. Additionally, there were three underground floors of parking with approximately 300 spaces in addition to surface parking. The tower will become Amwal's headquarters.  The total built cost was US$150 mil.


Management of Charrette Design Process for Al-Khor City – New city for 20,000 people, including residential, High Rise, Commercial areas, services etc.

CM/SRE for 24 storey high rise commercial complex  - Site Based Role (Offices and Retail).

May 2002 - Dec 2004

Engineering Manager / Senior Professional

GHD Global


Khalifa Stadium – Sports City Complex, Doha

Khalifa Stadium was the premier arena for the Asian Games.  It was a partial demolition and reconstruction with a new roof, lighting arch along with all services, HV/MV, HVAC etc.  The project value at completion was US$ 180 mil.


A team was formed to complete the design of the landscaping for Khalifa Sport City.  The site was 145 Hectares of land surrounding the present Khalifa Stadium in Doha.  The Sport City was to house many of the competition venues for the up-coming Asian Games in 2006.  The design was to encompass Khalifa Stadium, Aspire Competition Dome, Khalifa Swimming Centre, the Ladies Exercise Club and various other ancillaries such as a hospital, training track and many landscape elements.  The design was a competition masterplan, which was won by GHD in conjunction with an Australian landscape architect partner.  I coordinated and managed all of the above and underground services for the site, whether existing or proposed.  I managed the services designs by others and confirmed the services locations and inputs for each individual building, culminating in a coherent masterplan.  This was further complicated by the landscape design, as there were many hard surface areas that required drainage and/or soakaways for surface water.  I dealt with and resolved many coordination and clashing issues satisfactorily in conjunction with all parties.  I also resolved many issues regarding demarcation.  In Qatar, services such as drainage, telecoms and sewerage are owned, installed and operated by the state.  As this was a private development, I had to allow for easements for the services in the design, and it was my responsibility to ensure that these easements were accessible in the design.The whole landscape concept had to come together to give a seamless “picture” of swords, palm leaves and the Qatari flag in a giant carpet, overlaying the 145 hectare site.  This was achieved and is now complete in Doha.


The design of Khalifa Stadium was done by Cox-PTW Architects in Australia as part of a competition submission with GHD in Doha.  From the design concept, several packages were defined and some let out to external consultants to complete.  Structural engineering was sub-let to Ove-Arup in Australia, with the design verification by Sinclair-Knight in the UK.  When this design was completed and was transferred to site, I was in charge of the engineering and verification process, which highlighted a number of fatal errors and flaws in the contractors design and shop drawings for construction.  I had the responsibility of sorting out these design problems in conjunction with a Structural Engineer on site plus the consultants and contractors.  Other areas of the design were also affected by the structural changes and I coordinated these with the architectural MEP and civil designs.  These problems were successfully solved by changes in the design and the structure was able to be completed, albeit late in the program.


Khalifa Stadium reconstruction was a project to demolish and rebuild an existing Olympic Standard stadium in preparation for the Asian Games in 2006.  I was seconded to the Engineering Managers position on site after completing the design of the stadium and the associated landscaping.  My first assignment was to sort out and improve the document and drawing control system, along with coordinating the design changes noted above. The drawing and document control system was established according to ISO 9001 protocols and in line with the GHD corporate quality policy.  I established an electronic database (Access) to track shop drawings, RFI’s, NCR’s etc.  The database utilised built-in reports to give feedback on the progress of all submittals and these were attached to the weekly progress meeting minutes.  After writing this database and organising the submittals, the time taken to review shop drawings reduced from 24 days average to 5 days average for all disciplines. During construction, I was responsible for all engineering inputs and outputs for the site.  I was the point of contact and review for all submittals, inspection sign-off, drawing sign-off and final handover of all areas for MEP, architectural, structural and civil.  I had 12 staff reporting to me including discipline engineers, architects and inspectors.  I was managing these operations on site as well as the activities of one package contractor for pre-cast concrete. My overall responsibilities for the project were engineering, quality, document control, handover/closeout and site safety issues.

Al-Khor and Umm Slal Village Design

Al Khor and Umm Slal were two small towns in Qatar that the government were reconstructing and improving.  I was part of a team of engineers designing roads, services and drainage for these communities.  I used MX and AutoCAD for the design work and then gave packages of work to draftspersons to complete.  I checked and commented on the work of the draftspersons and managed the design process.  I integrated topographical survey from three survey consultants for the whole of the project.  I managed the topographical survey final drawings for each, as these were a milestone in the design process.  Approval of these drawings was worth AU$ 900,000


Managing engineering input into the construction for all disciplines

Design review of all steelwork, concrete and materials used in the project

Management of inspections and closeouts for all areas

Document and QA/QC Management

Review and final approval of all contractor submissions

Contractor/Subcontractor approval and management

Oct 1999 - May 2002

Design Manager

Opus International Consultants

As Design Manager I was responsible for all aspects of design work across two Opus offices in WA.  This design work included overlay and reconstruction of roads and highways, road signing, direction signage, intersection design and other engineering projects for utilities and service providers in southern WA.  I used MX (Infrasoft) and AutoCAD as the primary design software to design overlays, intersections and major roads, translating these designs into AutoCAD and defining the scope for my two draftspersons to continue the work.  I was responsible for the overall design standards, review and supervision of the draftspersons.  I reviewed all drawings from these two draftspersons, along with all design input that they implemented.  I was also responsible for the IT systems.  I designed, procured and maintained the IT system for the WA offices of OPUS, including the setup of VPN services to New Zealand and between offices in WA.

Oct 1997 - Oct 1999

Engineering Design

Private Contractor

I was a private contractor in Western Australia where I worked on short-term contracts with many of the main Consultant Engineers and Government Departments.  I was successful in maintaining my own business for two years.  During this time I worked as a Senior Draftsperson, civil designer and roads, rail and drainage designer.


Road Design and Intersection Design – Roadswest Engineering Group

I was involved as part of a team of engineers and designers in many road and intersection design projects.  This was both as a draftsperson and as a designer.  I set up and designed full intersection geometry to Ausroads and Main Roads standards using survey, land issue data, road and intersection geometry, line marking standards and signals and street lighting.  I presented all of this data as drawings using AutoCAD and various add-ins to MRWA established codes and drafting standards in a timely manner.

Rail Design – Department Of Transport WA

My main role was to assist the senior designer with the layout of the rail track alignments through the station platforms and to design the geometry that then dictated the layout of the platforms themselves.  To do this, I used 12D software which I learnt on the job.  I then translated these designs into AutoCAD as the design was completed.  I then completed the design and drawings to DOT standards, with assistance from two junior draftspersons. I also coordinated with consultant designers to design and draft the rail maintenance yards.  I translated the calculations done by the consultant into drawings using 12D and AutoCAD for inclusion in the masterplan design drawings

Traffic/Rail Signal Layout – Department Of Transport WA

Within the position at DOT I was also responsible for coordinating input from many outside specialists.  One of those was for road/rail signalling and electronic control of train movement.  I assisted a consultant to design and draft lay out drawings to established standards from data that was sent in remotely (e-mail).  I received the data and interpreted design data from the consultant.  I then drafted the layouts based on standards, research and calculations for the designer to review.  This was completed over a three month period with very little rework.

Project Quality and Document Control – Department Of Transport WA

The final part of my position with DOT was Quality and Document control for the project.  I was responsible for the review of all documentation, both in and out, the storage of all documents and electronic data on the server and backup of this data.

Feb 1995 - Oct 1997


SCM/Millennium Chemicals

I was employed as a Researcher for Millennium Chemicals (formerly SCM Chemicals) in Bunbury for their Titanium Dioxide processing plant.  I was primarily researching finishing processes for the pigment to aid both production and quality improvements.

High Gloss Pigment Coatings – Millennium Chemicals

Gloss of a pigment is the gloss development of the resin and binder that the pigment is in.  Gloss development can be measured by a reflectance type meter as the amount of light reflected from the coated surface at a specified angle.  Pigment gloss is affected by many factors including pigment passivation, coating type, pH etc. I undertook an investigation into the state of the art, including tests on the current market products.  Based on this data, I designed a set of experiments to reproduce the properties important in the market pigments (gloss, durability etc).  My research further indicated that some gloss gains were made from adding trace heavy transition metals.  I discounted some of these as they were not available in the market in production quantities but I was able to identify four metal salts that were earmarked for laboratory experimentation.  I formulated a series of laboratory scale tests that concentrated on the main parameters.  I was able to demonstrate the benefits of the trace metal additions, but not the cost, as to obtain any benefit, the addition amounts were excessive. The second part of the research was looking at process issues, such as mixing, pH, addition order, addition rates etc.  The aim was to change the nature of the existing coating chemistry to improve the gloss.  From this research a matrix of experimental work was formulated. The experimental work was all laboratory based, with little engineering in this task.

Multi-Disk Grinding Mills – Millennium Chemicals

The largest consumer of energy in the pigment process was the wet fine grinding process.  Traditionally this was achieved using Sand Mills, which were essentially attrition mills with silica sand as the media.  The energy efficiency of these mills was very low, as many attrition millings are.  Contamination of the final product by silica was also an increasing problem as production was under pressure to improve product quality.  I headed a small team assembled to look at sand milling from both an engineering and chemistry point of view with the aim of reducing silica carryover and improving energy efficiency. I conducted research into the best practices of attrition milling and their suitability to grinding to below 2 micron particle size and to retrofitting to the existing process infrastructure, which was an important design constraint.  I was able to focus on two areas (1) the mill engineering and (2) the grinding media.  My research was also a detailed study of the present production, including particle sizes, silica content, power inputs and physical properties of the pigments, comparing with standards and set targets at all phases.  I conducted a mill-wide analysis of particle sizes and gloss/durability analyses, including historical data.  I published the research along with recommendations for plant trials.  The outcome of my research was to trial in the laboratory spherical Zirconium Oxide pellets.  These had a higher density than the silica sand and were of a more uniform particle size distribution.  The higher density was to help with the attrition efficiency and to stop the upflow of the media which was common with sand.  Zirconium Oxide was also much harder than silica, leading to less attrition of the media and less carryover with the product pigment.  The drawback was the cost of Zirconium versus that of sand, but this was justified because of the longer life as a media, which was extended by up to 10 times.  I designed a series of laboratory scale trials that showed that there were definite advantages in this media, including less carryover, improved particle size and similar power inputs to that of sand.  I was able to demonstrate that the “fluidization” of the regularly shaped Zirconium was easier, possibly leading to better attrition efficiency, which matched my research.  From the laboratory trials, I designed and build a pilot-scale mill with multiple shafts (4).  My research indicated that having more than one rotor and baffling should also increase the mixing and fluidization, leading to better attrition and to a reduction in per-tonne power usage.  I also purchased and installed specialised instrumentation to measure power input and control rotor speeds.  With this mill, I was able to analyse both the single shaft and multi-shaft hypotheses along with both the sand and Zirconium. I ran many laboratory trials using the single shaft mill first to analyse the effect of the Zirconium media.  From this data, I designed a full-scale plant trial.  I engineered the installation of new piping and pumping circuits in the grinding mill to isolate two mills.  These two mills were then filled with the zirconium beads and run as per the trial matrix.  The extra piping allowed the pigment product to be loaded separately for transport to the finishing plant where I also isolated a whole section of the plant (storage, washing, coating and micronising) for the trial material.  At the end, I blended the trial pigment back into the normal production in a controlled way such that the production was not affected.  All testing for physical and chemical parameters was done on pre, during and post trial pigments.  The results of the plant trial, run over a week period, were very successful, demonstrating the efficiency of the zirconium media.  All key parameters improved over the standard pigments.  Further benefits were found in micronising since the pigment feed had a better particle size and less silica content.  I was able to demonstrate savings in steam and wear in the micronisers due to the lower silica content of the final pigment, and the finer particle size of the feed. In parallel with the above, I ran laboratory trials with the 4-shaft mill with both sand and zirconium media.  The aim of the trials was to show that 1 large mill was more efficient than 4 standard size mills, with the added benefits of the zirconia media.  Power inputs, shaft speeds and media loadings were all varied in a controlled matrix to test the above hypothesis.  The results of these trials were analysed and compared to all of the standard pigments.  I was not able to demonstrate that power efficiency of the 4 shaft mill was improved over the single shaft mill however, I was able to demonstrate that the fluidity of the pigment in a multi-shaft mill was much improved.

Deposition of Phosphate in Pigment Coatings – Millennium Chemicals

This project was a chemistry task, designed to find the mechanism of Phosphate (Sodium Hydrogen Phosphate) deposition onto the surface of Titanium Dioxide pigment.  Phosphate was the best and most effective additive for the improvement of durability in paint pigments.  The accepted theories ranged in views of how, where and when the Phosphate ions were precipitated during the treatment process.  What was known was that the durability (passivating) of the pigment surface was improved by the addition of Phosphate to the treatment scheme.  I first carried out research into current Phosphate –containing pigment formulations and demonstrated that there were many differing views on the mechanism, addition chemistry and addition conditions required for an optimum improvement using Phosphates.  I was also able to demonstrate in this project how good experimental technique is important and can yield solid, defendable data. I designed an experimental scheme to show the definitive point or points where the Phosphate precipitated into the pigment surface and what, if any, were the conditions and other ions that were involved in this precipitation. I  designed the experiment so that small samples could be extracted from the reaction vessel at all points during the treatment process. I used four different treatment recipes and these were analysed in the experiment, with samples taken at every change in conditions (eg. pH, temperature, chemical addition, hold time, etc.).  I analysed the samples using XRF, C/S and XRD to determine the total mineral contents.  I was able to demonstrate that the Phosphate mechanism was in two stages.  One stage was just after heating and initial pH adjustment, the second stage was the last in the process, where the remaining Phosphate ions precipitated with the Alumina.  These results both reinforced the theories at the time.

Ceramic Micronisers – Millennium Chemicals

Micronisers are sub-micron size grinding machines utilizing super-sonic steam in a vortex to achieve attrition of very small particles of pigment.  The traditional material of the machine is high carbon steel.  The fundamental design problem, bot in materials and engineering is that titanium pigments erode the steel, limiting production rates and discolouring the white pigment.  The erosion also limits the life of the machine and increases maintenance costs.  As pressures were put on production and quality a new material or process was needed.  I was part of a team, including engineers, production personnel and suppliers that was looking at ceramic wear liners. The problems that had o be overcome in the project were to do with cost, vibration and the accuracy of the moulding of the ceramic.  I researched the ceramics to find easily mouldable materials that could withstand vibration, or that could be made to withstand vibration by supporting the internal liner.  I was able to identify two ceramics that had many of the features required, one that was expensive but fitted the criteria almost fully and one cheaper material that matched 80%.  I recommended that both should be evaluated, as the extra cost could be offset by other parameters. I designed the basic wear liner for the laboratory microniser and managed the manufacture of these by a subcontractor.  The outer casing was stainless steel and this was designed by another engineer.  I designed a matrix of experiments to compare the three micronisers for a variety of parameters including production rate, pigment quality, iron carryover and wear rates.  I was able to demonstrate that, in all of the pertinent areas, the ceramic was superior except that it was vulnerable to vibration damage.  The vibration was a fundamental characteristic of the machine, and my research showed that it was caused by the super-sonic shock waves that built up in the steam jetstream.  The decision was made to go ahead with a full scale trial of the ceramic in the plant and to control the vibration to a minimum.  The ceramic was in service for two weeks before being removed and checked for dimensions, wear and any evidence of cracks.  The use of ceramics was justified from the wear statistics alone however the vibration problems at start-up and shutdown created some cracking.  The vibration would have to be controlled to ensure the life of the ceramic liners.

Ceramic Washing & Filtration – Millennium Chemicals

Traditionally, pigment washing machinery has focussed on large, fabric covered vacuum washers which have low throughput and an average efficiency.  Washers were classified “efficient” if the product was low in salts and of high solids content. New technology was released, primarily for the mining and minerals processing market, utilising vertical, porus ceramic disks.  This technology claimed that it could achieve much higher throughputs for much smaller machine footprints.  With the porus ceramic material, maintenance was claimed to be lower and easier.  Working with the supplier, I was able to obtain a sample disk for laboratory evaluation.  I trialled this disk on all of the production grades, with good results for dewatering and washing.  In parallel I undertook further research into ceramic disk filters.  I was able to determine that it was an established technology in other industries, but not in pigments.  I published the results of my research with recommendations for plant trials based on my short laboratory trials.  I then evaluated the supplied disk segments further in the laboratory, with a recommendation of two segments that could be trialled in a pilot plant.  I selected two disks based on throughput, washing efficiency and dewatering ability.  A pilot scale (1 disk rotor) filter was installed in the plant by the supplier and I evaluated this over the next few months on a continuous basis.  I was not able to demonstrate any efficiency in the plant.  The results of the pilot plant were not encouraging due to the thixotropic nature of some pigment grades.  These grades did not adhere to the disks sufficiently to allow for any throughput.  This was further complicated by the scheduling of production.  To be fully efficient, the disks would have to be changed to suit each grade, resulting in down-time.  No one disk was suitable for all grades.  After the plant trial, the idea was abandoned.

Low Abrasion Pigments – Millennium Chemicals

Printing inks for the Gravure Offset process require low abrasive pigments to prevent wear of vital press components.  The mechanism by which pigment becomes abrasive or not in this process needed much research as there were many theories.  In reality it was an engineering problem in the gravure process that required an elegant solution from the pigment manufacturers.  I was responsible for the project to investigate the mechanism and to suggest how the abrasion problem could be tackled. There were many pieces of apparatus available in the market to test the abrasive properties of inks.  I undertook a full review of all of the available machines, however the research showed that only one machine filled all of the criteria.  I also carried out research into acceptable standards for test pieces and the methods of evaluation.  I found that, although there were many empirical standards, there were few quantitative measures of abrasion for pigments.  I recommended to purchase the selected machine and to purchase some useful empirical test pieces that could be evaluated and used in a quantitative method. I was able to find a baseline for abrasion in one of the competitive pigments.  My research showed that one particular grade was accepted as being the benchmark and I was able to match this to the results collected from the testing machine. I then designed a set of experiments to reproduce the abrasion noted in my research on the Gravure press.  I compared both production pigments and pigments from the market with the baseline I established, along with a matrix of laboratory samples that I prepared of various treated pigments.  A key outcome of this matrix was the difference between “Blue Tone” and “Neutral Tone” base pigments.  Produced using different TiO2 reactors, this outcome was the most significant.  The challenge then was to produce “Neutral Tone” pigment using the “Blue Tone” reactor, and I designed a plant trial for this outcome. This project was still on-going when I left Millennium Chemicals.





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