Dr David Finch has been selected as Queensland’s 2011 Professional Engineer of the Year by Engineers Australia. David is Director of Technology and Risk for the Australia and New Zealand operations of AECOM. He heads both the Office of Risk Management and the Innovation and Technology Council for the ANZ region, overseeing innovation, technical capability, and project delivery for a team of 4,500 people.


The judging panel believes that David epitomises the role of professional engineer. He has proven a high standard of professional engineering performance against the judging criteria of: engineering competence and notable outcomes from engineering work, leadership, creativity and innovation, and service to the profession and to the community.

During his 30 year career David has led projects across a wide range of disciplines from indigenous community infrastructure in outback Australia to major urban transportation projects. Since moving into a senior leadership role in AECOM, David has stayed ‘hands-on’ technically and acts as a mentor to technical staff in the company.

David is passionate about education, both in schools and universities. He has had a continuing association with the University of Queensland since completing his undergraduate and Doctoral studies. He is currently Adjunct Professor in the UQ Civil Engineering Department and has recently been appointed to the Department Advisory Board.

David is also a founding member and current Chair of Engineers Australia’s Queensland subcommittee for Education Linkages. Through this committee, he has worked to improve support for teachers of science and mathematics in schools. The subcommittee is currently in the final stages of developing a series of teacher resources and lesson plans to assist in high school science teaching.


Winners of the State awards are finalists for the National Professional Engineer of the Year award, which will be announced on 23 November 2011 in Canberra at the National Engineering Excellence Awards.