Global Engineering Debate on Transport

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Talk or debate
24 November 2016 18:00 - 20:00
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Global Engineering Debate on Transport 2016

The Australian leg of the IMechE's Global Engineering Debate on Transport will be held in Melbourne on the 24th November 2016.

The topic of the debate will be:

"Back to the future: What is the future of local Transport?"

A few sound-bytes highlight just how important questions surrounding transportation technology are:

"Safe, efficient and sustainable domestic and international transport systems are vital to Australia's continuing prosperity." - Australian Department for Infrastructure & Regional Development.

“The volume of traffic on Melbourne's freeways is on course to double in just 20 years,” - According to data gathered by VicRoads.

"Congestion in Sydney was the most expensive this year at $6.1 billion, followed by Melbourne at $4.6 billion, Brisbane at $2.3 billion, Perth at $2 billion and Adelaide at $1.1 billion." - Canberra Times, citing report by the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development.

The intention of the Global Engineering Debate is to allow engineers and researchers from around the world working in the transport sector to have their say, and to discuss some of the challenges surrounding technology development and deployment required to ensure the continued safety, efficiency and environmental acceptability of Australia's transport systems. The results from the national debates will be compiled into a report by the IMechE's Young Members Board, to capture the views of engineers around the world.

Format of the Debate

1. Introduction by the chairperson (5 minutes)
2. Initial vote by audience (by Smart Phone)
3. Speaker representing each transport technology will present their position (5 minutes each).
4. Debate itself to take place, driven by questions from the audience (up to 60 minutes)
5. Follow up vote by audience
6. Closing remarks / summing up by chairperson (5 minutes).


Andrew Lezala​Andrew Lezala is a business leader and engineer with 35 years of experience in the rail industry, Andrew started his career as a British Railways engineering graduate and spent 10 years in vehicle design, project engineering and maintenance. With a move into the private sector, Andrew started to manage businesses and lead transformations, spending much of his time restructuring and growing rail related operations.

Andrew has been President of Daimler Chrysler’s world-wide metro business, CEO of Jarvis Rail and Metronet, and President of Bombardier Transportation’s world wide Services Division. Andrew was based in Beijing for four years with ABB before being appointed to lead what is now Bombardier Australia. After a 10 year absence, Andrew returned to Melbourne as CEO of Metro, a purpose-built private-sector consortium appointed by the Victorian Government to operate and grow Melbourne’s metropolitan railway. Andrew is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the IMechE and Engineers Australia.



Matt Proudlock has worked for four years at Ford motor company as an engineer for exhaust systems developing exhaust after-treatment solutions to meet the increasingly stringent vehicle emissions standards. He works on global Ford platforms delivering products which are used throughout the world. The after-treatment solutions aim to minimise the harmful exhaust emissions to the atmosphere whilst enabling maximum fuel efficiency.

Prior to this Matt worked in a number of diesel engine related fields from freight locomotives and large superyachts through to small agricultural equipment and tractors. In each of these positions, emissions reduction has been a key driver.

Matt is currently the assistant hon. sec. for the Australian branch of the IMechE and compiles and edits the regular News Bulletin for distribution throughout Australia

Rail Transport

Daniel Robson

Daniel Rabson is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a career focused on passenger rolling stock. He has worked across the full rolling stock lifecycle, from procurement strategy and tendering through to test and commissioning of new fleets; most notably whilst working for London Underground and Siemens in the UK.

Daniel has led development of the maintenance, depot and stabling strategy for various projects, including High Speed Two Ltd. He is currently part of the Through Life Engineering team at SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit Australia delivering performance and reliability improvement for trains in passenger service.

City Logistics & IoT

Russell Thompson is an Associate Professor in Transport Engineering in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne. His research areas are urban freight, resilient transport systems and intelligent transport systems.

Russell was a founding Director and has been the Vice President of the Institute for City Logistics based in Kyoto since 1999. He is also a Team Leader of the Volvo Research and Education Foundation’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Urban Freight Systems.

Russell leads the Transport research program in the Centre of Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS) and coordinates projects relating to the disruption and recovery of traffic networks, traffic guidance systems and humanitarian logistics.


Kris Wiwatowski is a keen, experienced cyclist, with many miles clocked in Australia, New Zealand, China and Korea. Kris is a user of the public bicycle networks in Melbourne, NanNing, Beijing and Changwon.

Kris works as an engineer designing trains (in particular suspension systems). Kris does not own a car and relies  solely on public transport and cycling to get about.

Non-Transport Solutions (Increased use of Remote-Working, etc.)

Khalid Abdulla is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, a PhD student at the University of Melbourne and a Research Intern at IBM Research Australia. Before moving to Australia he worked for 5 years as a Design and Project Engineer for the wave energy company Aquamarine Power. His research interests are related to optimizing the operation of energy storage systems, to enable the integration of a greater proportion of renewable energy in our electricity supply systems.

He is also a passionate believer in the "Reduce, Re-use, Recycle" order of priorities when it comes to waste and environmental responsibility, and in the debate he will be representing technologies which can help reduce the amount of local transport that needs to happen, from increased use of home-offices to the adoption of tele-health services.

Have Your Say

If you would like to speak on behalf of a particular transport technology or set of technologies please get in touch with Khalid at:

Otherwise please come along as an attendee to have your say. The event is free to attend, but please register so we can have an idea of numbers for catering refreshments and also keep you updated with any changes.

Attendees are asked to bring a mobile device with a web browser if they have one as we will be carrying out the votes using mentimeter.

Thursday 24th November 2016 6.00pm - 8.00pm
(refreshments available from 17:30).

For more information please contact:

Khalid Abdulla
+61 (0)449 557 231


The debate will be Chaired by Andrew Lezala, CEO at Metro Trains Melbourne, Australia.


Seminar Space, Lab-14, Carlton Connect,
700 Swanston Street,
Carlton, VIC

Contact Details

Khalid Abdulla
0449 557 231
Melbourne, Australia
Email: Send a message

Alternative contact Nisha Nijhar

Melbourne, Australia
Email: Send a message

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