Who we are

We promote technology for good and ethical engineering through diverse collaboration and thought leadership.


Our 30 years’ experience of leading the conversation through projects, promotion, events and independent advice drives Australian entrepreneurship and economic growth.


About The Warren Centre

The Warren Centre brings industry, government and academia together to create thought leadership in engineering, technology, and innovation. We constantly challenge economic, legal, environmental, social and political paradigms to open possibilities for innovation and technology and build a better future.

We advocate for the importance of science, technology and innovation. Our 30 years’ experience of leading the conversation through projects, promotion, and independent advice drives Australian entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Named in honour of Professor William Henry Warren, who became Australia’s first academic engineer at the University of Sydney in 1883, The Warren Centre provides independent advice on technology and innovation to government and to industry. We leap ahead of what people are thinking about today, and focus on the places where technology is taking society.

The Warren Centre promotes excellence in innovation through delivering collaborative projects, supporting and recognising innovators across the profession, and providing independent advice to government and industry.

Our people

Ashley blue
Ashley Brinson
Executive Director
Mel purple
Melanie De Gioia
Project Manager
Fiona green
Fiona Hearne
Event & External Relations Manager
Amanda McLeish
Accounts Manager

Our board

The Warren Centre Board ensures that the Centre continues to meet the objectives set by the Founders and Founding Donors and preserves the concept and operating approach that have been a feature of The Warren Centre’s success since opening in May 1983.


Mr Richard Kell AM

Deputy Chair

Ms Kathy Jones (Kathy Jones & Associates)
Professor Michael Dureau AM

Executive Director

Mr Ashley Brinson

Ex-officio Director, The University of Sydney:

Professor Willy Zwaenepoel (Dean of Engineering & Computer Science)


Mr Ian Dart (Logical Technologies Pty Ltd)
Mr Christopher Janssen (GPC Electronics Pty Ltd)
Professor Ron Johnston (ACIIC)
Dr John Lear (JBL Consulting)
Mr Bob Rollinson (Salamander Technologies Pty Ltd)
Ms Fiona Mahony (Telstra)
Mr John Pickhaver (Macquarie Capital)
Mr Ian Oppermann (NSW Data Analytics Centre)

Dick Kell
Richard Kell AM
Kathy Jones
Kathy Jones
Deputy Chair
Mike D
Professor Michael Dureau AM
Deputy Chair
Ashley blue
Ashley Brinson
Executive Director
Willy Z
Professor Willy Zwaenepoel
Ex-Efficio Director, The University of Sydney
Ian Dart
Ian Dart
Christopher Janson
Christopher Janssen
Ron Johnston
Professor Ron Johnston
John Lear
Dr John Lear
Rob Rollinson
Bob Rollinson
Fiona M
Fiona Mahony
John Pickhaver
John Pickhaver
Ian Oppermann
Ian Oppermann

Our story

Professor William Henry Warren delivered the first lecture in engineering at the University of Sydney on 27 March 1883. Earlier that month he was appointed the inaugural lecturer in Engineering in the University’s School of Natural Philosophy and the following year was appointed the first Professor of Engineering. He remained Head of the University’s Department of Engineering for 42 years and, in 1919, became the first President of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering was opened in 1983 to mark the centenary of Warren’s first engineering lecture, a landmark in engineering education in Australia. It was established to foster excellence and innovation in all fields of Australian engineering.

The concept of The Warren Centre was first discussed at a luncheon on 20 September 1979, convened by the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney Professor Sir Bruce Williams, Associate Professor Phil Jones (then Dean of Engineering) and Professor Bob Bilger invited several eminent engineers from industry and the Faculty to discuss how to mark the centenary of Professor Warren’s first engineering lecture. This group concluded that, rather than setting up a ‘monument to the past’, the centenary should be celebrated by establishing a forward-looking institute with a ‘need to concentrate on excellence’ and the knowledge that ‘the involvement and close liaison with industry was important’. Over the next several months, the Centenary Committee was formed to develop the concept of the proposed institute, launch a fundraising appeal and plan the 1983 celebration.

Over 30 years later, we are proud of a long list of achievements in many fields as diverse as high-performance computing, building fire and safety engineering, chemical storage, surface mining, underground space, energy management, smart cars, managing the hi-tech enterprise, telecommunications, CAD, value-adding in manufactured products, and the Medical Device Network. These contributions have only been possible because The Warren Centre has responded to real-world issues and needs, and thereby gained the active involvement and support of our diverse constituency from industry, commerce and the professions.

We are a passionate organisation who brings industry, government and academia together to create thought-leadership in engineering, technology, and innovation.


We need your support!


The innovation network

The Warren Centre Innovation Network aims to foster excellence and innovation in advanced engineering and technology throughout Australia, across industry, government and academia. The Network is a group of prominent innovators who believe that innovation will always be key to Australia’s prosperity and well-being. For the ultimate benefit of the nation, the Network advocates for the success and recognition of advanced engineering and technology across all sectors in Australia. Membership to The Warren Centre Innovation Network is by invitation.


Dr Andrew Botros, Director, Expressive Engineering

Mr Steve Winnall, Vice President Product Development, Baraja

Mr Ashley Brinson, Executive Director, The Warren Centre

Professor Ron Johnston, Executive Director at Australian Centre for Innovation

Ms Daneta Crump, Principal, FPA Patent Attorneys

Ms Georgina North, Operations Manager Engineering Excellence Group, Laing O’Rourke Australia

Mr Tim Neal, Director of Engineering and General Manager, Dolby Australia

Mr Bill Simpson-Young, Chief Executive Officer, Gradient Institute

Mr Andrew Scott, Head of Technology, Telstra Chief Technology Office


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