Innovation Hero Award Winners

The Warren Centre’s annual Innovation Hero Awards program recognises Australians and Australian-based people or teams who bring great ideas to life.

2013 Innovation Heroes

TWC Executive Director Nick Cerneaz with 2013 winners Michael Hammer, Hugh Stevenson & Phil Wilson

The Innovation Hero Awards are awarded to leading innovators for the role they play in driving Australia’s economic and social progress.

Our gallery of previous winners encompasses some of the finest engineers, scientists, product development and commercialisation experts that Australia has to offer.

In 2014, the Innovation Heroes were:

  • Ron Weinberger
    • Ron Weinberger led the team development and commercialisation of Nanosonics’ ultrasonic nano-nebulization Trophon EPR technology. This technology utilises ultrasonic nano-nebulisation to produce a sterilising mist for high level disinfection in a device which is the first fully automated system for carrying out such disinfections.
  • Clyde Campbell
    • Clyde Campbell led the team development and commercialisation of Machinery Automation & Robotics’ Robotic Idler Changer. This technology is capable of replacing idlers on loaded, operational conveyors, providing mine sites with the ability to conduct predictive maintenance on conveyors in a safe environment without downtime.

In 2013, the Innovation Heroes were:

  • Michael Hammer, Philip Wilson, Hugh Stevenson  Agilent
    • Michael led the team development and commercialisation of Agilent’s 4100 Microwave Plasma – Atomic Emission Spectrometer (MP-AES) used to measure trace amounts of contaminants in water and food samples, elements of economic importance in geological samples in mine sites, and wear metal contaminants in used oil samples, to name just three of countless applications. Philip and Hugh made vital contributions in signal processing and development/commercialisation respectively.

In 2012 the Innovation Heroes were:


Nick Cerneaz, TWC Executive Director; Ian Hedley and Dr Alexander Zelinsky, 2012 Innovation Heroes

  • Ian Hedley – Trilift® and Safe-Away®
    • Ian Hedley has developed a considerable number of products over the last 31 years of business. These innovations range from G.E.T. (Ground Engaging Tools), lighting towers, water carts, service trucks, wear plate systems, access systems and component lifting products.  These innovative and unique products have been patented globally.
  • Frank Seeley AM – Seeley International
    • Frank Seeley AM, together with Mark de Koeyer and Paul Allwood, developed the world’s first noncondensing five star ducted gas heating range, and the world’s first six star ducted gas heating range.
  • Dr Alexander Zelinsky – Seeing Machines & CSIRO
    • Dr Alex Zelinsky has played a leading role driving a series of innovations within the Australian ICT sector.  From the founding of startup technology companies such as Seeing Machines and Funnelback to roles as CSIRO’s Group Executive for Information Sciences and Director of the CSIRO ICT Centre, to his most recent appointment as Chief Defence Scientist and head of DSTO, Dr Zelinsky has inspired significant innovation throughout the Australian economy.

In 2011 the Innovation Heroes were:

  • Jason Bender, Simon Hewitt, Richard Jacka, James Lenon – Emue Technologies: developed and deployed a world first Customer Authentication solution designed to protect users of online services, such as banking and shopping, against fraud and identity theft.
  • Dr Karl Föger – Ceramic Fuel Cell Technologies: a world leader in developing solid oxide fuel cell technology to provide reliable, energy efficient and low-emission electricity from natural gas.
  • Dr Ying Gu – JK Research: developed the automated Mineral Liberation Analyzer to identify minerals in drill cores and lump materials and to quantify mineral abundance, grain size, and liberation.
  • Richard Tamba, Stephen Tapper, Darren Firth, Graham Mowbray – NTC Powertrain: perfected the hydraulic and mechanical controls for the dual-clutch technologies used by Borg-Warner, VW and many other auto manufacturers.
  • Dr Anthony Collins – Sonartech Atlas: pinpoints the exact location and characteristics of sub-hunting active sonars which allows the submarine to maintain a tactical advantage.
  • Peter Clarke, Jochen Franke – Scanalyse Pty Ltd: MillMapper’s laser scanner of liners in grinding mills and specialised software extracts information, reduces operating costs, increase production levels and reduces energy costs.

In 2010 the Innovation Heroes were:

  • Dr Simon Poole, Australia’s leading entrepreneur in the area of optical communications & instrumentation achieving world-wide success as Finisar Australia.
  • Dr Steven Frisken, for development of the world leading optical technology and its patent protection Finisar Australia designs, develops and manufactures these products.
  • Professor Gernot Heiser. Open Kernel Labs is a foremost computer operating systems research group.  Their outstanding product, the L4 microkernel, is used in more than 500 million mobile phones.
  • Alexander Gosling, co-founder, Director and Chief Executive of Invetech. A company focused on product development through the innovative use of technology.
  • Dr Bob Johnson, pioneered Maptek’s innovative software technology & laser imaging hardware for the mining industry, achieving world-wide success.
  • Neil O’Sullivan and the Management Team, for the design & commercialisation of leading edge switchgear.  Significant environmental benefits result from NOJA Power’s products which eliminate sulfur hexafluoride, a severe greenhouse gas.

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