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Celebrating Engineering History: a mini-conference

August 15, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

$20 – $30

An afternoon mini-conference “Celebrating Engineering History” will be held on Thursday 15 August 2019, from 1pm until 5pm, at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. The mini-conference is organised by Engineering Heritage Victoria in partnership with the RHSV.

Engineering has been defined as being “a vital art, working with the great sources of power in nature for the wealth and well-being of the whole of society”.  We often mistakenly think of engineering as being something that started when engineers became a separate profession, but engineering dates back many thousands of years.

Victoria has many outstanding world-leading engineering works, but many of these achievements are not well documented or have been forgotten, and need to be re-discovered and celebrated.

This year Budj Bim became the first indigenous cultural landscape in Australia to gain World Heritage recognition; it also marks the 150th anniversary of the Great Melbourne Telescope; and the 100th anniversary of the Electrification of Melbourne’s suburban railways; and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

The four presentations focused around these significant engineering events will be:

  • Re-discovering our ingenious indigenous heritage
  • Dave Johnston, Director, Aboriginal Archaeologists Australia. Board member ‘Aboriginal History Journal’.
  • The Great Melbourne Telescope: White Elephant or Engineering Marvel
  • Matthew Churchward, Senior Curator, Engineering & Transport, Museums Victoria.
  • The Electrification of Melbourne’s Suburban Railway Network – a world class achievement
  • Miles Pierce, Retired electric engineer, Past-chair, Engineering Heritage Victoria.
  • The Institution of Engineers, Australia was formed in 1919, but why didn’t Victorian engineers join?
  • Ken McInnes, Retired civil engineer, Honorary Research Fellow, eScholarship Research Centre, University of Melbourne.

The image used to illustrate this event is:

Engraving of the Great Melbourne Telescope: an imaginary setting from an English newspaper, 1869
Source: Museum Victoria (SH 950104)


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August 15, 2019
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$20 – $30
Event Category:


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288