A retrospective look at ATSE

Founded in 1976 as one of Australia’s four learned Academies, ATSE was originally established as the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences. In 1987, it was renamed to incorporate Engineering – and soon became known in its current abbreviated form.

Despite the name change, the group’s intention remained the same: to recognise and promote the achievements of Australian scientists, engineers and technologists.

The Inauguration of ATSE

The Academy was officially inaugurated at a ceremony held in Melbourne on 24 February 1976. It was a prestigious event that played host to some of the nation’s most important dignitaries – including the Commonwealth Minister for Science, the Victorian Premier, and the President of the Australian Academy of Science.

At the inauguration, the Academy inducted its first Honorary Fellow, Sir Mark Oliphant – who was, at the time, the Governor of South Australia and its Foundation Fellows.

A year later, the Academy inducted its Royal Fellow, HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE AC PC FRS FAA FTSE. 

Today the Academy has more than 800 Fellows.

The Evolution of ATSE

From the very beginning, the Academy set up a vigorous program of activities – which, at the time, included a comprehensive report on ‘The State of Technology in Australia’ and a ‘National Invitation Symposium on Energy’.

The program in its earliest form set the pattern for a long line of activities, reports and discussions that has followed.