Congratulations to our Fellows

Nine ATSE Fellows recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours 2023

13 June 2023

FWI-Birthday honours 230613

Nine ATSE Fellows honoured in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours list pictured above.

Nine Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Fellows have been named in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List.  

Our Fellows were among a range of recipients of the General Division of the Order of Australia awards in recognition for ‘distinguished and conspicuous service’ to Australian society.  

ATSE Fellow Distinguished Professor Kingsley Dixon was named as a Companion of the Order of Australia (the highest honour), and Fellow Professor Fiona Stapleton as an Officer of the Order.  

ATSE CEO, Kylie Walker, said, “I am thrilled to see the names of many brilliant applied scientists, technologists, engineers and educators in this, the first year of the King’s Birthday Honours list. I congratulate our Fellows on their well-deserved recognition.”  

“In particular, I would like to extend my special congratulations to our South Australian & Northern Territory Division Membership Coordinator, Professor Peter Langridge; our Mineral Resources Forum Chair, John McGagh; and our Education Forum Deputy Chair, Professor Robyn Owens, for their contributions to the ATSE Fellowship.”  

“On behalf of ATSE’s Fellows, who count over 900 of Australia’s leading engineers and applied scientists, we congratulate you on your remarkable achievements.”  

ATSE Fellows named in the King’s Birthday Honours: 

Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

DIXON Kingsley
Distinguished Professor Kingsley Dixon AC FTSE

Ecology researcher and restorer

For distinguished service to conservation biology, particularly ecological research and restoration, and to tertiary education.


Distinguished Professor Kingsley Dixon’s citation when elected to the academy in 2020:

Kingsley Dixon FTSE

Officer (AO) In the General Division of the Order of Australia

Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton AO FTSE

Optometry science & research leader

For distinguished service to optometry as a researcher, mentor and role model, to tertiary education, and to national and international organisations.


Professor Fiona Stapleton was elected to the Academy in 2018.

At the time of her election, Professor Fiona Stapleton had made outstanding, sustained contributions to the field of eye health and technology, both nationally and internationally, for over 25 years. As an exceptional researcher, mentor & role model for young women, the level of respect she enjoys across the industry and tertiary sector is clear from her senior appointments and influential roles.

Her influence upon the contact lens industry is evidenced by close collaboration, research translation and prestigious awards alike. Moreover, as a proven, valuable contributor to numerous important panels, she has made an exceptional addition to the Fellowship.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Professor Maria Forsyth AM FTSE FAA

Electrochemical materials scientist

For significant service to chemistry education, research and scholarship.  


Read Professor Maria Forsyth’s citation at the time of her election to the Academy in 2022:

Maria Forsyth FTSE FAA

Emeritus Professor Peter Langridge AM FTSE FAA

Plant genomics pioneer

For significant service to science in the field of plant genomics and agriculture. 


Professor Peter Langridge was elected to the Academy in 2016.

At the time of his election, Professor Langridge’s research on molecular genetics had been translated into breeding technologies that are widely applied in public and private cereal crop improvement programs around the world.

He had published six patents and more than 270 papers in refereed international journals; his papers had been cited over 13,000 times. In addition, he had supervised 52 PhD students to completion.

The impact of his work has been recognised through invitations to join editorial boards, to speak at scientific meetings, and to join many advisory committees, review panels and boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board of Bayer CropSciences.

Professor Peter Langridge is currently the South Australian & Northern Territory Division Membership Coordinator.

Dr Anna Lavelle AM FTSE

Science & innovation champion

For significant service to science and innovation through a range of roles.  


Dr Anna Lavelle was elected to the Academy in 2014.

At the time of her election, Dr Anna Lavelle, CEO of Ausbiotech, had played a pivotal role in biotechnology and healthcare innovation and increased investment into the industry. Her greatest contribution to the innovation/technology sector had been championing and delivering the R&D Tax Incentive to fund product development and increase foreign direct investment.

John McGagh AM FTSE

Mineral resources engineer

For significant service to the mining sector as a chemical engineer.  


John McGagh was elected to the Academy in 2013.

At the time of his election, John McGagh was the Global Head of Innovation at Rio Tinto, and had led the development of important research and development centres in universities addressing key technical issues for the global mining industry. The work in these industry-university partnerships encompassed the development and implementation of automation of surface mines, the advanced recovery of minerals through rapid mineral sorting, the reduction of energy required for crushing and grinding processes, and technologies for massive underground block-cave mines. Many important breakthroughs had been made bringing considerable benefits to the mining industry.

John is currently the Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals working party, and is also currently our Mineral Resources Forum Chair. 


Emeritus Professor Robyn Owens AM FTSE FAA

Computer imaging scientist

For significant service to science in the fields of computer vision and mathematics.  


Professor Robyn Owens was elected to the Academy in 2012.

At the time of her election, Professor Robyn Owen’s fundamental research in computer science was of the highest quality, as was her collaborative application of this research to innovations that led to major improvements in human health and wellbeing, nationally and internationally.

She is recognised widely for her scholarship, for her productive collaboration with researchers and practitioners from other disciplines and for her leading contribution to system-wide excellence in research and research policy. She has an outstanding record of contributing her expertise to professional and wider community bodies and to advocacy in the technological sciences and engineering.

Watch our past event about Australia’s Technology Driven Future in the Robotics Industry, where Professor Owens was a speaker:

Innovation Nation: Australia’s Technology Driven Future – the Robotics Industry

Professor Robyn Owens is also currently our Education Forum Deputy Chair. 

TODD Alison

For significant service to medical research and to tertiary education.  


Read Dr Todd’s citation when elected to the Academy in 2019:

Dr Alison Todd

Dr Todd was also one of two Fellows awarded a Prime Minister’s prize for innovation in 2022:

Two ATSE Fellows celebrated as Prime Minister’s Prize winners for Innovation 

Christopher Vonwiller AM FTSE

Science & technology innovator

For significant service to science and technology development.  


Christopher Vonwiller was elected to the Academy in 2007.

At the time of his election to the Academy, Christopher Vonwiller had been an outstanding leader for over 30 years in International Telecommunications & Advanced ICT products and services, playing a major role in the technical and commercial evolution of OTC and Telstra. Particularly in leading the team that created and introduced Telstra Big Pond; in leading the creation and commercial success of Appen Pty Ltd, an Australian company that has become a global leader in speech and language technology, and won Australian and NSW Exporter of the Year awards; as a distinguished Australian representative on important International bodies, including Intelsat and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation; and as Chairman and President of the Pacific Telecommunications Council.