Media Release

29/10/2013
CN Barton Medal to acknowledge bright engineer
Bio-implants and recycled plastic macro fibres in concrete are two of the ideas which have led to students being nominated for James Cook University’s Charles (CN) Barton Medal this week.

CN Barton Medal to acknowledge bright engineer

First published October 29, 2013

Bio-implants and recycled plastic macro fibres in concrete are two of the ideas which have led to students being nominated for James Cook University’s Charles (CN) Barton Medal this week.

The medal, which is named in honour of an eminent civil engineer in Queensland, is awarded each year to the student who has presented the best fourth year engineering thesis seminar at the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences at JCU.

The winning student will be announced on Thursday night (October 31) at the presentation of the annual CN Barton Night in Townsville.

Four students compete, one from each discipline of Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

The overall winner will receive $500 and the three runners up $100 each.

The names of the finalists and the titles of their theses are, in alphabetic order of the disciplines:

Chemical Engineering

Jazmin Kesteven

Viability of Ti-Ta Alloys for Bio-Implant Applications

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Jacob Riella

The use of recycled plastic macro fibres in concrete

Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering

Matthew Priestley

Validation of Variable Frequency Drive Circuit Model

Mechanical Engineering

Tom Bainbridge

Development of a Bulk Material Handling Scale Test Facility, Phase 1: Scale Testing Proof of Concept

Professor Yinghe He, Head of the School of School of Engineering & Physical Sciences said the award was designed to test the students’ ability to communicate their research findings to the general public within a given time limit.

“It is an important skill required of engineers in their professional life,” Professor He said.

“Many past Barton Medal winners become very successful in their careers because of their communication skills.”

Background to CN Barton:

Sir Charlie Barton (1907-1987) was born in Bowen in 1907 and was an eminent civil engineer in Queensland.

Prior to 1939, Barton was an active member of the military and went overseas as Second in Command of the 2/15th Infantry Battalion AIF. He was captured near Tobruk in 1941 and spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Germany. His incarceration gave him time to tutor potential civil engineers and to assist in escape attempts.

After 1945 he returned to Mackay and continued with his practice and with his involvement with the CMF. He became Commanding Officer of 42nd Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment and Colonel of 3rd Cadet Brigade.

In 1963 he was invited by the then Minister of Main Roads, Ernie Evans, to become Commissioner of Main Roads and to re-organise both the Department and the Queensland road system. He decentralised the operations of the Department and made the local District Engineers very influential in their own areas.

In 1968 he was appointed Co-coordinator General of Works, the senior engineering appointment in the Queensland Public Service. He was involved in the establishment of JCU and in initiating research into the effects of wind on structures after cyclone Tracy in Darwin in 1974. After retirement he continued to serve Queensland as member of the Brisbane Port Authority. He died in March 1987 in Auchenflower, Brisbane.

The bridge over the Ross River near JCU is named after him.

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175