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Built environment winners in this year’s Australia Day awards

Professor Richard de Dear at the SAMBA launch

The University of Sydney’s leading academic in thermal research, Professor Richard de Dear, has been honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) at the Australia Day Honours awards 2020.

Professor de Dear has spent 35 years investigating thermal comfort in buildings, including work to devise more robust methodologies for assessing indoor environment quality (IEQ).

He’s written over 250 peer-reviewed papers on the topic and his models for determining IEQ have informed many thermal comfort standards around the world.

Also representing the built environment at this year’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony was Dyan Currie, Brisbane City Council’s chief planner, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Ms Currie has been tasked with leading the development and delivery of strategic planning outcomes for the New World City agenda, the council’s plans to drive the city’s economic growth for the next seven years and beyond.

A planner in Western Australia for over 50 years, the late Eric Lumsden, was also appointed an AM.

A total of 837 people were recognised at the 2020 Australia Day Awards Ceremony, which highlights those making a difference in their local communities and across the nation.

A number of environmentalists and conservationists were honoured, including environmental scientist and veterinarian Dr Claire Oelrichs for her work saving endangered species, including orangutans in Borneo and elephants in Sumatra.

One of Australia’s most promising young urbanists, HY William Chan, was also honoured with a high-profile award over the weekend.

The Sydney urban planner and circular economy innovator has earned a spot on the Australian of the Year Awards Honour Roll in the Young Australian of the Year category. He’s also been appointed an Australia Day Ambassador.

Chan has some incredible achievements to date, including the development of a desktop tool that allows refugees in camps to turn plastic waste into useful 3D building components, such as locks and structural elements. He took this innovation to the 2018 General Assembly and presented it as a headline speaker at TEDxYouth 2019.

Currently working at Cox Architecture, he became the only architecture practitioner to be listed globally in the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Lists for 2019. He has also made the GreenBiz 30 Under 30 List in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Business.

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