Excellence in Earth Leakage Innovation

Ampcontrol and ResTech have won the 2013 National Engineers Australia Innovation Award for their pioneering engineering work to protect personnel in the underground mining industry.

The winning submission, titled Management of VSD Earth Leakage Currents in Fault Limited Networks, is the culmination of seven years of research into the significant hazards Variable Speed Drives can cause in electrical systems.

The project also involved educating the industry on the previously unknown hazards along with the development of an electrical protection relay to protect plant and personnel underground.

Ampcontrol’s Chief Technical Officer, Tim Wylie, said: “This award is testament to the skills of our people along with our capacity to research, engineer, manufacture and commercialise innovative technology”.

“ResTech and Ampcontrol have built a reputation for technical excellence and innovative product development. To be recognised by Engineers Australia as a leader in research and innovation within our field is a great achievement and we are very proud of this Award”.

The project exemplifies the role of engineering in developing and testing theories to solve real world problems and to then provide commercially acceptable solutions.

This award follows an earlier win for the project at the Newcastle Engineering Excellence Awards. Ampcontrol was also awarded Newcastle and National Engineering Excellence Awards in 2010 for the design of the world’s first 11kV longwall electrical system and a 2012 Newcastle Division Highly Commended award for the design and manufacture of Australia’s first 132kV Emergency Response Mobile Substation.

Take a look at the highlights of the 2013 National Engineering Excellence Awards.