Alumni Medal for Ampcontol’s Peter Cockbain

Peter Cockbain AM, is the recipient of the 2021 Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence at the University of Newcastle Alumni Excellence Awards.


RECOGNITION continues for Ampcontrol’s excellence with Peter Cockbain AM, the co-founder of the Tomago based business, winning the 2021 Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence in the University of Newcastle Alumni Excellence Awards.

The Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence recognises outstanding leadership, knowledge, and professional practice – the highest honour of the University’s Alumni Excellence Awards.

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Peter is a distinguished innovator, entrepreneur, industrialist, philanthropist, and one of Australia’s most highly regarded and influential engineers.

This isn’t the first time that Peter has been recognised for his contribution to engineering.

In 2010, Engineers Australia named Peter one of Australia’s 100 Engineering Leaders of the past century and in 2015 he became a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant services to engineering.

Graduating from a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Newcastle in 1972, Peter has served the University in numerous leadership roles.

Under Peter Cockbain’s leadership, Ampcontrol has maintained strong ties with the University of Newcastle’s College of Engineering, Science and Environment; including supporting undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, internships, lecturing and tutoring, and funding of a Chair in Power Engineering.

Peter acknowledges that the University of Newcastle has been extremely important to his career and to the growth of Ampcontrol.

“Even after I graduated, I still relied on the University to provide a lot of information to me and my team so that we could take Ampcontrol from what it was in 1968 to what it is today, with nearly 1000 employees.

“Over the years, recent undergraduates, postgraduates and even a couple of professors have joined us as we have grown and expanded outside of Newcastle, into the UK, Europe, and America.

“Without the University, none of this would have been possible,” he said.

On winning the Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence, Peter Cockbain AM said, “It is a great honour and surprise to receive a University of Newcastle Alumni Excellence Award, amid the hundreds of thousands of members of the Alumni.

“I sincerely thank the University of Newcastle for this acknowledgement.”

Peter continues to support promising university students in their engineering degree through the Newcastle Division Mentoring program and has coached many technologists and associates in education and vocation; encouraging and investing in their articulation to a professional engineer.

“The biggest thing I am proud of, is that we provide hundreds or possibly thousands of jobs for people.

“We’re now employing two further generations of some of our original employees.

“Another key achievement is that we’ve added to the productivity of industries throughout Australia.

“We’ve also added to the safety margins in our areas of expertise.

“And, in doing so, we’ve created jobs for other people in other industries.”

In March 2020, Ampcontrol responded to the NSW Government’s ‘call-to-arms’ to design an emergency ventilator in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Designing and delivering a fully functional emergency ventilator prototype for testing in just 18 days.

TGA Permission to Supply was achieved within five months of application.

Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO Rod Henderson said, “I wholeheartedly congratulate Peter on winning the Alumni Medal for Professional Excellence; this incredible accolade is a tribute to Peter’s influential contribution to the Australian engineering and manufacturing industry over many decades.

“From humble beginnings in 1968, under Peter’s leadership, Ampcontrol has grown to a global operation of 30 sites and over 830 people around the world.

“Peter’s vision, passion and determination to continuously improve, innovate and manufacture homegrown products have steered Ampcontrol to become the worldwide business success story it is today.”



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