Alumnus wins inaugural engineering medal

30 November 2015

...it's a lovely recognition of my work to date but also a reminder of how much work we have to do to bring the current opportunities to fruition.

ANU Alumnus and Chief Technology Officer of Canberra-based firm Reposit Power, Lachlan Blackhall, has been chosen as the first recipient of the Batterham Medal for his work in developing software that is now used in Tesla batteries.

The Batterham Medal is an early-career award for a graduate engineer who has achieved substantial industry recognition for his work over the past five years.

The recipient receives a medal and a cash prize of $5,000.

Dr Blackhall, who was named the Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for Young Alumnus of the Year at the 2015 ANU Alumni Awards, graduated with a PhD in Engineering in 2011.

He said it was an honour to win the first Batterham Medal.

"For me it's a lovely recognition of my work to date but also a reminder of how much work we have to do to bring the current opportunities to fruition," he said.

The initial idea behind Reposit Power came about in 2011, and the company was formally started in 2013.

"In the past 12 months we've really seen this explosion of storage and awareness of storage in the market and Reposit has, globally, become one of the best known companies in this space," he said.

"So there's a real sense of achievement in the sense that we are working in a really exciting new industry," said Dr Blackhall, who is Reposit Power's co-founder and an Adjunct Professor with the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science.

"The revolution we're keen to see is not just going to be about changing the way consumers generate and store their energy, it's also going to be about changing how utilities actually purchase energy, as they are now able to buy from customers.

"We're now starting to see those kinds of things happening using our technology, and it's a really nice thing to see."

The Batterham Medal recognises the work of Chief Scientist of Professor Robin Batterham AO FREng FAA FTSE, who was the Chief Scientist of Australia from 1999 to 2006. The inaugural medal was awarded at the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering's oration dinner on 27 November in Melbourne.