About us


The Society holds a two day workshop approximately every 18 months. The aim of these workshops is to provide an open forum for discussion of research and industrial activities in the wind engineering, wind energy, and industrial aerodynamics fields. Members and invited guest speakers are encouraged to present related work they have been involved in since the last workshop. AWES workshops are intentionally maintained as informal meetings allowing members to present “to-date” research findings without the constraints of formal conferences. This arrangement allows the most rapid dissemination of the work of our members, to each other and to the wider engineering community. Information on our next workshop can be found under Events.

Associated with these workshops the Society organises a one day seminar for practicing engineers on wind engineering related topics. These seminars include discussion on aspects of the Australia/New Zealand Wind Code.

The Society also produces biannual newsletters distributed to members via the website and a mailout.


National Committee

The Society’s National Committee and their roles for 2018-2019 are:


matthew masonDr Matthew Mason (Chair) is a lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland. Over the last decade he has worked as a researcher, lecturer and consultant in Australia, Japan and the USA in the areas of wind engineering and natural hazard risk modelling and assessment. He has a strong interest in better understanding the nature of, and risk posed by, non-stationary wind events such as downbursts, tropical cyclones and tornadoes. Matthew has been a member of the AWES since 2002 and on the National Committee since 2009.

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david hendersonDr David Henderson (Secretary) is the Director of the Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) at JCU.  David started at the CTS over 20 years ago.  He was recently seconded as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, where David was collaborating on the 3LP full scale house testing research project in the simulation of realistic wind loads impacting full scale timber framed housing. David undertook his doctoral research in 2006 to 2010, investigating the impact of cyclonic wind loading on low rise building envelopes.  David has presented information seminars on disaster investigations and better building practices to designers, builders, manufacturers and insurers. He has substantial knowledge on wind induced fatigue failures of building elements and has been intimately involved in the Cyclone Testing Station’s full scale house testing program. David has conducted post-disaster surveys following severe wind events in cyclonic (WA, NT and North Qld) and non-cyclonic regions (NSW) as well as tornado damage investigations in Canada and Queensland and earthquake damage assessments in NSW. David’s areas of research are in the application and analysis of wind loads on low rise structures in combination with the load and deformation response of the structural system and its components.

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harry frickeMr Harry Fricke (Treasurer) graduated from the University of Sydney’s School of Aeronautical Engineering in 1994 and, after some fairly extensive wanderings overseas, joined Mel Consultants in 1997.  Then it was on to Vipac in 2002.  Since 2010 I have been working part-time in wind engineering for JDH Consulting and Monash University and part-time in sustainability for Local Government. My wind engineering career has been fairly broad having worked on a variety of studies of pedestrian level winds, pollutant dispersion, cladding pressure, structural loads, full-scale façade and façade element investigations of structural vibration and aero-acoustics, field testing of pedestrian wind conditions from cafes to train platforms, wind-driven building internal air flows, full scale pressure and impact testing of cladding. Through my work on numerous developments as a consultant and now working for a local planning authority, I have become interested in the important work AWES does and in some of the governance issues AWES faces.

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leighton cochraneDr Leighton Cochran (Strategic Industry Engagement) has returned to Brisbane after over two decades working as a structural and wind engineer in the United States. Much of his work entailed wind-tunnel studies of new and refurbished buildings to obtain design data on cladding wind pressures, dynamic structural wind loads, snow loads, pedestrian comfort, and dispersion of pollutants. During his time in the US he was Chair of the ASCE Structural Wind Engineering Committee (2005-2011) and Secretary of the ASCE Environmental Wind Engineering Committee (2000-2006). He cofounded and guided the creation of the ASCE Technical Council on Wind Engineering, which is an umbrella wind-engineering panel that guides wind-engineering issues across all the ASCE Institutes. Leighton was also a presenter of the two annual wind-engineering-oriented webinars that ASCE (2007-2012) holds via the Internet. In recent years he was  President of the American Association for Wind Engineering (2007-2008), the oldest wind-engineering professional society in the US that was founded in 1966, and he continues to be involved with that organization as the Americas Regional Coordinator for the International Association for Wind Engineering. Leighton is also on the Applied Technology Council Board until 2017. Througout his career Leighton has remained a member of the AWES.

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 Daniel SmithDr Daniel Smith (Newsletter Editor and Website/Social Media Manager) is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University. His research experience covers a wide range of wind engineering disciplines including: insurance claims analysis , field-deployment, vulnerability and fragility modelling, wind-borne debris modelling, post-event damage assessment, structural retrofit for wind and water ingress, wind tunnel testing and societal behavior during disasters. Daniel is also the director of ResilientResidence™, a mobile application tool that allows homeowners to self-asses the vulnerability of their home to wind and wind-driven rain damages.

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Richard FlayProf. Richard Flay (NZ Representative) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Yacht Research Unit at the University of Auckland. His interests in wind engineering include full-scale measurements, wind tunnel investigations of hills, wind turbines, buildings, and boats. He has carried out the aerodynamic design of a number of wind tunnels, including the Twisted Flow Wind Tunnel which was the first of its type specifically designed for testing yacht sails. He teaches, researches, and consults in wind engineering in New Zealand, and is also a Guest Professor in the Global Centre of Excellence Program at Tokyo Polytechnic University. He was chair of the 9th Asia-Pacific Conference on Wind Engineering, held in Auckland in 2017.

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Life Members


John Holmes Dr John Holmes is Director, JDH Consulting, Australia, and is a Life Member of the AWES. At various times between 1973 and 2004 Dr. Holmes has held research and teaching positions at the University of Western Ontario (Canada), James Cook University, CSIRO, Monash University, Texas Tech University and Louisiana State University (United States). John is Chair of the Wind Actions subcommittee of Australia and New Zealand, and was actively involved in the writing of Australian Standards AS1170.2-1989, AS/NZS1170.2:2002 (Wind loads) and AS3995-1994 (Design of steel lattice towers and masts). He is the author of: “Wind Loading of Structures”, 2nd edition, published in 2007, and co-author of “A Guide to AS/NZS1170.2:2002 – Wind Actions” published in 2005. John has also been a consultant in the determination of design wind loads for many major structures and industrial plants, and in several legal actions involving wind loads.

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George Walker Dr George Walker A New Zealander by birth, George obtained a PhD in Earthquake Engineering in 1966 from the University of Auckland. After experience in the prestressed concrete industry in New Zealand and the nuclear power industry in the UK he joined James Cook University where, following Cyclone Althea in 1971, he specialised in wind engineering, leading the investigation of the damage to Darwin from Cyclone Tracy and playing a major role in the changes to building standards which followed. In 1989 he joined CSIRO as Assistant Chief of the Division of Building Construction and Engineering, and in 1994 he moved into the reinsurance industry, joining what is now Aon Benfield where he utilised his combined background in wind and earthquake engineering to become one of the pioneers of catastrophe loss risk modelling in Australia. More recently he has become an international leader in the design of disaster insurance schemes.

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Bill MelbourneProfessor Bill Melbourne has over 35 years experience as a researcher and engineering consultant in wind engineering. He is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Monash University. He still has an active research interest in wind engineering, notably in the areas of wind loading and response of structures to wind action, wind flow over complex terrain, turbulent flows and their interaction with bluff bodies, and dispersion of atmospheric pollutants. Bill is Chairperson of the committee developing the ISO Wind Loading code and is involved with writing the joint Australian/New Zealand Wind Loading Code.





Kenny KwokProfessor Kenny Kwok‘s contribution to the field of wind engineering has spanned four decades and has covered the broad areas of structural dynamics, wind effects on structures, wind tunnel modelling, environmental fluid mechanics, vibration control and occupant comfort assessment. Kenny now holds a Professorial Chair in the School of Engineering at the University of Western Sydney and is an Emeritus Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Prof. Kwok also holds the position of Asia-Oceania Regional Coordinator for the International Association of Wind Engineering.

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John CheungA/Prof John Cheung  was inducted as an AWES Life Member in 2010. John served as AWES Treasurer from 1994–2000 and as Chairman from 1999 – 2007. John moved from Hong Kong to Newcastle in 1975 where he studied (University of Newcastle) and worked till graduating in 1978. John then moved to Melbourne and obtained his PhD from Monash University where he continued on as a Research Fellow for the next 30 years. His work has been associated with MEL Consultants Pty Ltd as Engineer/Director in wind tunnel testing and consultancy, particularly with respect to environmental wind studies, pressure measurements, wind loading on structures and air dispersion. In 2008, he joined the University of Adelaide as Professor and Head of the Wind Engineering Research Group. In 2011, he returned Hong Kong as Associate Professor in the City University and has extended his interests in Wind Power and Air Ventilation.

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Chris LetchfordProf Chris Letchford was awarded Life Membership status in 2013. Chris is a previous Chair of the AWES, serving from 2008 to 2009 and from 1995 to 1999. He chaired the 4th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Wind Engineering in 1997 and chaired the scientific and technical committee of the 11th International Conference on Wind Engineering in 2003. From 2007-2010 Chris served as the Asia-Oceania representative to the International Association of Wind Engineering and is co-chair of the 2016 Bluff Body Aerodynamics & Applications conference in Boston. Currently Head of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, Chris teaches across solid and fluid mechanics, and is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and the ASCE. Chris’ research has covered all facets of wind engineering with recent focus on; fluidic aerodynamic modification of buildings for improved performance, simulation of downburst and tornado winds and the investigation of wind fields above waves and topography.

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