MEET SMEDLEY’S TEAM
Established in 1931
Smedley’s Engineers specialises in Automotive Engineering, Broadcast Engineering and IT Solutions.
- Robert JG Smedley
- Alan RG Smedley
- Dean Abram
- Bob Wright
- Lydia Chong
- Andrej Bucko
- Jackson Heil
- David Clark
- Paddy Carracher
- Nathan Wiblin
- Martin Mikhael
- Rachel Natoli
- Katie Case
Robert JG Smedley
Director and Senior Engineer
Even as a child, Robert shared a passion for all things automotive. After getting his Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Robotics and Mechatronics, Robert moved into the domain of heavy vehicle braking systems with Knorr-Bremse Australia Pty Ltd. While working with this internationally renowned company, Robert rose to the position of Senior Engineer, responsible for Knorr-Bremse’s range of Advanced Braking Technologies and Brake System Design. He was a key member of Knorr-Bremse’s global team of Advanced Braking Technology experts, and continues to be recognised for his role as the engineer responsible for rolling out the first Australian-built trucks to be fitted with ‘ESP’ for Kenworth trucks. This high-level experience saw him appointed as Principal Engineer (Heavy Vehicle Freight Network) for the Queensland Dept. of Transport and Main Roads. He advised on the technical issues relating to the construction and dynamic performance of heavy vehicles, and the interrelationship between road geometry and heavy vehicle operating characteristics. He was also actively involved in evaluating and managing the impacts of heavy vehicles and advising other agencies and associations. In December, 2013, Robert joined with his father Alan to regenerate the Smedley family’s innovative and passionate leadership in Australia’s heavy vehicle engineering industry. Robert maintains a high level of involvement in the heavy vehicle industry in Australia through his participation in industry reference groups and associations and at industry events. And as well as his managerial obligations he also encourages a very hands on approach to the heavy vehicle industry, regularly getting behind the wheel of an 18 speed multi-combination vehicle and putting it to the test.
Alan RG Smedley
Alan began his career working in the family engineering business as a young man, servicing northern Tasmania. He moved to Sydney in 1970, where he worked in various positions in engineering supply, manufacturing, fabrication and retail, and within a few years went on to establish his own engineering business. In 1983, Alan trained at the Australian Film and Television School and embarked on what would become a thirty year career in broadcast television. Through his extensive experience in media technology, including the technical, operational and logistical requirements of outside broadcast and satellite news, key industry players rely on Alan’s expert guidance to find innovative solutions for the ever-changing broadcast industry. He has an impressive track record for designing, delivering and implementing efficient cabling and installation procedures to a diverse range of projects. In addition, Alan’s computer and software knowledge, including the use of peer to peer networking, remote computer support and data recovery, has seen him emerge as a leading industry supplier of data storage solutions and associated services to Australia’s major commercial and public broadcasters, as well as a host of production houses and freelance media professionals.
Engineering Manager and Senior Engineer
With extensive experience in all aspects of heavy vehicle engineering and vehicle design certification, Dean joined the Smedley’s team in 2016 as Senior Heavy Vehicle Engineer. Across his diverse career, which includes both technical and sales roles, he has worked with major names in the freight vehicle industry including Kenworth/Paccar, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Military Vehicles, AeroMobiles in Singapore, and Daimler Trucks Sydney. He has also managed his own business in Australia, providing specialised vehicle homologation, certification and vehicle import for a Singaporean manufacturer and supplier, while also being a Licenced Certifier under the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme (VSCCS). Graduating with a Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering with Honours from Monash University, Dean’s keen interest in trucks saw him take on a sales role where he learned important aspects of the industry at the front line, enabling him to genuinely understand the needs of the customers from a purchasing perspective. Prior to this, he was in specialised engineering roles, where he was able to apply his technical aptitude in the fields of vehicle testing, performance analysis (for both commercial and military use), design development, compliance, and vehicle safety. As well as his stand-out communication and analysis skills, developed over many years liaising with government agencies and external stakeholders, Dean has built an envied reputation for his astute problem solving, and creative approach to tackling the varied and ever-changing challenges of the modern heavy vehicle industry to deliver optimum outcomes for his clients.
For over a decade, Bob has been involved in all key aspects of engineering, from testing and drafting to technical research positions in the area of heavy vehicle-road interaction. His career has seen him supervising large manufacturing plant upgrades to designing hydrocarbon remediation systems, and now playing a critical role in the design, innovation and application of advanced engineering solutions with Smedleys. For as long as he can remember, Bob has been disassembling cars and bikes to see how they function. This natural curiosity led him to study for a degree in mechanical engineering at Monash University, followed by additional studies at Swinburne and TAFE, to perfect his practical skills in machining and welding. His expertise has taken him to Washington, to commission pavement testing machines, and to more remote locations such as the Pilbara and PNG where he was able to see heavy equipment being pushed to its limits. A constant analyst, Bob thrives on the challenge of designing and testing new innovations and ideas to find the most efficient, workable and productive solutions possible.
A keen explorer of the mechanical world, Lydia brings high-level experience as a research engineer in heavy vehicles, and a sharp scientific mind to the Smedley’s team of professionals. From an early age, Lydia’s quest for understanding on how and why things worked, naturally led her to pursue a career in engineering. In 2010 she graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Mechanical, and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics and Mathematics from Monash University, and furthered her studies in traffic accident investigation, to underpin a desire to become heavy vehicle accident investigator. As Technical Secretary for the 25th ARRB Conference in 2012, Lydia was involved in organising the technical program of the conference, where, as well as honing her skills solving problems on the fly, she worked in close collaboration with the world’s foremost experts of the road research industry. This position was followed by a move to the ARRB office in Queensland where she delivered projects for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, and conducted various field tests for the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. Lydia joined Smedley’s in August 2015, with specific interests in heavy vehicle dynamics, safety and access policy, and statistical analysis, research and modelling.
Andrej joined Smedleys as a Senior Engineer in 2018 after almost a decade at ARRB where he honed his skills in the field of vehicle dynamics. Graduating from Monash University, Clayton in 2011, with both a degree in mechanical engineering, and a Bachelor of Science (majoring in physics and maths), Andrej has successfully combined the academic and theoretical aspects of these disciplines with a practical aptitude that sets him apart from many in his field. He brings substantial heavy vehicle knowledge, together with expertise in AutoSIM, ADAMS and Trucksim simulation packages, and is an accredited performance based standards (PBS) assessor. These skills ensure that he is quick to identify potential engineering, design and performance challenges well in advance, and then apply his knowledge, with integrity and scientific rigor, to find effective and efficient solutions. Andrej credits his success to his keen interest in seeing how his vehicle combinations perform in simulation, and motivated by the knowledge that he is able to help increase the productivity and safety of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet. When not watching animations of trucks, Andrej can often be found at the gym or making YouTube videos.
Since graduating in 2013 from Swinburne university, Jackson has been in demand as a skilled and innovative young mechanical engineer, joining Smedleys in 2018.
Driven by a fascination for mathematics since his school days, Jackson’s inquisitive nature and thirst for knowledge – especially in how things worked – forged a keen desire to pursue a career in engineering. Like many in the profession, he spent hours as a lad, disassembling, servicing and reassembling anything that moved.
This deep curiosity led him to a degree in engineering, followed by a number of years at one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of trailer bodies. Here, he designed, from concept to construction, the firm’s first six-axle dog trailer with twin-bodied side tippers enabling greater loads, as well as new light-weight trailer models.
His ingenuity extended to finding effective ways to decrease warranty claims for old designs, which both saved money and provided greater product efficiency.
Jackson holds a keen interest in the technical side of the industry and all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ elements of design, innovation and manufacturing to meet PBS requirements.
Naturally, his drive and energy spills over into his life away from engineering, and his spare time is often consumed with snowboarding, riding motorbikes and competing in triathlons.
Heavy Vehicle Engineer
With both an engineering degree and business management qualifications to his name, David has been at the forefront of cutting-edge engineering since 2012. He began his career in the F1 & Special Builds division of one of the world’s leading high-performance automotive cooling specialists, and in 2015 he moved across to heavy vehicle industry as a mechanical engineer.
Like most engineers, his attraction to the field began as a young lad, dismantling anything he could, in order to figure out what made it work. This fascination was fuelled by access to his family’s own trucks and machinery from a young age, and a background in speedway racing.
His extensive experience in brake, noise and roll-over testing has driven his enthusiasm to find new innovations in vehicle performance, and he feeds off the excitement, expectation and pressure that comes with applying and assessing new technology. This eagerness is only matched by his deep-seated interest in developing vehicle components that enhance safety, output and efficiency, underpinned by his broad industry knowledge and outstanding customer service.
Paddy blends a strong research background with an enthusiasm for discovering how things work, why things don’t work and the most effective and efficient ways to make things work again.
Drawing on his experience as a research assistant at Deakin University, as well as his background in corrosion testing at Ford Motors, Paddy joined Smedley’s as a graduate engineer to add to the company’s groundbreaking innovation and solutions team.
His strengths in mathematics and physics, together with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Honours from Deakin University have provided an outstanding foundation for applying his technical mind and hands-on approach to the unique challenges of all aspects of heavy vehicle engineering.
Paddy’s ever-inquisitive mind not only finds him exploring novel approaches to complex problems, but also exploring the world as an avid backpacker and adventurer, having visited fourteen countries so far with many more on the list.
Nathan’s professional experience with machinery and engineering began in 1996 as a young apprentice fitter and machinist. His fascination with the technical aspects of his work, and a curiosity about the way machines work peaked his enthusiasm to further his studies, and he embarked on a Bachelor of mechanical Engineering.
With a particular interest in vehicle design, Nathan’s knowledge – at both a practical and an concept innovation level – has made him a valuable member of the Smedley team and an important contributor to the company’s extensive knowledge base.
Martin has long held a fascination for the way things work and how they can be improved. So, it was no surprise that this deep-seated curiosity led him to the field of engineering and the opportunities it offered in design innovation and rising to the challenges of complex functionality and emerging technology.
During his studies, Martin’s natural aptitude for problem-solving saw him recruited as an undergraduate mechanical engineer within the Department of Defence, working on the nation’s naval vessels.
In 2019, he joined the Smedley team as a graduate engineer where he gets to fully immerse himself in the world of high-spec design and advanced engineering processes, working alongside colleagues to uncover new and ground-breaking solutions for the industry.
Outgoing, energetic and highly organised, Rachel is responsible for keeping the office and the teams running smoothly.
Coming from an accounts, finance and PR background, Rachel joined Smedleys in 2019 as office administrator, armed with a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology. Prior to this, she worked in London for two major global corporations where she honed her skills in business finance and administration.
A natural communicator and highly efficient systems manager, Rachel has a knack for building strong and trusted professional relationships and establishing easy rapport with clients and suppliers.
Katie joined Smedley’s in March 2016 to help support her father Alan and brother Rob by overseeing the day-to-day administration of the business, and ensure that client requirements are consistently addressed with seamless efficiency and timeliness. After completing her Bachelor of Communications, Media Arts, sub majoring in human rights law, Katie embarked on a career as a production secretary for ‘Wide World of Sport’ at Channel Nine. She then moved to the fast-paced and demanding role of Executive Assistant to the Head of Drama in 2006. Since then she has commenced legal studies in the Juris. Doctor program at the University of Newcastle while raising a young family. As a busy mum and student, her natural talent for multi-tasking and juggling multiple projects at once, along with an aptitude for delivering clear and practical administrative solutions, were quickly appreciated by the Smedley’s team, where the innovative nature of the industry makes the most of her strong attention to detail and superior communication skills.