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Lateral thinkers promote technological advances


CEA Technologies technical director Ian Croser.

CEA Technologies technical director Ian Croser. Photo: Marina Neil

Canberra's Dr David Evans, the only Australian who took part in the ''mother of all demonstrations'' that paved the way for the interactive computing revolution at the Stanford Research Institute in 1968, has been honoured for services to science and innovation.

The 72-year-old, who has been appointed a member in the general division of the Order of Australia (AM), was part of Douglas Engelbart's team that demonstrated the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia and real-time editing on December 9, 1968, in San Francisco.

The executive chairman of the University of Queensland's Magnetica Ltd until 2009, Dr Evans is now in poor health and suffers from aphasia.

David Evans helps demonstrate the computer.

David Evans helps demonstrate the computer.

He worked and studied in countries including the United States, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, in a remarkable career that spanned 47 years.

''A generous mentor, Dr Evans' passion for innovation and the ability to implement a grand vision is contagious,'' his award nomination read.

''He sees solutions where others only see obstacles, potential where others see mediocrity and has an uncanny knack for spotting the spark that becomes a great person, company or idea.''

Ian Croser, the technical director and co-founder of Fyshwick's CEA Technologies, is another Canberran who has been appointed a member of the Order of Australia as a result of technical innovation.

The former naval officer's work made headlines in 2010 and 2011 with the CEAFAR Active Phased Array Radar and CEAMOUNT Active Phased Array Illuminator selected as integral parts of the anti-ship missile defence system upgrade for the Anzac Class Frigates.

Established in 1983, CEA Technologies is reported to be Australia's largest majority-owned Defence company.

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