Introduction to the PMI College of Scheduling

The PMI Melbourne Chapter meeting on 27 June will host Alistair Bowden representing the proposed PMI Melbourne College of Scheduling (COS). Alistair will present an overview of the College – a group which will appeal to members and guests who are interested in all aspects of scheduling including standards, training, software, research etc.

In addition, Alistair will also present a paper he recently delivered to the Orlando COS conference: bUsing Schedules to Quantify Time and Activity Related Costsb. The paper considers methods for setting up a baseline schedule sufficient to model causation and its effect on cost.

For more details, visit

Next Vic Chapter Meeting 15 May 07 The Role of Cost Estimating in Defence Projects

Peter Stanley of the DoD will give an unclassified presentation discussing cost estimation and analysis in Defence (case study will be the purchase of the Lockheed Martin JASSM cruise missile). Find out from this presentation what typical cost impacts Defence considers and the depth of analysis that is conducted by Defence. (Chairman’s note: Defence Projects have often been a testbed for developing innovative project controls practices. This will be a good opportunity to get some first-hand insight into the DoD’s methods).

Victorian Chapter Board re-elected unopposed

At the AGM held at the April 07 meeting the previous board was re-elected unopposed as follows: Chairman – Malcolm Sawle; Secretary/Treasurer – Stuart Chalmers; Vice-Chairman and Program – Peter Digiusto; Membership – Barry Hart; Education and EA liason – Laurie Pole; Board member "at large" – Noel Bear.

April Meeting – The Cost of Water – David Murphy – Meeting Report

David gave an interesting and informative view on the cost drivers of potable water teatment plants to more than 15 members. (The refreshments were of an unusually high, but hopefully maintainable , quality). It was a very topical presentation in light of the water restrictions under which most of Australia is suffering. Among the points made, David indicated that there is an unprecedented demand around Australia for water infrastructure projects and that the cost estimates for these works were under as much pressure as projects in the resources sector.
Date: 17 April 2007 Location: Engineers Australia, Nth Melbourne

Melbourne June Meeting – Selecting Software Successfully

As anyone who has tried to introduce software into a company knows, there are many pitfalls for the unwary, and the ramifications on making the wrong choice are often long-term. Member Al Sterritt will lead a discussion on choosing software packages. The discussion will focus on engaging the participants in the process, identifying the requirements, investigating the software company, selecting the software, testing the software against requirements and selling the chosen software to the participants. Please invite your work colleagues and any others who may be interested. There is no cost in attending and bookings are unnecessary. The meeting will be held Tuesday 19th June, 5.30 for 6.00pm at Engineers Australia House, 21 Bedford Street, North Melbourne. (Go to the top end of Elizabeth Street and head left when you reach the large roundabout and flagpole.)

Melbourne July Meeting – Claims Avoidance and Resolution – Peter Downie

Peter Downie will be coming along to the Melbourne meeting on July 17 to provide an overview of the general process clients, consultants and contractors can use to avoid and manage claims on projects. Peter is a renowned expert in this field and an excellent presenter. Since this will be a session of interest to a wide range of professionals, members are encouraged to spread the word. As always this is a free session but bookings would be preferred, to Barry Hart at or (03) 9094 5600.

Peter Downie has been involved in the delivery of projects for more than 40 years, as client, EPC contractor, subcontractor and consultant. This experience included the turbulent years of the $4.5 billion Loy Yang project after the 18 month Concrete Batcherbs strike, which (with the other issues) left a legacy of hundreds of claims totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. He subsequently was a key member of the team of experienced SECV engineers and internal lawyers that developed, with input from some of Australiabs top lawyers in private practice, new Conditions of Contract for major projects where the client was the EPC Contractor.

Over the years he has been involved in all phase of contract formation, administration and dispute management including:

  • Project Delivery strategy development,
  • Contracting strategy development,
  • Contract formation,
  • Contract administration,
  • Dispute settlement strategy development, and
  • Negotiation of claims ranging from A$50,000 to A$550,000,000 in Australia and overseas.

    He has also consulted in Australia and overseas on reviews of project delivery processes for clients, consulting engineers and turnkey contractors.

Good turn-out to hear ex-President of ACES speak

More than thirty members and others braved a very miserable Melbourne evening in July to get along to Engineers Australia to hear Peter Downie, long-time member of ACES and previous National President, talk on Avoidance and Management of Claims. His paper is available in the members’ area of this website. (Not a member? b then download an application form now). As always Peterbs presentation was well-argued, lucid and presented in inimitable style. It would be surprising if anyone who attended did not get something out of the evening b other than the healthy sandwiches and juice that were laid on. The August Meeting on Tuesday 21 August 07 coincides with Engineers Week. The theme of the evening is to provide a forum where personnel new to the area of total cost management (estimating, cost control, planning & scheduling, risk management), or personnel considering a career in this area (e.g. recent graduates) can come along and hear about the careers that ACES members have had or are still developing. This will be an ideal opportunity for members to invite their younger colleagues to come along to see how their careers could develop. It will also be a learning opportunity for anyone needing to know more about what a cost engineer does b like project managers!! The September meeting is shaping up to be another not to be missed. We are expecting to have one of the countrybs foremost proponents on risk management/range analysis. More details later but put it into your diary now b Tuesday 18th September.

Quantitative Risk Modelling Presentation

Dr Stephen Grey gave a very illuminating talk on Quantitative Risk Modelling at the September meeting of the Victorian branch of ACES. Stephen was able to squeeze in a lot of information into the time allotted yet still kept the presentation very accessible to the twenty-five or so members who attended. A copy of the slides used by Stephen is available (in the members area) on this website.

Construction Cost Escalation – the Impact of Technology Changes

At the October meeting of the Victorian branch of the ACES, member Alan Rae will give a presentation on the construction of the Eildon Dam. This was a landmark project in its day fifty years ago. Alan has studied the historical reports to understand the scope, construction methodologies and costs used and created a new cost plan based on building the dam today, using today’s technologies. This is unique opportunity to learn how construction technologies have changed and the dramatic impact these changes can have on methodologies and costs.

ACES Awards for excellence in HES5175 Swinburne University

In 2005 the ACES Awards for excellence was established by the Australian Cost Engineering Society. The award for 2005 was made recently to Matthew George for achieving the highest score in the subject HES5175 Cost Engineering leading to the degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering). Laurie Pole and Noel Bear, the driving forces behind the ACES sponsored HES5175 course, were there to present the award.