Northrop Newcastle celebrates 25 years

In 1992 the Sydney Harbour Bridge turned 60. We were watching Wayne’s World and A Few Good Men and listening to U2 on our Discman’s. In 1992 at Northrop amid a flurry parachute tracksuits and Air Jordan’s we were busy opening up our Newcastle office – and we haven’t looked back.

Neil Petherbridge started his career with Northrop in 1989 having graduated from the University of Newcastle. He was part of a small team of five working in Newtown before moving to Newcastle to open the office. From humble beginnings, the office has grown exponentially and is now home to over 65 staff.

Neil reflects on the key highlights of the past 25 years;

  • Newcastle won their first good project in 1993. The Physical Planning and Estates Building. This project led to ten years of continuous work with The University of Newcastle.
  • Todd Bailey and Steve Startin joined the team. Todd is a principal and Steve semi- retired this year. A wonderful testament to the value we place in our people.
  • Newcastle was recognised by Engineers Australia when both the Carlton Clydesdale Pavilion at Homebush and the Life Sciences building at the University of Newcastle both received engineering excellence awards. The Life Sciences building also won the Sulman Medal, the highest architectural award in NSW.
  • The graduate recruitment program was established at the University of Newcastle which led to the recruitment of Andrew Brown, Christian Kirrage, Lincoln Hill, Trevor Clack, and Ben Clark. All are now principals and still with Northrop today.
  • Newcastle converted an old Blockbuster video shop into Newcastle’s first 5 star NABERS rated building and moved into it.
  • In response to the Global Financial Crisis, the Federal Governments ‘Building the Education Revolution Stimulus Package’ was designed – Northrop’s Newcastle Office provided design and construction services to over 600 schools across NSW and QLD.
  • In 2017 Newcastle was awarded a National Engineering Excellence award for the Newcastle Memorial Walk. A 160m long stainless steel pedestrian bridge built to commemorate the ANZACS.

We have an exceptional team of very talented people. And clients who are loyal and visionary who have helped shape the successful company that we are today.

Thank you and we look forward to the next 25 years!

Northern NSW Regional Manager, Principal, Structural Engineer
Neil Petherbridge

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