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Owen Peake

Owen Peake

Owen Peake graduated from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Fellowship Diploma in Electrical Engineering in 1964. He first worked for the Commonwealth Department of Works on the design and construction of hydro-electric power stations in Papua New Guinea.

On moving to Darwin in 1968 Owen worked in the Electricity Supply Undertaking until the Commonwealth involvement ceased at Self Government in 1978. He transferred to the Northern Territory Electricity Commission until it was absorbed into the multi-utility Power and Water Authority (PAWA) in 1987. He was Chairman of Commission in 1986-1987.

He held several senior management roles in PAWA from 1987 to 1994 then served as CEO until 1997.

Owen then held several senior positions in the Northern Territory Government, specialising in the IT area until retiring in 2002.

In 2000 he spent a year in East Timor working for the United Nations on the restoration and management of electricity and water supply services following the destruction by Indonesian-backed militia in 1999.

During his time with the Northern Territory he was involved in managing the recovery of the electricity supply system following Cyclone Tracy in 1974 and was later responsible for the construction of gas-fired power stations and gas pipelines when the Northern Territory changed from oil to natural gas as its generation fuel in the 1980s.

Owen joined the International Stationary Steam Engine Society in 1989 and became the Australasian Contact in 1995. The Society researches and records stationary and marine steam heritage throughout the world and Owen writes extensively for the Society’s publications.

Owen has been involved with Engineering Heritage Australia since 2002, serving on the Northern Division and more recently on the Victorian Division committees. He has also been on the National Board during this time and is currently Chair.

Paper: The History of High Voltage Direct Current Transmission

Abstract: Transmission of electricity by High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) has provided the electric power industry with a powerful tool to move large quantities of electricity over great distances and also to expand the capacity to transmit electricity by undersea cables.

The first commercial HVDC scheme connected the island of Gotland to the Swedish mainland in 1954. During the subsequent 55 years great advances in HVDC technology and the economic opportunities for HVDC have been achieved.

Because of the rapid development of HVDC technology many of the early schemes have already been upgraded, modernised or decommissioned. Very little equipment from the early schemes has survived to illustrate the engineering heritage of HVDC. Conservation of the equipment remaining from the early projects is now an urgent priority whilst the conservation of more recent projects, when they are retired, is a future challenge.


Keynotes
Sir Neil Cossons
Paul Davies
David Dolan
Wayne Johnson
Euan McQueen
Robert McWilliam
Duncan Waterson
Authors
David Beauchamp
Trevor Butler
Matthew Churchward
Andrew Cleland
Rachael Egerton
John Fitzmaurice
Don Fraser
John Gibson
Owen Graham
David Hamilton
Bill Harvey
Peter Holmes
Kevin Jones
Paul Mahoney
Tom Williamson
Peter Lowe
Peter Marquis-Kyle
Gavin McLean
Rob Merrifield
Owen Peake
Miles Pierce
John Porter
Nigel Ridgway
Tony Silke
Jim Staton
Richard Venus
Ian Walsh
Daniel Woo
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