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Associate Professor Geoff Boughton

Our birthday Standards Heroes have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors - individuals we consider to be the real heroes of standards, in Australia and internationally. We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.  

Associate Professor Geoff Boughton has contributed his time and expertise to standards that keep people safe from cyclones and extreme weather events.

How did you become involved in standards development? 

After doing my PhD on load paths in timber-framed houses during tropical cyclones, I became involved in timber standards and wind loading standards in the 1980s. I have chaired committees on timber grading and wind loads on houses and participated in several other committees.

What role have standards played in your career?   

Standards present a pathway for research outcomes and lessons from damage investigation to improve the future for our communities. My work as a researcher and educator has directly informed discussions raised in developing and revising standards.

What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver? 

After investigating damage to buildings following tropical cyclones and other extreme wind events, changes have been made to standards where a weakness had been highlighted. This was particularly the case after Tropical Cyclone Yasi and Tropical Cyclone Seroja. The journey through standards processes following Tropical Cyclone Seroja is continuing.    

Outside of standards development, what have been some highlights of your career? 

I have worked with amazing teams of very talented people with a passion for seeing improvements in community safety and resilience. This has been the case in the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University and at TimberED Services. It has also been particularly rewarding seeing a significant rise in the use of sustainable timber products in a large range of buildings in the past 10 years.

What do you think the future of standardisation looks like? 

As Australia relies more and more on a globalised economy, it will be very important to ensure that our work is aligned with international standards. In that arena Australia has the capacity to promote solutions that suit many countries that do not have the standardisation infrastructure or history of Europe or USA.  

In building meaningful relations with our Pacific neighbours, we can share our standards with them, adapting them if necessary to ensure that they are fit for purpose for the physical, climatic and economic environment of each country.

Is there anything you’d like to say or mention about Standards Australia’s centenary year?

Congratulations on having represented the people of Australia, their safety and well-being for 100 years. Standards Australia has relied heavily on volunteer participation, and it has been good to see that the organisation appreciates those contributions and are taking steps to encourage future generations of contributors.