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Rachelle Doyle

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.  

Rachelle Doyle is Manager – Research & Development at Rio Tinto and is the Chair of Standards Australia Committee ME-093 Hydrogen Technologies.

How did you become involved in standards development? 

In 2018 Standards Australia hosted the Hydrogen Standards Forum which identified a need for standards to support the emerging hydrogen industry.  Hydrogen is one energy vector which can support decarbonisation, particularly for hard to abate sectors, and enable future renewable energy export.  When the ME-093 Hydrogen Technologies committee formed in 2019, I was privileged to represent National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) on the committee and become the inaugural Chair.  I am passionate about standards as an effective way to establish safe performance for industry and wanted to contribute to the adoption and creation of hydrogen standards for Australia.    

What role have standards played in your career?   

Throughout my career in the mining and energy sectors, I’ve used standards, both Australian and ISO/IEC during the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of major processing plants.  Well written performance-based standards provide the foundation in conjunction with risk assessment techniques for effective major hazard management. They help keep people safe by having the right design and operating practices in place.  Understanding and applying standards is integral for engineers.  Standards help create a level playing field and conformance provides confidence to key stakeholders, from regulators through to consumers.    

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

ME-093 Hydrogen Technologies committee will soon release the first Technical Specification for Hydrogen Storage and Handling, SA TS 5359, an Australian developed specification.  Being part of the drafting team has been a rewarding experience and I have learnt so much from the other members, Billy Chan; Nancy Norton; Daniel Krosch and Kevin Peakman.  I’m so inspired by the generosity and professionalism of committee and working group members who volunteer their time.  In 3 years, we have adopted, direct and modified 14 ISO and IEC standards for hydrogen.

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

There are so many it’s hard to choose!  The standout for me will always be the people.  I’ve had the good fortune to work with some amazing people and inspiring leaders since my first day stepping out as a young chemical engineer at Alcoa’s Wagerup refinery through to my current team at Rio Tinto in the Research, Development & Technology division.  When we work together, we can achieve great things.  

Bring part of developing and deploying holistic process safety practices at both Chevron and Woodside is also a highlight – helping ensure process safety becomes as much part of our everyday lexicon and decision making as personal safety is a personal passion.

What do you think the future of standardisation looks like? 

The rate of technology evolution is now so fast that we need to have clear performance-based standards that enable continuous advancement and improvement while ensuring safety and product performance.  Global standardisation through direct adoption of ISO and IEC standards wherever possible will be key to creating a level playing field for Australia.  Standards updates will need to become more “real-time” through an ability to do short cycle minor updates frequently and it is very pleasing to see Standards Australia actively working to enable this for industry sectors that need it.  Bringing standards to life and making them accessible increases the value they can deliver    

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

A massive congratulations - 100 years young.  I’d like to recognise and commend the Standards Australia staff for their enthusiasm, dedication, and professional support they provide to our committee. My personal experience is that Standards Australia is clearly looking to the future while leveraging their history and ensuring they grow and adapt to deliver the standards needed and provide the right environment for contributors such as our committee.  I look forward to continuing the journey to a bright and sustainable future.