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Robert LeHunt

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.  

Robert LeHunt has been involved with Standards Australia for 35 years and has been a member of 11 committees. He is owner and Director of LeHunt Consulting Engineers and is currently the chairperson of PL-006 Polyolefin Pipe Systems and WS-028 Design and Installation of Buried and Fixed Pipes.  

How did you become involved in standards development? 

As a young graduate engineer working for a building and construction industry materials and products manufacturing company, it was part of developing products with the aim of obtaining product certification and approval for use by government agencies.    

What role have standards played in your career?   

Standards have formed an integral part of my career. Working with standards has provided me with skills ranging from committee personal interactions, to conducting physical research programs to establish product testing methods and material property values.  
I have been involved with Standards for some 35 years, been a member of 11 Committees (Chair of 2 Committees), responsible for 73 AS/NZS Standards. I am also a member of the ISO TC138 Committee for Plastics Pipes, fittings and valves for the transport of fluids and was head of the Australian delegation to the ISO TC138 meeting held in Sydney.    

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

The complete restructure, extension and revision of the Australian Standard for the installation of polyethylene pipe systems (AS/NZS 2033) to cover the Design and Installation of Polyolefin (PO) pipe systems. This brings together one document the attributes, property boundaries, and unique requirements for five different plastics materials.

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

To be able to design, install and manage large infrastructure projects throughout Australia and the Pacific Rim. Also, the opportunity to deliver technical papers and presentations at numerous International Conferences.  

Developing national competency training units, and then developing and delivering training programs in Australia and overseas.  

What do you think the future of standardisation looks like? 

Just as the wider Australian economy and industry, is on the cusp of massive change so is standardisation.  

This represents challenges and opportunities. The challenges include the need to make document generation more streamlined, and to retain the volunteer relevant expert input at Committee level.  

The opportunities include being able to define and improve the requirements for emerging technologies, and help Australian industry become world class entities supplying both Australian and export markets in physical and intellectual products.      

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

Such a milestone should be promoted and celebrated as widely as possible, emphasising the historical benefits and improvements in productivity to the overall economy.