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Sir John Tivey

A graduate of the University of Sydney, expert Engineer and named knight—Sir John Tivey was a significant figure in the way standards have developed and shaped the industry. During his time working with Standards Australia, Sir John had a specific contribution to the research, formation, and implementation of quality-control standards.

Born and educated in NSW, Sir John Tivey was a significant figure in the progression of standards and leadership of Standards Australia.

After graduating from the University of Sydney and becoming a lecturer in Engineering for the University of Queensland in 1911, Sir John was an Engineer with General Electric from 1913 - 1928. He went on to become the Chief Engineer with this company from 1929 - 1945 before being appointed Director shortly after.

By 1942 Sir John was a representative for the Associated Chamber of Manufacturers. He would go on to become an integral part of the journey for Standards Australia, moving from structurally based standard formations, to adopting the concept of quality control, using statistical methods.

By placing a ‘proposed new activity’ on the executive agenda, Sir John introduced the idea of standards covering process, as well as the final output of production. He cited the use of this concept in American firms that had been building it into their manufacturing as well as the British Standards Institution; who’d adopted it in 1935 as a means of compliance with standards for certification purposes.

The movement toward including quality control meant that Australian industry could thrive on a global scale, with an ability to trade and exist alongside international counter parts.

The method shaped the way Australia approaches mass-production to this day.By 1955, Sir John was awarded a Knighthood for his contribution to engineering and industry. In 1956 Standards Australia’s Chairman, Thomas Upton, died suddenly, so Sir Tivey took over as Acting Chairman for a brief time.

“Standards Australia continues to celebrate Sir John Tivey for his work and contributions to the world of standards and his support of national and international communities. His work ensured Australia had a seat at the global stage, and was recognised by international peers,” said Adrian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer at Standards Australia.