Wije Ariyaratne (Ari) NSW Director Bridges and Structures (Chief Engineer Bridges & Structures) retires after being in the organisation for 47 years

Following a distinguished carrier as the leading Bridge and Structures Engineer for NSW, and many other leading roles, Ari has decided to retire and move into more relaxed roles.

He will start in a position of Executive Advisor in a private company in Sydney. In order to share his knowledg and experience, Ari has agreed to work 2 days a week with at one of two Universities in Sydney. He told Ozlanka that he has not decided which one he will accept and will make his decision after consulting with his family.

We highlight some of the achievements and awards that Ari received, but did not talk about.

kkIn December 2017, he received from the NSW Premier a Medallion for over 40 years of meritorious service to the community of NSW.

On 7 December 2018, he was awarded the Premier’s Award by the Premier Gladys Berejiklian.  He confessed to Ozlanka that he was both humbled and honoured to have received this prestigious Award. We found out that in fact, Ari was the first Director of Engineering and also the 1st Sri Lankan to have received this Premier’s Award.

Ken Kanofski, the Chief Executive Roads & Maritime Services congratulated Ari in an official letter. Ken wrote "Wije Ariyaratne (Ari) our Director Bridges and Structures, who I spoke about in my message on Tuesday, took out the Delivering Infrastructure individual award and Pacific Highway project took out the team award in the same category for the final section of Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour".

Ijkjkn a previous memo to all staff, Ken wrote "Today I call out the incredible work and dedication of one of our most talented technical experts, Wije Ariyaratne (best known as Ari), Director Bridges and Structures................".

No small compliment from a demanding Chief Executive who calls a spade a spade.

Professor Wife Ariaratne commenced his employment with the NSW Public Service in February 1972, as a Bridge Design Engineer at the Department of Main Roads. It was during these first 10 years as a Bridge Designer Engineer that Ari developed a wealth of engineering knowledge and as such, paved the way for his future public service career.

In 1982, Ari was promoted to the position of Bridge Engineer Inner 'Freeways, and would go on to hold the positions of Supervising Engineer — Bridge Design; Manager - Bridge Engineer; Principal-Engineer Bridges and Director Bridges & Structures, the position he still holds today.

'';;lThrough his 47 year career, Ari's most notable achievements include: pioneering the development of a dedicated bridge proof load testing facility (the only such facility in Australia) which tesed over 700 bridgesin NSW that were suspected of being under the designated load capacity; developed methods for vulnerability assessment of critical infrastructure bridges and developed hardening options for these structure; and approving annually the construction drawings of new bridges and structures valued over $150 million. Ari also represents the Roads & Maritime Service on a number of national committees such as Standards Australia, Austroads and the NationalTransport Commissiom.

Ari is an inspiration to the engineers of the future and is a deserving recipient of the prestigious NSW Service Medallion.

In July this year, he advised Roads & Maritime Services his intention of retiring from the position of  Director Bridges & Structures (Chief Engineer Bridges & Structures) after being in the position for 19 years and being in the organisation for over 47 years.

After nearly five decades of distinguised service with DMR/RTA/RMS Ari will be retiring on 18 February 2019.

Ozlanka joins the community in congratulating Ari on his distinguished career and dedication to the field of Engineering.


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