The Court of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in London has endorsed the recommendation of the Australian Regional Committee of GAPAN to award Dr Rob Lee the Australian Bi-Centennial Award for 2010.
The terms of reference for this award are: Awarded as an ongoing commemoration of the Australian Bi-centennary to recognise an outstanding individual contribution to Australian aviation.
The award was presented to Dr Lee at a Trophies and Awards Banquet held at Guildhall in the City of London on Thursday 21 October 2010.
In 1976, Dr Lee was appointed Senior Psychologist, Operational Command, Royal Australian
Air Force (RAAF). He became the first RAAF psychologist to serve as a human factors specialist on RAAF aircraft accident investigation teams.
In 1983, he joined the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) as the Bureau’s first human factors specialist. He established and developed the Bureau’s capability in human factors, systems safety and research.
He became Director of the Australian Bureau of Aviation Safety Investigation in 1989. During his directorship he transformed the Bureau from a purely reactive investigative agency to an innovative multi-skilled rganization that concentrated equally on proactive accident prevention and safety enhancement. As Director of BASI, he negotiated memoranda of understanding to increase practical cooperation in the Asia Pacific region with Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan.
In 1999 he was appointed Director of Human Factors, Systems Safety and Communications in the new multi-modal Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
Having realized that the techniques of aviation safety should be applied to many other fields, he set up his own company in 2000 and is now an international consultant in human factors in high technology industries, including aviation, rail, nuclear and healthcare.
He was a human factors analyst on the investigations into the Gulf Air A320 accident at Bahrain in August 2000, the Singapore Airlines B747 accident at Taipei in October 2000, and the collision between a B757 and a TU154M over Ueberlingen, Germany, in 2002.
He was a member of the Expert Panel on Safety Management Systems appointed by the
Special Commission of Inquiry into the Waterfall rail accident in January 2003. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the NSW Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator (ITSRR), and the Nuclear Safety Committee of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).