Engineer Profile

There were many engineers who made considerable contributions to the overall success of the Wandoo Alliance. It was very much a team effort.

Some specific engineers warrant mention:
Jim Holt, an employee of Leighton Contractors, was the Project Director. Jim was born in 1947 and completed his Civil Engineering Diploma in Western Australia in 1971.

Jim commenced working for Leighton Contractors in 1972 and was promoted to project manager on various projects in Western Australia between 1972 and 1980. In 1980 Jim moved to Hong Kong to work on a number of projects for Leighton Asia before returning to Western Australia in 1989 to continue working in roles involving construction and project management, as well as senior corporate management roles at Multicon Engineering and as General Manager of Leighton Contractors Operations in the Western Region.

In September 1994 Jim became the Project Director for the Wandoo Alliance – on secondment from Leighton Contractors. Jim had not had any oil industry experience before, but Ampolex were impressed with his track record of delivering complex projects on time and his ability to "think outside the square" given that he had not had experience in a project such as this before. Jim used this to the project's advantage by encouraging others in the alliance to come up with innovative and different ideas and solutions to the problems that arose during the course of the project. Jim was expert at knowing when and how to ask "Why...?"

Since completing Wandoo, Jim has worked on various high profile and high budget projects such as the Rail Infrastructure Corporation's General Manager Maintenance Metropolitan Region over the period of the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and more recently, the City of Dreams Casino in Macau.

Outside of engineering Jim's passions include golf, sailing, boat building, rebuilding sports cars, clay target shooting and model aeroplanes!

Mr Rick Wood, a Director of Ampolex, was the driving force behind the Alliance model used for the Wandoo project. Rick and Geoff King (Ampolex's legal counsel) had investigated the means by which the project could be procured in a tight time and financial timeframe. They studied the use of Alliance contracting in the North Sea Oil & Gas Industry. Using an Alliance approach to deliver an oil and gas project in Australia was particularly innovative at the time. The approach recognised that the level of expertise required to develop and deliver a field like Wandoo did not reside in any one organisation.

Rick led the project as Chairman of the Alliance Board, with great dedication and commitment to the Alliance approach. It is clear that without Rick's contribution the project may have failed to materialise.

The project was controlled by the Alliance board, not directly by the client, Ampolex. The board comprised representatives of each of the parties, with each party entitled to exercise one vote and all decisions needing to be unanimous. The Alliance board members were: Mr Ed Young (Leighton), Mr Mike Delaney (Leighton), Dr Robert Care (Arup), Mr John Robert (Arup), Mr Rick Wood (Ampolex), Mr Jan Veldwijk (Dawson Brown & Root), Mr Graham Dawson (Dawson Brown & Root), Mr Geoff King (Ampolex), Mr CB Chu (Keppel Fels) and Mr CH Tong (Keppel Fels).

In addition to Jim Holt and the Alliance Board, and recognising that all those involved cannot possibly be listed, the following engineers all warrant mention:

  • Kevin English, Deputy Project Director, Construction
  • Duncan Mitchell, Deputy Project Director, Commercial & Installation
  • John Kava — Project Integration Manager
  • John Grierson and John Dunkley — Head of CGS Construction
  • Gordon Jackson — Head of CGS Design
  • Graham Forbes — Head of Topside/Pipeline Design
  • Roy Lim — Head of Deck Fabrication







  • Australian Constructors Association
  • Cochlear
  • Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
  • Leighton Holdings Limited
  • Resmed
  • Thales
  • ARUP
  • KBR