Full Name: Alan
Highway, Snug, Tasmania 7054.
Mobile phone: 0417 346 701
Marital Status: Married with 4 adult children.
- Part-Time work for Currawong Engineering,
- Treasurer for Southern Tasmanian Badminton Assn,
- Webmaster for Southern Tasmanian Badminton Assn.
Project Manager, Currawong Engineering Pty Ltd
systems for small
Business Consultant, Bottomley
Business Consulting and Contracting
Pty Ltd ,
Southern Tasmanian Badminton
Engineering Pty Ltd, Kingston, Tasmania
Webb Bros., Prime Flowers Pty Ltd, Edgar J Twining, Adrian
Magnetic Engineering was setup in 1981
to further develop and license my invention, the Magnabend
Electromagnetic Sheetmetal Bending Machine.
In 1981 the invention was exhibited at
the Hanover Trade Fair and this led to much activity connected with
Manufacture-Under-License agreements. Soon after this I
resigned from the Chemistry Department and became the first full-time
employee of the company. My colleague, Mr Geoff Fenton,
joined me and we developed the company and its products over the next
We developed markets all around
Australia and overseas (15 countries), and expanded our range of
products from one model of the Magnabend to 6 models and also added
other products and special versions of our machines.
We arranged Manufacture Under License
Agreements overseas and assisted our Licensees in technical matters and
administered royalty collection from them.
Of particular note was the development
of special machines for use in production lines. This
involved quite a lot of electronic and mechanical R&D work.
These machines were computer-controlled and would typically produce
5,000 items per day! Items included Refrigerator doors,
Range Hoods, Washing Machine cabinets etc. Most of this work
was for Scott Technology Ltd (New Zealand), but we also performed
similar work for Email Ltd and other companies in Australia.
University of Tasmania
Worked as an electronics development engineer. The work
involved considerable experience with computers and microprocessors,
both hardware and software.
During this period various instruments and systems were developed some
of which are detailed below under ?Electronic Experience?.
I also trained an Electronics Apprentice and I was responsible for all
electronics development and maintenance work within the Chemistry
Laboratories, Sydney, NSW
Seconded to work with a team known as The Automation Group to further
develop and construct a computer-controlled industrial version of the
ore-sorting machine (see below).
During this period I became familiar with machine code and assembler
level programming of computers and interfacing them to industrial
The secondment included a period on King Island to assist in
commissioning of the machine, which operated successfully for a number
of years thereafter.
University of Tasmania.
Under a grant obtained by Dr P W Smith from King Island Scheelite
Mines, I developed a successful prototype ore-sorting machine.
This machine used ultra-violet light to excite a fluorescent emission
from scheelite-bearing rocks, and sensitive photomultiplier detector
circuits to drive high-speed solenoid air valves. The valves
produced blasts of compressed air to deflect barren rocks as they
exited from an in-line feeder.
1968 University of
Tasmania: Bachelor of Science.
Maths I, Geology I, Physics I, Zoology I,
II, Physics II,
III, Geophysics III (Majors).
University of Tasmania Diploma of
I, Education IA, Education IIB, Education IIIB.
Tasmania Bachelor of
Science with Honours
Geophysics IV (Upper Division 2), Pulse & Digital Sys.
University of Tasmania Final year
Electrical Engineering subjects
Electrical Engineering IIIB, Electrical Engineering IIIA
Electrical Communications IIC.
subjects studied part-time while working in the Chemistry Department,
Uni of Tasmania).
- Expertise in office administration and
- Negotiation and communication
- Staff training, and personnel
- Set up of overseas business contacts.
- Applications for Patents and Trademarks.
- Financial management and accounting
- Experience with the preparation for,
and participation in, Trade fairs.
- Sales, advertising, brochure, and video
- Research and evaluation regarding major
- General business development and
management of expansion.
- Good facility with computers.
- Experience in website design and
Proven expertise and holder of patents in a number of
countries. I also have various inventions written up in my
notebooks and awaiting development.
Very wide experience in many projects ranging from scientific
instrument design to industrial electronics.
Research & Development:
Best illustrated in
development work associated with the Magnabend
electro-magnetic sheetmetal bender. This work has been
meticulously recorded in 21 bound notebooks spanning over 20 years work.
I have a very well-equipped home workshop which includes the following
Metal Lathe, Milling Machine, Drill Press, Cold Saw, Electric Welder,
20 Tonne Press, Air Compressor, Spray Painting, Sheetmetal Folding
Machines, plus a full range of power tools, hand tools, and electronic
I am experienced and capable with all of the above equipment.
I once worked for Technical Services Tasmania P/L as a Scientific
Instrument Repairer and I have developed skills in this area over many
years. I have a reputation among my friends for being able to
repair most things.
During my career in electronics I have undertaken various
of which are detailed below:
This was a special project taken on during my final year in
Physics. The device was an aid to Astronomers in detecting a
clear sky for them while they were sleeping.
This project was part of my Honours work. The instrument was
designed to measure the direction of residual magnetism in
rocks. The instrument was used
routinely in the Geology Department for the next 20 years!
This was a major project, to separate scheelite-bearing rock from
barren rock based on the fluorescent property of scheelite (a tungsten
The project involved Physics, Optics, Chemistry, Electronics, and
Mechanical Engineering. I built a successful prototype
machine at the University of Tasmania for which a Patent Application
was lodged with me as a co-inventor. (This work was
supervised by Dr P W Smith).
Subsequently I was seconded to CSR Research Laboratories in Sydney to
work on an industrial version of the machine. (At
CSR I worked with
"The Automation Group").
One year later a very sophisticated, computer-controlled machine was
installed in the mine at King Island. I designed most of the
optics, photo-multiplier circuitry, and electronic interface circuitry
for the final machine.
Project for Hobart Pumping Services P/L. Provided for a truck-horn to
be activated from a base station or from another truck.
(Worked jointly with Dr A. Grainger)
Device to assist research into sleep apnoea. The instruments
successfully detected and digitally recorded sleep patterns for later
playback. (Worked jointly with Dr A. Grainger).
An instrument to detect and measure trace amounts of mercury in the
environment. (Designed with personnel from Technical Services
Repair and calibration of various scientific and medical
Interfaced super regenerative amplifier circuit to an embedded Digital
Equipment computer to perform real-time cross-correlation signal
enhancement. (Work supported by an Australian Research Grant).
Designed and built interface circuits (A to D converters, Stepper-motor
controls etc) and programmed a PDP8 computer to perform selective
Conceived the idea of using a pocket calculator as the basis for a
portable measuring instrument. Designed and built
miniaturized sensor and interface circuits to achieve: (1) a digital
integrator, (2) a conductivity meter covering 5 decades of range and
(3) a portable pH meter with a resolution of 0.01pH.
Continuous development of circuits for commercial use in the Magnabend
Sheetmetal bender. (These circuits were highly original and
patenting was considered).
Units to interface between PLC's and special electro-magnets to provide
solid-state switching of highly inductive currents.
Senior Member of The Institute of Radio & Electronics Engineers
(1972~1995) (Admitted as Member 1972,
elevated to Senior Member 1979).
- Former Board Member of the Australian
- Former President of The Inventors
Association (Tasmania) (5 years).
- Co-Inventor of a Scheelite Ore-Sorting
- Inventor of the "Magnabend" Sheetmetal
bending machine which is patented in Australia, NewZealand, Europe,
USA, UK and, the Philippines.
- Winner of the Australian Steel Award in
1981 for the "Magnabend" invention.
- Participant in the TV Program "Flying
computers, inventing, cycling, bush
walking, digital photography, working in my
well-equipped workshop, recording and analysis of weather
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