Trevor St Baker has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering from The University of Queensland, recognising his lifelong contribution to the Australian electricity sector and greater Australian community through his business and philanthropic efforts.
Mr St Baker established one of Australia’s first private electricity generation and retail companies, ERM Power, and today invests in a rapidly growing portfolio of disruptive energy and electric transport businesses via the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund.
His wholly-owned company, Evie Networks, is rolling out electric vehicle charging stations from Cairns to South Australia and Mr St Baker is chair and the largest shareholder in the global electric vehicle fast-charging manufacturer, Tritium.
Mr St Baker, via his innovation fund, has also invested in: a battery anode materials company; an electric trike business in the Philippines; a US manufacturer of breakthrough printed lights; a light-based, wearable medical device company; and a manufacturer of printed batteries for powering small Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Mr St Baker is also the driving force behind Delta Electricity, an important, baseload electricity generator in the National Electricity Market.
University of Queensland Executive Dean of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Professor Vicki Chen, described Mr St Baker as a “towering figure” in the electricity sector.
“Mr St Baker’s role breaking new ground in the energy sector over more than 50 years has benefitted the entire industry and the nation,” Professor Chen said.
“His work has supported innovation in our field, seen electricity supplies become more secure across the nation, and created thousands of jobs in technology, engineering and energy.”
“As well as being a forward-thinking businessperson, Trevor and his wife Judith have made significant contributions to skin cancer research, technology, the arts, and Indigenous education through their philanthropic work,” she commented.
Mr St Baker, who was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016 for his distinguished service as a leader and executive in the energy sector, said he was humbled by the honorary doctorate and hoped to continue disrupting the industry to create positive change.
“We are in the midst of a global shift in energy technology and management, bringing challenges and opportunities in equal measure,” Mr St Baker said.
“It is rewarding to see the young talent that is coming out of programs like engineering at UQ with new ideas and strong ideals, and I am honoured to be able to stand up in front of tomorrow’s energy leaders and accept this award.”