Vale Peter Ennis (1933 –2022)

Vale Peter Ennis (1933 –2022)

We are saddened to note the passing of Peter Ennis, who was a significant team member in the early years of ATC Williams (MPA Williams as it was then).

Peter Ennis was a civil engineer, graduating from The University of Melbourne. As a young engineer, he broadened his experience by working for four years in Canada. Returning to Melbourne, he worked for Cementation, a UK based construction company.

Peter stayed at Cementation for almost twenty years, working on many major projects. An early project was based in Western Australia was run by a young(ish) engineer named Paul Williams, who had recently arrived from the UK.

Cementation closed Australian operations in the early 1980s. At almost the same time, Paul Williams started MPA Williams. Peter accepted an offer from Paul to become the first Laboratory Manager, an integral position that he held until his retirement. For many years the lab consisted of the two Peters – Peter Ennis and Peter Lam. Peter’s wife Heike worked for MPA Williams as a drafter for some of this time.

Peter was responsible for installing the first (and second) Rowe Cell into the laboratory. At that time, all readings and records were manual, and Peter was meticulous in his approach to conducting, recording and analysing a test.

Laboratory tailing tests developed by Peter were initial settled density (undrained and drained), shrinkage limit density, and segregation threshold. Other pioneering test projects included a three-metre high slurry consolidation column and the construction of a wind tunnel to investigate dust generation off tailings surfaces.

Paul Williams was a keen downhill skier, but Peter introduced him to the joys of XCDH or cross country downhill. An early spring trip to Cleve Cole Hut on Mt Bogong to ski the gullies became an annual event, along with occasional day trips to Mt Stirling. When Keith Seddon joined the company in 1990, he joined these trips.

ATC Williams offers our deep condolences to Peter’s family, particularly his sister, children and grandchildren.

L-R Peter and Heike Ennis, 1992, Peter Ennis, MPA Williams laboratory (the wind tunnel), Handwritten record keeping, Peter on one of many snow trips