The University of Western Australia is saddened to note the passing of UWA’s first female engineering graduate Roslyn MacKinlay (née Clarke).
Ros graduated from UWA with an honours degree in civil/structural engineering, having completed the four-year course in 1970.
She married Alistair MacKinlay (UWA LLB 1972) in 1972. Although Ros and Alistair separated in 1998, they were forever proud of their two sons, Daniel and Andrew, both of whom won scholarships to Scotch College and then to ANU and Melbourne University, respectively.
Ros worked for 30 years primarily as an independent contracts engineer on projects within the resources sector. In early 2002 she joined Wyche Consulting looking for intellectual and career challenges, and subsequently worked on a number of bridge designs and verifications.
She worked on two major projects familiar to Perth residents, providing the launch analysis for the 660m-long Mt Henry Bridge and designing the system to shift the Canning Highway bus bridge sideways as part of the Perth to Mandurah rail project in 2005.
She explained this massively complicated bridge relocation job in simple terms.
The Perth – Mandurah railway proposed in 2002 required the replacement of an existing Kwinana Freeway bus bridge. As a cost saving alternative the successful tenderer proposed that the existing bridge superstructure be moved rather than rebuilt. In 2005 this curved prestressed concrete bridge superstructure was successfully moved a distance of 9.5 metres South West of its original location to remain in use carrying buses from Canning Highway onto the north bound Kwinana Freeway.
Ros MacKinlay is survived by her partner and fellow UWA alumnus Alec Holm (UWA BSc 1968/MSc 1976/PhD 2001).