Celebration of the life of Emeritus Professor Len Stevens AM

By Melbourne School of Engineering

Emeritus Professor Len Stevens AM in laboratory

Over 150 past and present colleagues, past students, family and friends came together on the 28th of November to celebrate the life of Emeritus Professor Len Stevens AM, who passed away in August, aged 93. The celebration of his life provided an opportunity to reflect on the many achievements in his career, and to learn more about Professor Stevens as a much-loved husband and father.

Professor Stevens’ relationship with the University spanned more than 60 years, beginning with his time as a student, later a young lecturer, before taking on leadership roles including Dean of the Faculty of Engineering for three terms and as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering later on. Although Professor Stevens formally retired in 1990 he continued to consult, research and collaborate in the Department until December 2017 – a remarkable feat for a man by then in his 90s.

Few people have influenced engineering in Australia as Professor Stevens did. As an educator, he taught generations of engineering students, occasionally from the same family, and many past students have noted how his wise counsel had made a significant impact on their course and career decisions.

Professor Stevens’ advice was also highly sought after by industry; he was engaged in some of the most high-profile structural engineering projects in Australia. He played key roles in the inquiry into the Westgate Bridge collapse and its subsequent redesign, the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy and the design of the New Parliament House, to name but a few.

The celebration of his life brought together graduates spanning his 60 years of time with the University, each whom had stories to share. His legacy will continue through a Scholarship named in his honour, funded by many of the students he taught. The Professor Len Stevens Scholarship provides students with the sort of life-changing experiences that he had experienced as a student and was so appreciative of.

Professor Stevens is survived by his wife Fay and his children Nicholas, Matthew and Meredith.