Munro Oration

2012 Orator: Dr Rob Vertessy

Dr Rob Vertessy was appointed Director of the Bureau of Meteorology in September 2012. Prior to this appointment he was head of the Bureau's Climate and Water Division, which includes responsibility for the National Climate Centre, the national flood forecasting and warning service, the agency's new water information function, as well as a new initiative laying the foundations for a National Plan for Environmental Information.

Rob has a PhD in fluvial geomorphology from the Australian National University and spent the first 20 years of his career as a researcher in CSIRO. He specialised in forest hydrology and catchment hydrology modelling and is widely published in those fields. Rob served as Chief Executive of the CRC for Catchment Hydrology (2002–2004) and Chief of CSIRO Land and Water (2004–2007). He was also a Board member of eWater CRC Pty Ltd (2008–2011) and was seconded to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to advise on the establishment of a national water information strategy (2006).


The C.H. Munro Oration was established in 1978 in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by the late Professor Crawford Munro to the science and practice of hydrology and water resources engineering In Australia. The Orator is selected by the National Committee on Water Engineering, after receiving nomination from the Symposium Organising Committee. The selected orator need not be an Australian or an engineer, but should be a person eminent in the field of water resources in Australia.

The Orator receives an award, which is sponsored jointly by Engineers Australia, the Hydrological Society of South Australia and The Hydrological Society of Canberra.