Dr. Laurence Sparke OAM

Laurie Sparke is an engineering graduate from RMIT, and Deakin universities in Melbourne and Kettering University in Michigan, and has studied and worked in America and in Germany. During a 40 career with Holden, he became the company's noise and vibration expert and laboratory test supervisor. He ran the Proving Ground, supervising durability testing, emissions testing and crash testing.

Amongst his achievements was the development of the first, full-sized, plug-in hybrid passenger car, the ECOmmodore. This vehicle was developed in collaboration with CSIRO, and utilised new-technology lead acid batteries and a super capacitor for energy storage, and a low cost switched- reluctance electric motor. The vehicle also incorporated many efficiency improvements, including mass reduction of the body structure, brakes and wheels, reduced drivetrain and rolling resistance, and improved aerodynamics of the body shape and the underbody.

Following his career at Holden, Laurie has established a consulting company, L Sparke Pty Ltd, and provides assistance in areas of technology and global competitiveness. He maintains a global network of leading researchers in vehicle technology, and utilises a group of futurologists, innovators, computer simulation experts and skilled engineers for project execution.

Laurie lectures at Monash and RMIT Universities.


Diploma of Mechanical Engineering, RMIT

Postgraduate Fellowship of Automotive Engineering, Kettering University, Michigan USA

Management Development Program, Australian Administrative Staff College

Doctor of Technology with the faculty of Science and Technology at Deakin University

Memberships & Awards

Fellow, Institution of Engineers, Australia

National Panel of Biomechanics of Injury

College of Biomedical Engineers

Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine

Member of the International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

1995 Working party, Prime Minister's Science and Engineering Council
1995 Professional Engineer of the Year Award (IEAust, Vic Div)
1996 National Professional Engineer of the Year Award (IEAust)
1996 SAE-A Hartnett Award
1998 GM Global R&D Council
1999 GM Chairman's Honors award for Safety
2000 Order of Australia for Services to Automotive Safety
2002 Doctor of Technology, Deakin University
2002 Director, AutoCRC Colaborative Research Centre
2003 Adjunct Professor RMIT University
2005 SAE Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award