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News and Events from Rockwell Automation

Scott Wooldridge, managing director for Australia and New Zealand

Rockwell Automation announces new managing director for Australia and New Zealand

Rockwell Automation is pleased to announce Scott Wooldridge has been appointed managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

In this leadership role, Scott will oversee sales and business operations in Australia and New Zealand and be responsible for the company’s Growth and Performance Strategy. This involves the overarching responsibility for people and strategy in relation to sales, service, delivery, projects and customer care.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with our key distributors, system integrators, end users and OEMs to make sure they continue to be well supported with industry leading power, automation and data management solutions and services. These Rockwell Automation solutions provide key competitive advantages for our PartnerNetwork organisations, enabling them to be market leading entities in their own right,” said Wooldridge.

Scott holds a strong engineering and sales background in the automation and energy industries both within Australia and the United States. He commenced his career in project engineering and management prior to working for Citect as vice president of Professional Services in Chicago, then vice president of Sales in Georgia. He returned to Australia as managing director for Citect. Following Schneider Electric’s acquisition of Citect, Scott moved to the role of vice president, Industry Business for Schneider Electric. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of the ASX listed company, Energy Action.

With extensive experience in the IoT and big data space, Scott is looking forward to leveraging his domain knowledge to help customers address challenges they are facing and align Rockwell Automation solutions to their business drivers.

“Connectivity is expected everywhere now - the need to securely align Information Technology with Operational Technology to share data transparently, while retaining data integrity is critical to support improved business productivity outcomes across the organisation. My key focus is to help customers enable The Connected Enterprise, to understand the business outcomes connected ecosystems deliver, instead of focusing on individual components,” he said.

Scott has a passion for developing sustainable business by developing strategies, driving execution and fostering partnerships and collaboration. In describing why he was attracted to Rockwell Automation, he emphasised the company’s dedication to industrial automation and information.

“A key strength of Rockwell Automation is that it is the largest company dedicated to industrial automation, it lives and breathes automation. As such, it is at the heart of the company that it should be both an innovation leader and a best practice products, solutions and services provider for the industrial automation environment. In an industry seeing rapid change, this dedicated focus is a key requirement for success and makes Rockwell Automation an exciting place to be,” said Wooldridge.

“As a company, Rockwell Automation has always had great people and a strong customer-first approach with an underlying ethos of integrity. This is a company that is going to continue to strengthen its leadership in the industry by investing in its people, products, compliance and work ethics. I’m looking forward to contributing to its future and helping our customers meet their operational and business objectives in the long term,” concludes Wooldridge.

2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

An Ongoing Global Sustainability Commitment

Rockwell Automation announced that its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report is now available online and in print. Along with detailing the company’s approach to ethical business practices, the report provides highlights and updates on the company’s environmental performances, employee safety and culture, and community relations initiatives.

The mission of Rockwell Automation to improve the quality of life by making the world more productive and sustainable starts with the company and the actions they take every day. Rockwell Automation continues to create the best work environment for employees and to help improve worldwide customer’s productivity, quality, safety and sustainability.


Business Roundtable 2017 Sustainability Report has mentioned about Rockwell Automation and the company’s commitments to the environment, the communities and the people. The report features narratives from global business leaders about how their companies are improving the quality of life around the world through sustainability efforts.


With socially responsible and sustainable business practices embedded in work and behaving, leading indices and organizations continue to recognize the company as a sustainability leader.


10 Years of Shared Success:


  • Named a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index six times
  • Included on the FTSE4Good Index for more than a decade
  • Named one of Ethisphere Institute’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® nine times
  • Reduced energy intensity by 23 percent from company's 2008 baseline


Collaboration with Industrial Security Company Claroty

After a competitive review process, Rockwell Automation has selected Claroty, the industrial security software provider, as a collaborator to work on combining their security products into future, packaged security offerings. One of the key competitive capabilities of Claroty is their anomaly-detection software, which can create a detailed inventory of an end user’s industrial network assets, monitors traffic between those assets, and analyzes communications at their deepest level. Even the smallest anomalies can be identified and be reported to plant and security personnel with actionable insights to help enable efficient investigation, response and recovery.


Traditional IT security software often uses active queries and requires a footprint on the network, which can ultimately disrupt operations. However, the Claroty platform uses a passive-monitoring approach to safely inspect traffic without the risk of disruption. It can detect human errors and other process integrity issues at any stage while protecting complex and sensitive industrial networks. The system also identifies network-configuration issues that could expose a system to outside threats.


Claroty has joined the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork® Encompass™ program, which is a product reference program that helps customers quickly locate products that solve application challenges. With the addition of Claroty, Rockwell Automation can find more robust solutions to help protect operations and industrial security.

Thunder Down Under is the first Australian team to win the esteemed Chairman’s Award

Australian FIRST: Recognition for commitment to STEM outreach

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) team, Thunder Down Under, wins Chairman’s Award at world championship event

For the first time in history, a team from Sydney, Australia has been announced as the winner of the prestigious Chairman’s Award at the 2017 FIRST Championships held in Houston, Texas. FIRST was founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

The FIRST”Robotics Competition (FRC) is the flagship competition of FIRST, a large-scale robotics competition that brings together students and mentors to build robots that perform in a competitive but gracious environment against teams from all over the world.

Thunder Down Under is the first Australian team to win the esteemed Chairman’s Award - the highest honour given at the FRC Championship, recognising the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.

According to Michael Heimlich, Professor at the Department at Engineering at Macquarie University, “This is like Australia winning the America’s Cup all over again! Nobody expected a team outside of North America to win it and we didn’t just win it, according to the judges, the team ‘changed the paradigm’. It is a very exciting achievement.”

The Chairman’s Award is presented according to the contribution of the overall team, not just the robot. It is awarded as a result of what the team has achieved over an extended period of time.

Thunder Down Under created an innovative program for STEM outreach in 200 rural and remote indigenous communities. This program was adapted for the inner city, also reaching homeless kids. The team’s outreach extended to 12 countries in almost every continent around the world and the impact of their work has been visible and measureable over more than five years.

“The award is just as much attributed to the current team, as it is to the kids that were on the team three to five years ago that also worked to put all this in motion and really lay the foundation. Many of these founding members are now working as engineers, undertaking graduate degrees or working during the day and coming to mentor the kids after hours,” explained Professor Heimlich.

Professor Heimlich has worked with Thunder Down Under since it was established eight years ago. Macquarie University pioneered the FIRST program in Australia, approximately fifteen years ago.

“The program is now in approximately seven to eight percent of schools in Australia and to put that in perspective, it’s only in approximately one to two percent of schools in the US. If you use that as a measure of the program, it is really more successful here that what it is in the US,” explained Professor Heimlich.

There were a number of obstacles that needed to be overcome to run the FIRST program outside of the US. Being in Australia, distance, foreign exchange and cultural factors with the program starting while students are on summer holidays are all significant challenges that had to be overcome.

“As a valued sponsor of FIRST, Rockwell Automation helped remove one of the major stumbling blocks for running the program in Australia by providing access to parts that are usually only available in the US. They have shown a real passion in working with all kids and set up programs to support kids throughout the age groups,” said Professor Heimlich.

Rockwell Automation is recognised as a FIRST Strategic Partner, which signifies the highest levels of support available at FIRST. It is also a FIRST Robotics Competition Crown Supplier. 

Kerryn Sakko, senior application engineer at Rockwell Automation is responsible for encouraging staff to get involved in the FIRST program locally. She explained that, “Our staff enjoy donating their time as team mentors and competition judges, providing mutual benefits to both our volunteers and the participants alike. FIRST is a great initiative and by getting involved, it gives us the opportunity to help young people foster a lifelong interest in STEM while having lots of fun along the way.”

Over the past 10 years, Rockwell Automation has provided broad-based support to address the critical need to fill science, technology, education and math jobs that drive innovation. Many of these jobs go unfilled because of both the lack of awareness of the kinds of high-tech jobs available, and the lack of skills to qualify for today’s needs.

With a mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, there is no doubt that the kids and mentors from Thunder Down Under are role models to other FIRST participants and worthy recipients of the Chairman’s Award.

“Thunder Down Under is a group of kids and mentors who believe in the ideals of FIRST, and worked to overcome all the obstacles in their way. It’s a phenomenal story for all of Australia. We decided we were going to do this and we did. If anyone says that Australians can’t innovate, this just proves that their wrong,” said Professor Heimlich.

Watch this short YouTube video to see Thunder Down Under’s STEM outreach in action:

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