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Kyle John Waye: Technical specifications guru

Kyle Waye was not a man who enjoyed the spotlight.

He was a larrikin Aussie spirit who lived to work and just wanted to get on with things. His ability to listen, his wit, outlook on life and sheer depth of knowledge won him many friends wherever he went, and he became the “go to” person for many within the industry.

The loss of his wide-ranging knowledge and skill set will certainly be felt throughout the industry.

Kyle began his career in the 1980s in the Queensland Mines Department, in the coal division and the core library in Zillmere, where he met his future wife Catrin. Colleagues can still recall games of cricket held between the shelves, played with tennis balls that are still to be located.

Following his time with the Mines Department, Kyle moved to Queensland Water Resources, where he stayed for several years, working on many projects and geological investigations across Queensland.

This included geological investigations into many dams and river resources, including work on the Burdekin River Dam, from which he collected many stories and anecdotes he enjoyed sharing with others over the years.

As part of joining the Department of Main Roads in 1998, Kyle and his family moved to Rockhampton, where he became key to developing technical standards and specifications for materials and design. {{image2-A:R-w:350}}

He stayed with Main Roads for nearly 10 years, building a strong foundation of expertise around technical specifications and requirements, as well as an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of many of the quarry resources in Queensland.

It was while working with the Department of Main Roads that Kyle came to know Gary Basford. Gary had plans to retire and knew that in Kyle he had found an ideal replacement.

It took Gary some time to convince Kyle but his persistence paid off, with Kyle joining Holcim Australia (previously Cemex) as the company’s Queensland reserves manager in 2007.

Kyle and Gary orchestrated a seamless transition, with Kyle’s skills and personality a good fit with the quarry industry. As the Queensland reserves manager, Kyle had the challenge of obtaining and maintaining knowledge of all of Holcim’s Queensland quarry reserves and operations.

He assisted the Holcim technical team in product development, including a greater focus on manufactured sand. Kyle also assisted in improving safety around Holcim Queensland quarries, with ground control management plans put in place to assist site managers in understanding the hazards and risks associated with instability in their pits.

Kyle also chaired the Cement Concrete Aggregates Australia (CCAA) Queensland extractive industries technical committee from November 2011 to the beginning of 2014.

In this capacity he was instrumental in reviewing and bringing about technical specification changes, working with the Department of Main Roads and local councils.

Of recent note were the successful changes his efforts with the CCAA technical committee brought about by working with Brisbane City Council in relation to changing the sulphur levels for aggregates.

Kyle was a lifelong collector of knowledge and enjoyed both gaining and sharing it with others. He recently wrote a number of articles and policy statements, involving himself in many important activities in different areas of the industry. His invaluable experience and expertise cemented his reputation as one of the most highly regarded experts in the industry, whose advice was sought on a wide range of matters.

Kyle’s ability to listen to the opinions of others, and afford everyone a fair hearing, won him the respect of his friends, peers and colleagues alike, and his absence will be felt at many industry functions to come.

Kyle Waye passed away on 17 August, 2014, at the age of 53, and is survived by his wife Catrin and sons Lachlan and Michael. 

Rebecca Clemmey is the planning and environment co-ordinator for Holcim Australia, Brisbane.

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