CV for Vianney Shiel

ARMIT, FRMIT, Dip Ed, MIE(Aust), CPEng(Ret), AM.


Vianney Shiel holds Associate and Fellowship Diplomas in Electronic Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) as well as a Diploma of Education. He is a member of the Institution of Engineers (Australia) and a Certified Practicing Engineer.

After some years in industry as a Design Engineer and Production Engineer, he joined the academic staff of RMIT where he taught in the areas of electronic measurements, printed circuit board design and manufacture, CAD/CAM, electronic construction practices and audiovisual technology for 21 years. During the last five years at RMIT he was Head of Department of Audiovisual Technology.

In 1979 he was seconded from RMIT for twelve months by the National Retail Automotive Training Committee to prepare a Government White Discussion Paper on "The Introduction of Electronics into Automobiles and it's Effect on Training". This investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Australian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and involved preparing a twenty page questionnaire which was circulated to a selected cross section of the industry. The data from over one hundred returns was collated and formed the basis of the report. The other main section of the report was a summary of a very detailed world-wide literature search.

In 1989, Vianney was seconded from RMIT to the Australian Electronics Development Centre (AEDC) as one of the founding staff members. Subsequently, he joined the staff full time and, for over nine years was responsible for the development and teaching of special short courses for industry in the areas of manufacture and design using SMT, Statistical Process Control applied to electronic manufacture and printed circuit board manufacture, electromagnetic interference and compatibility, electrostatic discharge prevention, electromagnetic radiation measurement to AS2772 and assisted with many of the quality courses that were run by the AEDC.

Between 1991 and 1998, through the sponsorship arrangements between the industry and the AEDC, he visited some 50 manufacturing sites around the world, including Japan Airlines, Isusu Motors, Mitsubishi Electric and NEC in Japan, Ericssons in Sweden and Siemens in Germany. In the United States he visited several IBM and Hewlett-Packard plants as well as Motorola, Motorola Codex, Solectron and the Naval Weapons Research Centre in Indianapolis. He has also visited a number of organisations in New Zealand and Malaysia.

He regularly attended the Surface Mount International Conference in San Jose, California where he has co-chaired several sessions and, in 1995, presented a one day workshop as part of the Conference. This workshop on SMT Manufacturing Process Control was attended by 65 people. He was on the Executive of the Surface Mount and Circuit Board Association from its inception until 1997 and held the positions of Vice-President and President.

Vianney taught courses for the AEDC in all capital cities in Australia, in New Zealand, Malaysia and the USA.

In particular, in 1998, Vianney taught two courses at Nepcon West in Anaheim, USA, on ESD Damage Prevention and the A-Z of PCB Manufacture. He also presented a paper at the conference on "Where does quality really start in manufacturing?". Later that year, he presented a one day workshop at Surface Mount International on "Practical SPC for SMT Manufacturing". During the SMI Conference period he attended the meetings of the Surface Mount Council, of which he was a liaison member. However, a large amount of his time in 1998 was spent undertaking the training needs analysis for the maintenance staff of the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar Network (JORN).

Since 1969 he has run his own small electronic design and manufacturing organisation, Airtronic Circuits, which specialises in small run production in the areas of industrial control, smoke detector alarm systems and medical electronics, commencing originally with the manufacture of thousands of bare printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Since the closure of the AEDC in late 1998, he has expanded his own business, providing services to the industry which include inhouse training and expert consulting on manufacture and design using SMT, PCB manufacture and use, Statistical Process Control applied to electronic manufacture and printed circuit board manufacture, electromagnetic interference and compatibility (EMC), electrostatic discharge prevention, electromagnetic radiation measurement to AS2772; manufacturing and design problem solving in the above areas; ESD and Process Audits; Process evaluations; Design for manufacturability evaluations; project management and CDROM and Internet production.

In his travels around Australia and overseas he has visited many printed board manufacturing plants including Hadco, Screencraft, Morris Productions, Precision Circuits and a number of IBM and HP plants which have subsequently been sold off to other parties.

He has also consulted to a number of large electronic design companies on Design for Manufacturability issues, especially where the manufacture was to be done offshore.

Over the past several years he has become quite involved in Radiation Hazard Awareness, especially to do with mobile phones and their associated equipment, has taught this course to hundreds of people involved in the industry and was involved in the update of the Australian Radiation Exposure Limit Standard, AS2772. In 2001 he presented a paper at the Occupational Health and Safety Conference on "The Prudent use of Mobile Phones".

During 1998 he was called on by the Australian Customs to be an expert witness in an Administrative Tribunal case with a printed circuit manufacturer over the Computer Bounty and printed circuit boards. Since then, he has been involved as an expert witness in a number of other cases involving acceptable PCB quality, adherence to a design brief and customer / supplier problems in the design of PCBs. Another large case involving alleged theft of intellectual property in the electronics design and assembly. This case required him to successfully prove that a person with the defendant’s education and capability could have arrived at very similar circuit designs for a particular product without relying on the intellectual property in question. In another case he had to prove that a company’s SMT assembly process was not capable of successfully soldering joints below a certain size.

Since 2010 he has been the Technical Consultant for Specialised Conductives Pty Ltd, a small firm who imports specialised electronic components for the reduction of electromagnetic radiation (EMI). His job here is to be the technical liaison person between the customers and the overseas suppliers/manufacturers who are often making specialised parts to supplied drawing particularly for defence related jobs.

Since 2011 he has also been the Technical Consultant for Soulblu Pty Ltd. This organisation are importers and retailers of electronic cigarettes (a battery operated electronically controlled vaporiser) and manufacture the liquids for them from scratch in Melbourne. In this job Vianney is asked to examine samples of possible new products for their design, manufacture and operation and to ensure that they meet the Electrical Safety (for battery charging) and Australian EMC Standards. Under his direction, Airtronic Circuits has modified and repaired heated magnetic stirrers purchased from China along with a 4 head peristaltic pump.  Airtronic Circuits integrated the pump to a computerised weighing system which acts as a semi-automatic bottle filling unit.

Also under his direction, Airtronic Circuits continues, since 1986, to undertake the design and manufacture of all the electronics for the only range of medical centrifuges made in Australia (Spintron) and in 2013 undertook the assembly of all of the electronics that operates the bionic eye – the first one in the world to operate which was designed by the Bionics Institute in Australia.

From 1999 to 2017 Vianney has been a part time lecturer at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, teaching a 4th year/Masters subject in Electronic Engineering called Design for Mass Production, which, obviously, looks at all of the aspects necessary to take a schematic through to having hundreds or thousands of product rolling off a production line, all working when first switched on and putting lots of money in the bank from great sales.

In 2016 in conjunction with the staff of the Monash Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre, he undertook the design of a hand held home use brain stimulator, brightStim, and Airtronic Circuits manufactured 40 units for the Centre to use in research with their patients to determine whether or not this stimulation would make current treatments more effective. Version 2 is now in the design stages.

Vianney and Airtronic Circuits has continued to do the assembly of PCBs for the Bionics Institute for several projects, the latest being a brain implant and receiver for the “Minder” project for epilepsy sufferers.  

Vianney has 5 grown up children and 8 grandchildren. There is always something that Dad or Grandad can fix including washing machines, driers, refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves, microwave ovens, central heating systems, TVs, DVD & CD players/recorders, mobile phones, automotive electrics, computers including laptops, lots of battery operated toys, etc.

Vianney also looks after the public address systems, data projectors and computer systems of two local churches, assists with liturgical celebrations at one church and provides electrical and electronic assistance to the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre and the Asylum Seeker Centre in Dandenong, Victoria, all on a pro bono basis.

On Australia Day, 2020, Vianney was made a Member of the Order of Australia, being awarded an AM for his services to the electronics industry and education.