Manufacturing News

Endeavour Awards 2011 Finalists: Young Manufacturer of the Year

Congratulations to the three impressive young individuals who have been named Finalists in the 2011 Endeavour Awards – Young Manufacturer of the Year Award. Read on to see their achievements.


Jason Ko

Automation Control Systems

Jason Ko is the CEO of Automation Control Systems. He was employed in early 2005 as ACS’s first engineer responsible for early ACS products sold in the domestic Australian market. 

According to ACS, Ko established engineering teams to develop new ACS technology products and quickly became the head of R&D and a key decision-maker in the strategic direction of the products. 

Ko is instrumental in establishing business-to-business relationships with customers, suppliers and distributors.

While trying to establish export business overseas in 2009, Ko was installed as CEO by the board to reduce company operating costs, and set-up the business to be completely focused on professional engineering, IT and manufacturing.

Ko dissolved the then management structure, slashing the company’s expenses by half. He established overseas distributorship agreements allowing ACS to focus on what it does best, innovation, and remove its need to market and sell the products overseas. 

Within the first year, Ko has turned ACS’ bottom line from a loss position to a month-by-month profit position, with healthy projections in the coming years. 

With a clear strategic direction, hitting financial targets, Jason focused on the company culture of a professional engineering firm, with a strong focus on autonomous, personal success, tapping into the young enthusiastic engineering culture, while ensuring a successful professional environment that cultivates learning, new ideas and therefore commercial success.


Darren Taylor

Thermal Electric Elements 

Darren Taylor has worked for Thermal Electric Elements for nine years. He started off as junior designer with the company’s design department and has worked his way up the department to become a design manager. 

Taylor’s role is to manage six design staff across two states, which involves coordinating, training, developing, coaching and mentoring.

According to the company, he is at the forefront of the company’s research and development and is responsible for engineering new products for international certification and in accordance with strict international standards. 

He oversees all design projects and provides verification and approval for designs to enter production. 

Innovations in product design by Taylor have enabled Thermal Electric Elements to branch into completely new markets within products that have high profit margins, ensuring the future of the company as a market-leader and securing employment for all Thermal staff long into the future. 


Matt Tiller 

O-I Pacific

Matt Tiller was employed by ACI Glass Packaging as an electrician apprentice in 2007. His role is to install, maintain and service all lighting and power circuits at the O-I Sydney plant.

Having won ‘apprentice of the year’ in the O-I Sydney plant three years running, Tiller takes on all challenges that have been given to him. He often comes up with new concepts and ideas that can be used in the workplace.

Tiller’s latest project required him to visit the company’s Adelaide plant and investigate all electrical and process requirements needed to produce a bottle on the Sydney plant that has not been done previously. 

The task required him to present his findings to the plant manager and his senior engineering team. 

Feedback from the manager has reflected Tiller’s capabilities and the next part of the project is to work with the plant engineering manager to implement the changes necessary for production of the bottle. He has exceeded his skills within the workforce and is well-respected by the tradespeople in each unit he is posted to. 

Tiller is currently participating in a Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control at Mt Druitt TAFE. 



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