Roger Riordan graduated from Melbourne University in 1954 with the degree of Batchelor of Electrical Engineering. In 1955 he joined the English Electric Company at Rugby as a graduate apprentice, with the intention of becoming an expert in atomic power. However it soon became apparent that English Electric would never succeed in this field, and six months later he transferred to their Mechanical Engineering Laboratory at Whetstone, near Leicester, where he worked on the design of governors for water turbines.
In 1957 he returned to Australia, and joined the CSIRO Division of Mechanical Engineering at Highett. Initially he worked on solar energy, but soon specialised in circuit theory and design. In 1967 he gained international recognition for inventing a new type of active filter, which revolutionised the design of filters for trunk line telephone systems.
In 1973 he resigned from CSIRO, and in partnership with his wife Sally, set up Cybec Electronics. He developed a number of novel electronic instruments for industrial and scientific applications, but the business was not commercially successful, and in 1983 he joined Chisholm Institute of Technology (now Caulfield campus, Monash University), where he lectured on Instrumentation and Microprocessors.
In March 1989 he wrote the first version of the program VET to remove the Stoned virus from the Institute’s PC’s, and at the end of the year he retired from Chisholm to work full-time on VET. He and Sally incorporated Cybec Pty Ltd to handle the sales of the software. VET was very successful, and sales increased steadily, until in 1999 Sally and Roger decided to accept an offer from Computer Associates to buy VET.
When Cybec started to make money Sally and Roger decided to set aside a percentage of the company’s profits to endow scholarships. In 1995 they set up their first scholarship at Trinity College in the University of Melbourne.
Sally Riordan passed away in England in May 1999, and in 2000 Roger married Patricia Herman. Pat and her late husband John had been friends of Sally and Roger since they all met on the Committee of Management of a preschool centre in the late sixties.
Roger and Pat set up the Cybec Foundation in 2002 taking over all the charitable activities of both Cybec Pty Ltd and the Riordan family. Patricia Riordan passed away in December 2010.