Did you always want to be a transport engineer? Tell us about what piqued – and held – your interest.
No, actually I wanted to become a pilot … and still do! But that hasn’t happened (yet).
My interest in traffic and transport stems from my second career of choice: physics and particularly particle physics. My base qualification is actually in Mechanical Engineering, and I worked in solar energy research at Australian National University for many years trying to crack utility scale solar thermal concentration.
Perhaps what holds my interest in transport engineering is the constant barrage of seemingly insurmountable problems! I enjoy design and problem-solving. Roads and transport, while seemingly mundane and horrible blights on our landscape, also form the key connectivity that keeps the economy rolling. I’m proud to have contributed to over 2000 road and bridge projects in Victoria.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of the job must be the people and connections I’ve made over the years. We’ve been through some tough times at VicRoads/DoT /DTP and it’s the personal relationships I have formed within the industry that makes it all worthwhile.
What makes you a good transport engineer?
No one said I was a good transport engineer! But I hope I’m experienced enough to be able to provide a valuable contribution towards innovative solutions. Nothing comes easy in the booming growth areas of greater Melbourne. You often don’t have the land, the money or the timing right to design and construct a great transport network; everything becomes a compromise and deals need to be struck. I think my work in this space has received recognition for keeping the wheels rolling!
What areas do you consider your speciality and interest?
My speciality is perhaps also my downfall! I have also worked on the civil and construction side of the business and I often find myself thinking in terms of ease of constructability and long-term maintainability. Albeit while this is usually a good thing, this can be detrimental at the ‘ideation’ phase of large project development. I like efficiency, low cost and low waste solutions!
What are some memorable projects you’ve worked on?
In past lives, I (sometimes) fondly recall several projects; the design and construction of a large (400m2) solar thermal concentrating dish in Israel. The attaching of the fabric skin to Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. Project Managing the last electro-mechanical refitting of our now decommissioned naval destroyers. Regional Rail Link, package A (the city end). APAC Drive bridge, Melbourne Airport. The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jordan. Grand Pavilion at Melbourne Showgrounds. Melbourne Quarter project over Wurundjerri Way … to name a few.
What’s been the biggest change or challenge in your career?
The biggest change is probably watching the workforce changes that have been happening over the last 10 years … people are getting younger! I found the change to working from home during Covid was extremely difficult in terms of efficiency of finding relevant information quickly and this became frustrating.
The biggest challenge for me has been managing my work-life balance properly! I have (had) a tendency to become too absorbed in a particular project. I hope I have a handle on it now … it only took me 30 years to figure it out!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I continue to pursue aviation as a passion. During Covid, I obtained my Wheeled Powered Parachute endorsement flying out at Werribee in the early mornings before work.
I’m the secretary of the Caulfield Racecourse Flying Club … Old blokes flying model aircraft!
I used to be a part-time musician playing tenor sax in blues/funk/jazz bands.
I’m the father of two (sometimes) lovely boys.
One of my legs is mostly Titanium.