ImaginetheFuture – INWED 22

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, Young Transport Professionals (YTP) is proud to celebrate the contribution of current/future female leaders to not only the current YTP committee but to shaping the future of engineering and the transport industry. This year’s theme is #ImaginetheFuture, with a focus on Inventors and Innovations.

Introducing Evelyn Tao…

Evelyn completed a Master of Engineering (Civil) at UoM and is currently a Project Officer in Rolling Stock Development at the Department of Transport having joined the organisation in 2020. The role involves working with rolling stock subject matter experts, suppliers and Franchisee to support the delivery of new rolling stock, major refurbishments and upgrades, with a strong focus on supporting local jobs and industry.

Introducing Caitlin Skinner… 

Caitlin completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at the Swinburne University of Technology and since 2020 has been partnered with AECOM working as a Rail Engineer in the Track and Civil team. By working on projects such as the Rail Infrastructure Alliance and the Warrnambool Line Upgrade, she has gained in-depth experience in track and formation design and associated civil infrastructure, as well as cable containment design.

Question 1: Why did you decide to study engineering?

Evelyn – I was curious about how things worked and engineering was a really good fit. I like the process of thinking about a problem, exploring multiple options and coming up with a solution that benefits the user. I have really enjoyed my journey in engineering, I feel inspired by different engineering solutions, designs and the amazing engineers I work with every day. Regardless of how much time I spend in engineering, it is a continual learning experience.

Caitlin – Two words – Maths and Physics. As hard as it is to believe, both were my favourite subjects in school. I had a fascination with discovering how things worked and applying rules resulting in quantifiable solutions. Little did I know at the time, that this is the definition of engineering.

Having worked in transport since graduating, I can safely say that the learning never ends (and this is the best bit!) By continuously challenging myself to question and think differently, I am provided with an endless opportunity to change the world for the better.

Question 2 – What is the most interesting project you have worked on?

Evelyn – The two projects I have been working on are both very interesting projects – High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) and Next Generation Trams (NGT). I joined the HCMT project at the delivery phase, it was interesting to see how our trains go through comprehensive testing before entering service, as well as how problems and technical issues get tackled through the journey. When I joined NGT, it was at the early stages of planning and now the contract was signed for the largest tram order in Australia’s history. I can’t wait to see the new trams to run on the network that provides a more accessible and sustainable journey for passengers.

Caitlin – For me, I find the most interesting projects are based on their overall purpose, that is, what we’re trying to achieve and how it is achieved. The Metro Tunnel and Geelong Fast Rail are two very interesting projects that I’ve been fortunate enough to work on/are working on.

Both projects have the capacity to change the way people move and create new and improved connections within Victoria’s transport network. How are they achieving this? Well, from a technical perspective, delivering the best outcome requires the adoption of new ideas and technologies. My role has been in the technical aspects of the design, however, never losing focus on the bigger picture – facilitating safe and sustainable movements for users.

Question 3 – How have you found being a woman in engineering?

Evelyn – I can see the growing presence of women in engineering these days! I really enjoyed being a woman engineer as I can solve problems and make things happen just like many others in the industry. The industry is much more female-friendly as I can feel the general respect and willingness to support gender equality from many people. And I’m fairly confident that the working environment will become more and more welcoming to all female engineers.

Caitlin – Diversity in engineering is a trend that is here to stay! Even over the course of the two years that I have been in the industry, I have seen greater uptake of women in engineering roles, although there is still room for improvement. My experience has been a positive one, and if you enjoy questioning how things work and designing things, then the opportunities are endless regardless of gender!

Question 4 – What would be your best piece of advice for a female considering a career in engineering? 

Evelyn – Be confident and believe in yourselves, step out of your comfort zone and continue taking on the challenges, never estimate the power of mentors and develop as many skills as possible.

If you are interested in engineering and wanted to make a change, it is the time for you to join as a woman in engineering and pursue the career. There is high demand for engineering professionals in multiple disciplines, together we can break stereotypes and show the others what we can achieve, no matter our genders.

Caitlin – First and foremost I would say go for it! Engineering captures such a broad range of careers in various roles, sectors, projects and organisations. Reach out to professionals on LinkedIn, participate in mentoring programs or do your own research to understand what interests you. The industry needs a diverse range of people to support growth and this can only be strengthened by diversity. You have the potential to change the world.

Secondly, I received this advice on my first day at AECOM “There is no such thing as a stupid question…unless you ask it twice”. Asking questions is a part of the job description, and in my experience, people are more than willing to help you – unless you ask it twice.

 

#INWED22 #ImaginetheFuture

Shaping Transport Superhubs

Young Transport Professionals (YTP) organised an interactive workshop on the topic of Shaping Transport Superhubs. This event was facilitated by Gillian Austin from Aurecon, John Richardson from Jacobs, Peter Nicholls and Daniel Ding from Metro Trains Melbourne.

This event was inspired by Victoria’s Big Build Program. Projects such as Level Crossing Removals, Metro Tunnel, Melbourne Airport Rail and Suburban Rail Loop will have long-lasting impacts on inter-model transport, including the facilitation of safer and more sustainable user travel movements.

The key elements of a Superhub should include inter-model transport connections to the surrounding landscape, future development opportunities, efficient access to key destinations, improved amenities, and implementation of environmental and sustainable architecture.

The participants were split into groups and provided 30 mins to redesign Geelong Station into a Superhub using the facilitator’s guidance, industry experience and creativity. Each group presented their solution to the facilitators which were judged, and the facilitators selected a winner for the task. Congratulations to “Quick Bites” who were the winners!

The evening concluded with professional networking, where the participants and facilitators continued to discuss Transport Superhubs and connected with like-minded young professionals outside their organisations.

Thank you to our Industry Partners, Subject Matter Experts, Venues and participants for making this an informative and fun event.

 

YTP 8th Annual Barefoot Bowls

Disclaimer: No lawn bowls were injured during the course of this event.

Young Transport hosted its 8th Annual Barefoot Bowls Event on Thursday 3 March, and it was a great night of networking and healthy competition.

After beginning the night with conversations, cold drinks and pizza, the barefoot bowls commenced. With a crash course on the rules and teams settled, everyone was ready to let the good times “bowl”.

Young Transport Professionals would like to thank everyone who attended the event. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next event – stay tuned!

2022 Monash Institute of Railway Technology Annual Lecture in Railway Engineering

The YTP Committee had the pleasure of attending the annual Monash Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) Dr Stephen Marich lecture last week. It was a pleasure to meet up with others in the rail industry and hear from Distinguished Professor Buddhima Indraratna about some of the key geotechnical challenges and considerations in the design of track structures in the Australian #rail network.

It was a fascinating event with some key takeaways from the lecture for us including:

– The effect of train speed on the degradation of track structure – The deviation and deterioration of track substructure material properties during operations from what was designed

– Increased axial loads of heavy haul increasing the fluidisation of mud leading to settlement – mud pumping

– Role of coal on ballast fouling and impeding on track drainage

President’s Address: April 2022 Newsletter

Hi everyone and welcome to another edition of YTP’s quarterly newsletter. I hope you enjoyed learning more about YTP, our Committee members and the wide world of transport and are looking forward to another update! As always, I would like to thank our industry partners, the Aurecon Jacobs and Mott MacDonald Joint Venture, the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT) and Metro Trains Melbourne, for their continued support. 

Since our inaugural newsletter release in January, the YTP Committee has been adjusting to a return to face to face events after a disrupted start to the year. It was fantastic to catchup with our members again in person at the 8th Annual Barefoot Bowls in March! Check out this quarter’s events recap to read more about the evening. The committee is busy planning events throughout the rest of the year and a reminder that YTP events are free to attend. 

The team also attended the annual Monash Institute of Railway Technology (mIRT) Dr Stephen Marich lecture in Railway Engineering delivered by Prof Buddhima Intharatna on Geotechnical considerations in the railway. It was a fascinating technical event to learn about the research being undertaken in conjunction with the rail industry as there is increased demands in passenger and heavy haul rail. 

Also in this edition, in celebration of International Women’s Day this month, the committee brings to you the journey’s and achievements of some fantastic leaders in the transport industry in a quick fire 3 questions feature here. Special thanks to Jo Dougan, Georgina Mahony and Rachel Harding for their time in answering and providing some great advice and leadership lessons for the next generation of female leaders coming through. 

 For this quarter’s ‘A Day in the life of’ interview, get to know Courtney Dunn from MTR and learn about some of the fascinating work she is doing on Sydney Metro as a Project Engineer. 

 Finally, I thank our members for their continued support of YTP as without your engagement, we cannot do what we do. Our inbox is always open, so please get in touch if you have any suggestions on how we can improve articles or if you would like to contribute. Happy reading!  

A Day in Life of: Courtney Dunn, Project Engineer at MTR

  1. Who are you and what is your role, and what is the project you are currently working on?

My name is Courtney and I am a Project Engineer working on Sydney Metro project at Waterloo Station. My role is to manage the coordination of subcontractors installing systems such as Radio, Signalling, Communications, Central Control Systems and Passenger Screen Doors.

  1. Could you tell us a bit about your career journey, how did you get into transport?

I started at John Holland 5 years ago as a Graduate after finishing my degree. I worked in the rail sector on a range of diverse roles in precontracts, delivery, testing and commissioning including roles as a Design Engineer, Site Engineer and Requirements Engineer. Currently as a Systems Engineer, I have specialised in project development and Verification & Validation activities and have spent time working in Operations Control Centre to manage rail operations. In 2021, I moved to working for MTR Australia on the Sydney Metro project managing the installation and testing and commissioning of rail systems at Waterloo Station.

  1. What does a typical day as a Project Engineer look like for you?

Lots of meetings 😊. My day is full of interface meetings with the Station contractor, Line wide contractor who are installing rail throughout the tunnel, designers for each discipline and client meetings with Sydney Metro. The aim of these meetings is to coordinate between all parties to ensure a coordinated design and coordinated schedule of site work activities. I also attend site for inspections and to coordinate site activities when required.

  1. In 2050, what do you think Australian transportation will look like?

In 2050, I believe Australian transportation would look like:

  • A efficient integrated rail network across Australia in all major cities.
  • A rail network that is inclusive and accessible to everyone.
  • Integrated wayfinding at all stations to make it easy for customers
  • New technologies for transport such as automated car and electrical buses
  1. How have you seen young people uniquely contribute to the projects you have worked on?

The team I work with currently consists of hard-working, enthusiastic young people who contribute positively to the industry. I’ve seen graduate engineers and site engineers that work on the project and work through construction related issues on site with a thorough understanding and practical thinking.

  1. Looking back, what advice do you have for graduates or early career professionals getting started in their careers?
  • Be confident in yourself
  • Learn from others
  • Try different roles within the company from design to testing and commissioning for example
  • Try different projects
  • Meet lots of people in the company and within the industry through industry events
  1. Finally, what do you do outside of work to relax and have fun?

I enjoy the beach, playing indoor soccer, yoga classes, travelling and socialising with friends and family 😊!

Get to know the YTP Committee – Tushar Sen

Get to know a little more about YTP Treasurer Tushar Sen.

Question 1 – How long have you been involved with Young Transport Professionals? 

I first came to know about YTP through one of their networking events organised just when I was out of Uni in 2019. I finally mustered the courage to nominate myself for the committee board in 2021 and have been contributing as a treasurer for the team.

Question 2 – What is the most exciting project you have worked on?

I have been working in the major transport industry for the past 3 years now since finishing my master’s in 2019. I have been working with RPV for almost 3 years on the Melbourne Airport Rail. It is the largest single project I have worked on.

Question 3 – What have you enjoyed the most about being on the Young Transport Professionals Committee?

YTP gives me the opportunity to connect with professionals of similar experience in the same sector and learn about the latest trends and project developments being undertaken in Australia.  Being on the YTP committee has allowed me to better my skills when I interact with other working professionals in the transport/infrastructure industry. But the learning has gone both ways, I have learnt being part of the committee and the group how to improve my communication skills, on keeping up with the latest techniques and practices followed in other consultancies and company and bring it back to my organisation and create a synergy of data and practices between YTP and my organisation.

Question 4 – What do you do outside of work to relax and have fun?  

I like socialising on the weekend and exploring new towns around Victoria. During the weekdays, I go for a run in the morning along the Yarra River and spend my late evenings at the gym doing strength training. I have recently picked up an interest in ancient mythology and have been reading Mahabharat which comes from my own culture.

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Three Women, Three Careers, Three Questions: Rachel Harding

Introducing Rachel Harding… 

Rachel is a Technical Director at AECOM. She is a Fellow Chartered Practicing Engineer for leadership and management, who has led and managed major projects, environmental impact assessments, environmental management and approvals, and risk assessments over the past 20 years across a diverse range of sectors including rail, mining, oil and gas, and industrial facilities.

Question 1: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement?  

A few years ago I took on the role of Project Manager for the design team on Rail Infrastructure Alliance (a $1-2B construction job), which forms part of the Metro Tunnel Project. 

My biggest achievement was turning around the design program from 45 packages behind schedule to 6 packages ahead.  This was through a focus on design team culture, intentional listening and a ‘no surprises’ approach to design package delivery. 

Question 2: What would be your best piece of advice for a female considering joining the transport industry?  

It’s okay to fail! 

This is my advice to anyone, but it is more relevant to women as I think we worry more about the ‘what ifs’ in life (i.e. What if I make a mistake? What if I’m not ‘good’ enough? What if I’m not selected? What do others think about me?). 

So don’t be afraid to jump in, try new things, listen and learn, back yourself, and pick yourself up off the ground when you make mistakes and learn from them.  Repeat.   

It’s the best way to learn and grow and take joy in what you do.   

Question 3: Is there anything you would change about the transport industry, and why have you decided to stick around?  

I am new to the transport sector, and was attracted by the transformational, city-shaping projects on the go!  It is an exciting time to be involved.  

If I could change anything it would be the diversity of the workforce.  This is still a work in progress! 
As we move towards more diverse teams (gender, qualifications, background, experiences), we will see more supportive and high-performing teams delivering creative, outcome-focused solutions to transport.   

 

Three Women, Three Careers, Three Questions: Georgina Mahony

Introducing Georgina Mahony… 

Georgina is a founding Director of Ediom with over 20 years of experience in the delivery of major infrastructure projects including rail, roads, water treatment and airports. She specialises in Design and Engineering Management of integrated teams for large multi-discipline transport projects having lead teams of up to 250 people. She places a heavy emphasis on forming collaborative teams that foster a positive team culture whilst simultaneously driving value and delivery outcomes. Georgina has recently received the 2021 NAWIC Victoria Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Businesswoman. Projects include EastLink, Regional Rail, Komo Airport and Level Crossing Removal Programs.

 Question 1: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement?  

Whilst it seems a very cliché answer, I’m not sure I have just one! I am proud of a range of achievements in my career based on my experience and role at the time. On reflection, moments I am most proud of tend to involve navigating challenge or change.  Leading teams from 2 to 250 people to deliver outcomes has been incredibly rewarding as has the delivery of technically complex projects in rail, roads and aviation. If I had to name one, it would be starting Ediom three years ago as it ties together all aspects of what drives me and it has been very satisfying (and terrifying!) to build something from the ground up.

Question 2:  What would be your best piece of advice for a female considering joining the transport industry?  

You’ll love it! And the reason I can say that with confidence is there is no single defined career path in the transport industry, hence there really is something for everybody. Take the opportunity to learn more about the various roles, sectors, projects and organisations – nothing works as well as talking to people who work in transport to understand what is out there and what might work for you. In my experience, people are incredibly generous with their time and more than willing to connect you to others.  

Question 3:  Is there anything you would change about the transport industry, and why have you decided to stick around?  

A few years ago, I was giving a small presentation and I was asked why I like what I do. I responded with some general words about problem-solving and working with people etc before a very wise woman (who was well over 80!) stopped me and suggested that ultimately, I like it because my work allows me to feel I am reaching my full potential.  These very savvy words best sum up why I stick around. I do love problem solving and working with teams in a very dynamic environment but ultimately I love that I am constantly learning from incredibly smart people around me and hopefully able to add value back to others with my own experiences.  

In terms of change, I would love to see growth in diversity of thought at the leadership level in transport projects whether that be background, ethnicity, skills, gender or age. This should in turn lead to different ways of tackling problems and attracting more women and men from across society into the industry. As an engineer, one of the reasons I started Ediom was to try to change the way engineers communicate technical issues to stakeholders to drive solutions that consider compliance, people, systems, legacy and value more effectively.  

Three Women, Three Careers, Three Questions: Jo Dougan

Introducing Jo Dougan … 

Jo Dougan is a Project Manager with John Holland and has over 15 year’s multi-discipline experience, specialising in rail and construction. She is currently working on the Rail Infrastructure Alliance in Melbourne. She has worked on a range of projects including construction, rail, communications, power, water, energy and residential/commercial new builds in both the public and private sectors. Her role requires delivering complex projects from end to end on time and within budget. Notable projects include the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project and the Victorian Line Upgrade in London.

Question 1: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement?

Prior to arriving in Australia, I earned the opportunity to be involved with the Power, Communications & Cooling Upgrade Project on the Victoria Line of the London Underground. I had the honour of leading an amazing team to deliver major civil, mechanical, electrical, power and communication construction activities within high constrained central London locations, such as Park Lane and Mayfair to tight timescales whilst ensuring the existing rail network could operate a business-as-usual service.

The team I led was highly motivated and dedicated to successfully delivering critical works, against a backdrop of politically sensitive stakeholders including politicians, unions, high profile residents, local authorities and the London media.

Works involved complex technical interfaces to ensure the newly delivered systems integrated with existing assets to provide a seamless and safe network for London. Our construction sites included works opposite the iconic Ritz hotel through to ventilation and evacuation shafts hidden in apartment blocks in the middle of London.

Despite the enormity of the access and technical constraints involved in this program of complex major infrastructure works, the works were delivered safely, with no lost-time injuries on the job (whilst still delivering on time and budget).

The reason I call this out as my greatest professional achievement is that each day everyone involved in this high profile and the complicated project went home to their loved ones safe and as the mother of two preschool boys at the time, the importance of safely returning my construction family home each night sits at the top of the list.

Question 2: What would be your best piece of advice for a female considering joining the transport industry?

Go for it! Jump on board (no pun intended) the transport industry provides an ever-changing and rewarding career for a variety of different disciplines from design, media /communications, construction, finance, human resources – the options and endless and only bound by our imagination.

My advice is, back yourself, use your voice, you are good enough! If you have a seat at the table, you have earnt your right to be there, you may still be in the minority but don’t be afraid to voice your views, the industry will be better off for hearing a diversity of thoughts and ideas, and your ideas are no exception.

Question 3: Is there anything you would change about the transport industry, and why have you decided to stick around?

I’d love to see greater diversity, not just gender diversity, but the diversity of age, culture, experience, and gender across the industry.  I genuinely believe that greater diversity within our industry will result in a more diverse set of thoughts, ideas, problem-solving techniques which will enable our industry to respond to the many challenges ahead.

Throughout my career in Transport, I have worked in very diverse teams and have found, over time, that the teams who consistently were the highest performing had a diversity of highly diversity motivated people all contributing. These people have all shared the same goal and loved learning and working together and that’s why I have stuck around so long. I love working in construction in the Transport industry and learning something new every day.

There is never a dull moment!