Home' Engineering Expo Guide : March 2012 Contents NATAGE H005
Saturday, March 24, 2012 THE AGE
13 22 43 mycareer.com.au
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Many of our younger engineers look at being socially
useful. Engineering provides the ability to achieve that.''
Leaving a legacy
can be an incentive
Members of the
get their hands
dirty. IMAGE: Arup.
By ANDREW ETHERD
Achievement, being able to say, 'I
was part of that,' having a stake
in the future, these are what
"This is a career which enables you to
physically see the difference you make
to the community," says Peter Bowtell,
principal and buildings practice leader
Australasia at Arup.
"I am 30-some years into my career,
and I can look back and see the legacy
I have left. It is a powerful motivator
feeling you have made a positive
''You get to own each of the projects
you have been involved with. It is the
issue of legacy, what have you done
with your life, your career?
''Many of our younger engineers look
at being socially useful, and want to
make a difference in the work that they
do. Engineering provides the ability to
achieve that, through humanitarian
work, or within their own local
community in disaster relief.
''There are many ways in which
people want to make a difference, to
create opportunities for a better life,
and I think engineers play a
fundamental part in that," he says.
Mr Bowtell is Engineers Australia,
Victoria Division 2011 Professional
Engineer of the Year.
The world of engineering is
changing, Mr Bowtell says.
"We are in a rapid process of
restructuring the industry, which at
times can be a bit slow, we can now
really see the effects of technology.
''The sorts of skills we are looking for
are in social media --- an understanding
of the ways in which people get
together and communicate, the use of
gaming engines and the way we can
demonstrate our projects through
virtual construction before they start.
''There is a whole range of really
interesting ways in which technology is
going to change the jobs we do today,
making them relevant to the future."
Sustainability is going to change the
face of engineering, Mr Bowtell says.
"In a carbon-limited world we have a
huge opportunity, and one of the
biggest challenges to engineers is to
respond, particularly around the issue
''When you think about the fact that
most of our infrastructure of 2030, most
of that has already been built. Making
more with what we have, and finding
ways in which that services a carbon-
constrained world is a great challenge.
"In the global and local area, we've
heard of groups like Freelance.com,
which are starting to become social
enterprises, bidding for work around
the world. We will see different
demands in terms of where work is
done, but the issue of local presence,
local knowledge, and dealing with
people in the local industry will always
remain a part of effective major project
delivery. That will be a key part of what
people will be dealing with. They will
be dealing with resources in a
distributed world, but delivering them
Engineering takes place within the
community, says Mr Bowtell.
"The community is looking for
engineers to take a position and help
guide them towards their sustainable
future, hard as it is for them to imagine
what that future might be.
''It is important to have a group or
body to trust in terms of developing the
things they will need," he says.
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