Home' Engineering Expo Guide : March 2012 Contents NATAGE H006
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Engineer your career
Looking for more
Moving our cities
into the future
By ANDREW ETHERD
engineers are at
the forefront of
and cities around
From airports to the libraries, Gavin
Chater has lived the life he always
wanted, as an engineer.
"From the age of four there was
never any doubt that I was going to be
an engineer. I grew up wanting to
design cars, then as I got excited about
boats I decided I wanted to do that.
Eventually I did mechanical engineering
at university and went into the building
industry. I have never considered any
Born in Britain, Mr Chater moved
with his family to South Africa, where
he attended the University of Natal in
Durban (now the University of
KwaZulu-Natal), graduating in 1999.
Since then he has acquired a wealth
of experience, and has worked in
Australia at GHD for several years.
"I've worked on a number of key
projects," Mr Chater says, "including
the Heathrow Terminal Five project,
and the White City project --- a
shopping mall built over a rail depot,
just outside the BBC offices.
''Locally, I have worked on the State
Library of Victoria, and two air traffic
control towers for Air Services Australia,
one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide,
and I am currently working on the
Monash University Green Chemical
Futures project, which aims to be the
world leader in it's field."
Mr Chater gains great satisfaction
from being able to see what he has
"The project I enjoyed the most here
was the State Library of Victoria. I am
very proud of it, it is a fantastic
heritage-listed building, and it was the
first project I worked on when I got to
Australia. It wasn't an easy project by
any means, but it was very satisfying to
''There was also the Terminal Five
project at Heathrow. I learnt a great
deal in a short time. When I fly in there
I can point to it and say, 'I did that.'
Terminal Five, the State Library, and the
control towers will outlast me; my
grandchildren will see them."
Engineering is a dynamic profession,
Mr Chater says. "It is so varied, there is
something new that you are
developing with each project.
''We are at the forefront of the
profession, each project is unique. The
technology has come on so far --- when
I was at university we were dealing with
simple CAD drawings; these days they
design using computer models, where
the engineering inputs and
documentation are all combined, it is a
very powerful tool."
Mr Chater is active in Engineers
Australia. "I'm a committee member for
the Victorian division of the Centre for
Engineering Leadership and
Management, which is a special interest
group within Engineers Australia.''
''It looks after the competency skills
for managers and leaders within the
''For me, it's my way of giving back to
the engineering community. I also
mentor younger engineers for their
chartership status, their professional
accreditation, and I find that really
''I just wish there were more
engineers around who would put in the
effort to get chartership status, as is the
case overseas. As a professional, it is the
standard by which you are measured ---
an international standard."
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