What's your job about?
I’m currently working in the capacity of a graduate civil engineer on four separate subdivision projects, with the responsibilities of procurement, programming, quality management, document control and end of month claims.
Every day is different depending on what stage and what kind of project you are working on. As a project lifecycle develops, my daily responsibilities change. For example, in the beginning, all the start-up documentation and the subcontractor comparisons need to be completed, whereas in the end, it is generally about compiling quality documentation and project handover. I work under the guidance of a project engineer to ensure that everything required is in place, all works are commercially viable, and the program is being achieved.
What's your background?
I was born in Sydney and moved to the Sunshine Coast when I was 8. I graduated from school in 2014 and the next month I moved to the Gold Coast, where I had a gap year working behind the bar at BMD Northcliffe Surf Club and competed for the club. The gap year allowed me to refresh from finishing school and motivated me to strive to achieve once university started the following year. I started at Griffith in 2016, completing a double degree in civil engineering and business management in 2020, and for the last 2.5 years of uni I worked for BMD part-time as an undergraduate. This time allowed me to develop my knowledge and gain a greater understanding of what an engineer is responsible for. Following graduation, I was offered a full-time Graduate role and I chose to move to Brisbane to be closer to my projects. Working in the Urban division of BMD, your work location is regularly changing due to the shorter nature of the projects. One piece of advice I have for soon to be graduates is to live somewhere central to the business, to minimise your daily travel time.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Perhaps the most important tool of a civil engineer’s skillset is the ability to breakdown a problem and determine the most cost effective and efficient solution for the specific circumstance. As such, different perspectives, stemming from diverse backgrounds/experiences are highly important as they will allow you to arrive at different solutions. Therefore, it is not only possible but extremely beneficial to assemble engineering/construction teams with people from differing backgrounds.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
One of my favourite aspects of the job is the continued education and on-the-job learning you are constantly receiving as a civil site engineer. University is a great tool in preparing you to critically break down a problem and work through to a beneficial solution. However, the majority of my day-to-day activities utilise the skills I have learnt on the project, as every day I am exposed to the many problems that are constantly arising in the construction environment. The feeling of satisfaction you receive upon reaching a cost effective, positive solution for the team, that is going to result in significant profits to the project is incredibly rewarding.
What are the limitations of your job?
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...