There’s a real buzz that comes from solving a big problem. As a Civil Engineer planning and designing airport runways, the problems I work on mean people
can travel the world safely.
Inspired by a passionate high school maths teacher, I thought I wanted to be a teacher (then I’d get to teach sport too – my other love). But a career counsellor suggested I should try engineering and I loved it from day one.
I’m currently working as a member of the design team on the proposed new runway at Melbourne Airport. Working on a brand new runway project is pretty cool. It’s not often new runways are built in Australia – at the moment, there are five at varying stages of planning and design development and I’ve been working on two of them!
Maths is crucial to the whole process. It’s the way engineers come up with solutions to problems. It helps me work out things like how many aircraft might land on a runway over a 20 and 40-year period, the impact of varying aircraft types, the impact of next-generation aircraft, how thick the pavement design should be to cater for take-offs and landings, and how much space to allow for planes parking, turning and refuelling.
Some of the best advice I can give isn’t my own, but a quote from Roald Dahl: “If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”
I think if you embrace your career and life that way you will always be happy and be able to make the most of any situation. Having a role in shaping and delivering future aviation infrastructure in Australia is hugely exciting and rewarding!