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 Tips for up and coming engineers

Tips for up and coming engineers

Let me start by saying that being an engineer is an incredibly rewarding yet demanding career choice.

As ‘corny’ as it sounds, you will make a real difference in people’s lives, and as cliché as this sounds, ‘engineers really do make ‘it’ happen’.

Unfortunately when you’re first starting out, it can be an incredibly daunting and frustrating time for a young engineer, so here are five tips for my ‘brethren’ beginning their engineering journey.

  1. For A Short Period of Time It’s Going To Hurt

Graduating with a degree in engineering is an accomplishment in and of itself. Unfortunately the reality is that your degree is essentially a piece of paper that verifies you know how to use a calculator and chew gum at the same time.

Of course I am being facetious, but the end of your degree is actually the first step on a very long road ahead. You need to accept that for the first three to five years you will be confused and shrouded in self-doubt, constantly second guessing yourself as you struggle to make sense of the monumental amount of information you will be asked to absorb and comprehend.

Fight through that self-doubt. You’re going to be fine.

Grit your teeth, keep your eyes and ears open, commit to your growth, focus on your development and absorb as much as you can as quickly as you can, and before you know it you will have set the foundations of your career.

  1. Site Experience, Site Experience, Site Experience

In case it wasn’t emphasised enough, you’ve got to get site experience. It is unbelievable how important working in the field can be. Get on site and get dirty. For the first six months to a year, work as a labourer if you must, it doesn’t matter, just get out there. Site work will give you incredible insight that an office environment simply can’t, plus it will enable you to think beyond the numbers and formulas and expose you to factors and parameters you won’t learn from a text book.

  1. A Strong Work Ethic Is Mandatory

As an engineer, you will encounter countless variations of never ending problems from demanding clients that set ‘yesterday’ deadlines in an industry where competition grows exponentially, thanks to the wonders of ever changing technology.

There is simply too much information to process, and of course there never is enough time, so believe me when I tell you that 9-5 won’t cut it. Success requires early starts and late finishes, so forget about looking at your watch and repeat this mantra over and over:

  1. Modern Tech is A Double Edge Sword So Measure Twice Cut Once

One of the great things about modern engineering is the vast number of advanced tools we have at our disposal. Computers and modern technology have allowed us to tackle complex problems, communicate big ideas and share results faster and more efficiently than ever before.

In fact this piece was typed on a laptop connected to the internet via my Australian mobile phone connected to the Chinese network whilst sitting in a bullet train travelling at 305km/hr heading to Shenzhen to meet with Chinese engineering colleagues to discuss new concrete and steel technology.

Unfortunately, surrounded by all the modern tools, an engineer can become lazy and too trusting of the solution on the screen. Whether it’s a complex FEM program or a simple spreadsheet, you must develop a full and comprehensive understanding of the input ‘language’ to properly interpret the output results.

Do not rush to the keyboard before first developing your understanding of engineering philosophy and a ‘feel’ for the numbers.

My advice is simple, respect technology, don’t be afraid to use it, but apply a healthy dose of scepticism when reviewing the output file, and if it doesn’t ‘feel’ right, then check it with a hand calculation. Then check it again.

  1. Money Money Money Money Money

Do not let money be the main factor which determines the course of your career, because when you’re starting out, you will not be impressed by your pay cheque.

Don’t worry about money during the early stages.

First choose the branch/sector of your engineering discipline which most interests you, then focus on developing your skills and technical abilities.

It’s no secret or special advice, love your job and it won’t feel like work, and before you know it your knowledge base and ‘abilities’ will start expanding exponentially and you will become more ‘valuable’ to an organisation.

That’s when you start seeing the bigger numbers and that’s when other options start to appear. 

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ACSES Engineers recognised as a leading PhD employer

We are honoured and privileged for being recognised as a leading PhD employer (with less than 500 staff) in the Engineering & Construction industry sector.

The results are the outcome of a research collaboration between CSIRO Data61’s Ribit.net student talent platform and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), co-authored by Paul McCarthy and Dr Maaike Wienk.

Here’s a link to the report and a summary.

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Meet the WasteShark








The WasteShark is designed after one of nature’s most efficient harvesters of marine biomass, the Whale Shark. It is designed to swim through water and eat its prey with minimum effort and maximum efficiency.

It is designed for round-the-clock waste collection. It also scans and monitors the environment, sending data back to central command.

  • Purpose: 16 hours a day waste collection; data collection & transmit
  • Waste type: plastics, micro-plastics, alien vegetation (e.g. duckweed), floating debris
  • Territory: trafficked water; confined space; tight angles
  • Steering control: remote controller or plotted
  • Thrust: 5.1 kgf (forward) and 4.1 kgf (reverse) @ 16V
  • Weight: 39 kg unladen
  • Dimension: 1556 mm long x 1078 mm wide x 450 mm deep
  • Carrying capacity: 200 litres
  • Environmental Sensors: Depth, temperature, water quality
  • Data recording: Time, location and journeys

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Dubai to 3D print a quarter of its future buildings








Dubai has taken a step further along the road to making such dreams a reality by announcing that 25% of the city-state’s new buildings will be made using 3D printers by 2025.

The move is part of an ambitious 3D-printing strategy announced in 2016 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Dubai.

The 3D-printing strategy aims to reduce labour by 70% and cut costs by 90% across different sectors, according to the Dubai Future Foundation.

Perhaps more crucially, 3D-printing construction has the potential to help solve a looming homelessness crisis as more people gravitate to living in cities: the UN predicts that by 2030, the world will have 41 mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants.

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Institute of Engineers Australia Recognition








It’s been 20 years since graduation and last Saturday, I received two certificates from the Institute of Engineers Australia.

One confirming my election as Fellow of the Institute.

And the other confirming I have achieved the status of Engineering Executive.

It’s both incredibly humbling and satisfying to be recognised by your governing professional body in front of your peers, and I thank the Institute of Engineers for these wonderful honours.

GK IEA c

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Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit








Automated rail transit is an environment friendly, rail-less, and driver-less vehicle that is projected to reduce traffic congestion in the highly populated cities. On effective execution of this project, which is presently under development in China, is expected to gain extensive traction in the near future. Due to its low construction cost and a huge carrying capacity, road jamming can be reduced significantly. Additionally, no track is required for its operation, multi-axle steering system, and also functions effectively under extreme climatic conditions.

The world’s first driverless autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system, equipped with sensors for the measurement of road dimension and also helps to create its particular route, under a test run in the city of Zhuzhou in central China’s Hunan Province. It was revealed in Zhuzhou in Hunan province on June 2, 2017 and is expected to be operational in 2018.

The product has been described as a combination of a train, bus, and tram. An ART train with three carriages is around 30 meters long and costs about US$ 2.2 million to construct. It can travel at a speed of 70 km/h and provides space for maximum 300 passengers and a five-carriage train can carry an estimated 500 passengers.

Source: https://businessherald.co/tag/autonomous-rail-rapid-transit-market/

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Rio de Janeiro turns garbage into energy








Rio de Janeiro, a city of about 6.7 million is also one of more than 70 cities worldwide that are aiming to become “carbon neutral” by 2050, meaning they will produce no more climate-changing emissions than they can offset by other means, such as planting carbon-absorbing trees.

From planting trees to promoting renewable energy and cleaner methods of transport, such as electric cars and buses, each city is going about achieving its carbon neutral goals in different ways, and with varying degrees of success.

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