An update from the Sunshine Coast Regional Committee - December 2020

An update from the Sunshine Coast Regional Committee.
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Transition periods are generally tumultuous. The transition into a different climate epoch, described by some as the anthropogenic climate period, was certainly marked by considerable tumult at end of 2019/2020 as we experienced the terrible fire season across Australia and, sadly, in our own region.

Of course, we are all acutely aware of the tumultuous period that followed on and the impact COVID-19 has had on everyone across the world. For me, this has been a period of hope. Hope that the importance of acting seriously and urgently on climate change is now undeniably evident, hope that there is an increased recognition of the importance of engaging with our local community and hope that the engineering community can offer solutions to the challenges we face, without detrimental impacts on the environment and society. Spotlighting the latter is a very important role of a local regional committee and Leah and I would like to express our thanks to the local committee for your support and work during this year. Our committee event speakers did very well this year with one of the sessions nearly surpassing record numbers of registrations and online participants. I encourage you to get involved in the committee; it is a great way to meet a diverse group of engineers across the region as well as influence the type of events we run.

 

Thank you to the 2020 Committee

I would like to thank this year’s committee for their continued efforts throughout 2020.

Co-Chair

   

Helen

 

Fairweather

 

FIEAust

Co-Chair

 

Leah

   

McKenzie

   

MIEAust CPEng APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Immediate Past Chair

 

Simon

 

Steinhofer

 

MIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Member

 

Simon

 

Buckle

 

GradIEAust

Member

 

Mark

 

Atkinson

 

MIEAust CPEng NER

Member

 

Brooke

 

Hendrick

 

GradIEAust

Member

 

Steven

 

Cook

 

MIEAust CPEng NER

Member

 

Ian

 

Marshall

 

MIEAust CPEng APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Secretary

 

Lance

 

May

 

MIEAust CPEng NER

YEAQ Rep

 

Brody

 

Clark

 

MIEAust CPEng NER

 

Member Spotlight - Interview with Longest Serving Member, Brian Andrew

We caught up with one of the Sunshine Coast's longest serving members, Brian Andrew, MIEAust, who first joined Engineers Australia on the 23 April 1953.  

Hear what he had to say about the changes his seen, his fondest memory and a little bit about where he started and where he is now.

Brian Andrew

I joined the Institution of Engineers Aust. as it was then known, as a student member in 1953, becoming a full member in 1961. My studies were in civil engineering at the Sydney Technical College under the auspices of Professor Crawford Munro, the father of Australian hydrology.  I started my career as a hydrologist but very soon moved into the field of dam construction (still associated with water) and spent over 40 years constructing, operating and maintaining most of the major irrigation dams and weirs in New South Wales. Major dams I worked on include Keepit, Wyangala, Glenbawn, Copeton, Blowering, Hume and Burrendong as well as a number of smaller storages and weirs throughout New South Wales.

In the early days, I.E. Aust published technical papers in Transactions and it was interesting to read about the work of fellow engineers particularly in the dam building field, and to engage in discussions. NSW rural dams and the snowy dams were in the 50’s and 60’s designed and constructed in accordance with the US Army Corps and US Bureau of Reclamation guidelines as we had little experience with modern dam construction, particularly earth and rockfill dams.  The Earth and Concrete Manuals produced by the Americans were our bible.  I also remember attending annual IE Aust conferences, the first being in 1962 at Cooma at the height of the Snowy Scheme construction.  The annual conferences were a great venue to meet colleagues and listen to the presentation of papers. I was also involved with ANCOLD (Australian National Congress on Large Dams) and presented a few papers to that body.

After my working life, engineering has changed dramatically, with the advent of computers. In my opinion registration of professional engineers in Australia is essential and it is pleasing to see Queensland leading the way in this respect. Computer technology has made my original studies somewhat redundant although my seventy-year-old slide is still as good as the first day I used it. In the heavy construction field, the advent of modern machinery has made the old methods we used completely out of date.  As far as engineering innovations are concerned, I can only relate to topics with which I am familiar, and I would say that the pioneering work in the fifties and sixties done by our academics in the area of hydrology has been significant. In this respect, several of my school colleagues were university professors developing modern hydrology techniques and importantly the Australian rainfall and runoff guidelines which are invaluable to local governments throughout Australia.

I have been retired for 20 years and have lived on the Sunshine Coast for all that time.  I now spend my time gardening, researching family history and listening to opera. However, I still take a great interest in dams and dam construction in the rest of the world and my desk-top computer is excellent for this purpose. I regret that I only occasionally attend Engineering Australia gatherings when something turns up that I can understand, but I do read the monthly magazine, Create, which brings home to me how much engineering has changed in the last seventy years.

Certainly not the greatest innovation but one with which I am very familiar is pre-stressing and post-stressing of concrete. Post-tensioning was in its infancy when I first used it at Keepit and Wyangala Dams in the 1950’s and 1960’s when high tensile bars were used and later at Burrinjuck Dam using wire cables which is now the accepted method. Its use in bridge construction and dam construction has been of great benefit over the years and the technique which has been refined is now commonplace throughout the world.

 

Recognition of New Chartered Members and EngExecs

We would like to recognise our newest Chartered Members and EngExec's.

Chartered Members:

  • Jeremy Cockram, MIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)
  • Julian Knott, AMIEAust CEngA NER  IntETn(Aus)
  • Ivan Beirne, MIEAust CPEng NER

EngExec:

  • Adrian Megaw, FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

 

Local CPD

We recently held our Annual Dinner at Alexandra Headlands Surf Club.  It was wonderful to re-engage face-to-face and to recognise the achievements of two of our local members who had gained Chartered or Fellow this year.  We heard briefly from Tim Kelly (Chartered) and David McDougall (Fellow) about what achieving these has meant to them as part of their career journey in engineering.

Check out the night here https://flic.kr/s/aHsmRYAZPJ

 

If you have a topic to present, a suggested site tour, or want to get more involved in the local engineering professional community, please get in contact with us. The committee meets regularly and always welcomes new members - please email [email protected] and we will be in contact with you.

 

Have a Merry Christmas, I hope you have the chance for a break, and I wish you a prosperous New Year.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Helen Fairweather

FIEAust

Co-Chair,

Sunshine Coast Regional Committee

   

Leah McKenzie

MIEAust CPEng APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Co-Chair,

Sunshine Coast Regional Committee