Kisal Weeratunge is a member of the Victorian committee for Young Engineers Australia (YEA). Utilising a commerce degree combined with a masters in civil engineering, Kisal is a consultant within the Engineering, Assets and Project Delivery team at KPMG.
Read about how he combines both qualifications daily, and how he supports university students with their engineering pathways via his role with YEA.
What is your role like day to day as a consultant within the Engineering, Assets and Project Delivery team at KPMG Australia?
As a consultant, my day changes and evolves depending on the engagement I'm working on. At the moment, I'm working in the transport space for project delivery, and involved in coordinating commercial programs, creating procurement strategies, and risk and mitigation planning. This is in addition to running meetings with clients (albeit, all virtual at the moment), structuring follow-up communications and helping run group project workshops.
How did you become involved with the YEA and what skills do you gain by being part of the Victorian Committee?
I first connected with YEA through attending a Continuing Professional Development event, where I met Xavier Treguer (Victorian Business Development Manager at the time) and found out how I could get involved through the Engineers Australia ambassador program at Melbourne University. From there, I got the opportunity to run events, share resources and help guide students on their engineering pathway on campus. Following my transition to graduating, I really wanted to continue supporting the young engineering community, and that's how I became involved with the Victorian Committee. YEA-V has helped me gain confidence, meet new people, and overall, help make a positive difference to young engineers.
What has your career pathway been like so far?
So far, my career pathway has transitioned from technical design engineering, to engineering management consulting and I've found it really valuable working on a variety of projects that have involved both technical design and strategic advisory. I provide engineering services to clients across the economy, including the energy, financial, government, resource, transport and infrastructure sectors.
You have also completed a Bachelor of Commerce along with a Masters in Engineering. Can you tell me about how both degrees tie in for you? What motivated you to follow up this degree with a masters in engineering?
Early on at university, I wasn't sure of the pathway that I wanted to follow. However, with an interest in business management and the practical applications of mathematics, I was keen to pursue a pathway that could combine these complementary disciplines—the combination of commerce and engineering fit that bill perfectly! It allowed me to learn more about the elements of engineering design in business problem solving and recognise how to better deliver engineered solutions to solve current challenges and create new opportunities.
What advice would you have for engineers in the early stages of their career?
From the onset of my career a fundamental piece of advice I have followed is the importance of setting goals. It's been a rudimentary element that I have persistently incorporated throughout different stages of my career and it's really helped me with direction and decision making. Especially early on, I think it's really important to create a goal setting plan and explore different avenues. Personally, I keep to a S.M.A.R.T structure and plan my goals as a stretch (multiple phased goals), to act as intermediary rewards!