Tasmania’s Young Professional Engineer of the Year believes engineering can change the world one project at a time.
“I come from a family of 8, a family that didn’t have much, so we valued sustainable living in terms of making the most of our opportunities and the most of what we had, and valuing the environment we lived in. Our motto was ‘Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or Do Without!’ Hand me downs was a normal way of life,” says David.
“Coming from a household that had the value of what to use and how to use it drove me in terms of what I wanted to see come out of my engineering career. During uni this influenced some of my elective choices. Studying sustainability and development and how they coexist took me right back to some of the fundamental principles I learned as a kid.”
David says in his job as an engineer, he’s driven to use what is locally available for a project such as local materials or to reuse existing materials where possible.
“I believe engineering can change the world one project at a time. And the way you do this is through sustainability. For example, engineering solutions can be found to mitigate challenges in design and construction which maximise efficiency in how much material you take off the land, how much vegetation you’re removing so that you produce a sustainable solution.
“An important part of our job as engineers is to drive positive change for the environment and the communities around us.
“I’m also a passionate advocate for equity in sustainable development: sustainable solutions should not only be available to those communities that can afford them.”
Downer and VEC Civil Engineering congratulate David on being a national finalist in Engineers Australia’s Pinnacles Awards, in the Young Professional Engineer of the Year category (2021).
Listen to David in conversation with Dr Niamh Chapman and Dr Sarah Lyden from the University of Tasmania, in the “That’s What I Call Science” podcast.