Roy went into engineering partly because the local universities were strong in engineering, but perhaps mainly because his father was an engineering professor. It felt like a natural progression, even though he didn’t really know what an engineer did!
Roy graduated from the University of Waterloo in Canada as a System Design Engineer and has moved into being a Transportation Engineer. He missed the first wave of people going to work at Microsoft as he stayed on to do his Masters.
First project was a SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) automation project for an oil pipeline – SCADA is the computer in a central control room where an entire pipeline is monitored live. His role was to automate an existing system and was the manager for the entire project.
He has worked with Suncor Energy, AECOM and Siemens on projects including SCADA replacement for pipelines, water and waste water automation, through to Signal and Train Control for Rail Automation.
Favourite project was while he was working at AECOM. He started with a Waste Water design, but then ended up working on an Airport People Mover (i.e a vertical cable car)
Moved to Australia in 2011 due to an international work transfer.
He is now the Executive General Manager in Victoria for SYSTRA Scott Lister – A world leading consulting and engineering firm specialising in transportation, defence and technology.
Hot Topic discussion
Disruption to transport. “When you look at electric vehicles, when you look at automated vehicles, you sit there and go ‘how’s this disruption going to affect transportation in the future’.”
There’s no infrastructure for some of the future transport solutions – how can this be managed?
“It will force the next generation of engineers to look at things different”
What if somebody said “I’m going to build a tunnel in Sydney for automated cars only”… what’s the business model behind this? That’s part of the disruption that’s out there
One of Roy’s pet peeves is the lack of acceptance of electric vehicles…. it’s a little bit too early for Australia. There’s risk in being the first, but there’s also concern if you’re one of the last.
Dom said “by being able to move things around more easily and more effectively, it has a huge impact” The disruption felt by all of Australian society with changes to transportation would be immense.
“Transportation is not a static environment” Most of Silicon Valley is involved in the transportation industry. There is a lot of work going on in this sector.
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
Being at management level for 10-15 years, Roy does sometime enjoy getting back into the engineering side of things. However, he has to be cognizant that his skillset can be a little dated.
The thrill of being on a project from the beginning to the end.
“Engineers in the future will be less discipled-based and will continue to have to be problem-solvers and apply their skillset across multiple disciplines”
“Technology is a mainstay of engineering now”. There will always be a need of the traditional engineering, but the evolution of technology is having a great impact on what the role of engineers are.
An engineering item for discussion. “Man going to the moon is probably one of the most impressive pieces of engineering” Roy still reflects back and marvels how they did that in the 60s! The Vancover Metro also impresses him when he thinks of his hometown.
An engineer to admire. His father, grew up in India. Went to Germany to get his PhD where he had to learn to write in German. He was a classic professor that loved research, loved to write papers… “That to me is my inspiration” “Maybe that’s why I decided to make my own because I would never have lived up to that standard had I stayed in academics”