Dan grew up on a sheep farm, but realised he wasn’t much of a farmer. He was always amazed by the size and scale of the farming buildings and marvelled at the effort that was required to go into the original making of such buildings.
Dan recently married, loves beach fishing and volunteers at his local surf club.
A Civil engineer from Sydney Uni with a Masters of Science in Bridge Engineering from University of Surrey.
Currently the Principal Bridge Design Engineer at Fulton Hogan, building the infrastructure to keep the country connected. Does bridge and road design, including intermodals.
Dan is most satisfied by the technical solutions and construction side of things “Working backwards from the final state and thinking about every step of the construction process, all the way down to the truck it’s coming in on, that’s the stuff that gets me out of bed. I love that stuff.”
First job as a civil engineer was in Orange with Dom. The manager sent him out to do an inspection at a waterslide park, which was very straight forward. However at the end, the park manager asked if he wanted to have a go “and I was like… absolutely”… “this engineering is alright“ 😂
First role as a bridge engineer was working on a pre-fab bridge called M-Loc, doing design on the piers and piles.
Spending time in the country, working on a variety of projects “I really recommend going on a regional job to give you a great generalist approach to everything”
A highlight project was a pedestrian bridge on the Northern Beaches due to the bespoke design and pushing the materials. It suited the location and site constraints. Included doing footfall analysis to make sure it wouldn’t bounce… but you come to a point when “you’ve just got to trust the numbers”.
Hot Topic discussion
Engineers have “… got to stop being humble, we’ve got to be bolder”
When you look back in history, we’ve got amazing names in engineering that are household names. But nowadays, it’s the architects who are being celebrated for a building.
“Architects are great self-promoters and we should really take a leaf out of that”. The business model really showcases what they have done.
Engineers have a similar business mode in that they trade off previous projects, “but I don’t think people every really understand or know just what it takes” (said Dom)
Engineers that are doing brilliant work tend to be “buried inside big companies”.
“Some of the smartest guys and girls I’ve worked with are so humble. There needs to be a combination of really great promoters and really great engineers a well”
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
By thinking about the project in absolute detail, the level of logistical factors, it does ensure the customer is more satisfied with the final product.
Sometimes the physical constraints of a site can drive the final design solution.
“Every project has it’s challenges”. There might be a case where the same bridge is being used in multiple locations, but due to site constraints a new engineering solution will need to be found.
“The more things change, the more they stay the same. We go to tried and true methods of engineering”. An example is a box girder bridge that was designed in the mid 1970’s can appear identical to a box girder bridge being designed now. There hasn’t been a huge change in the way some things are being constructed.
But an example of the way engineering is evolving in traditional areas is the MX3D project. “It is a 3D steel printed bridge. The shape is completely organic”. “From a concept standpoint, it completely changes the game” e.g. all traditional codes can’t apply to this bridge design. “This is where things are going”. And they will be introduced and accepted into society by incremental changes.
Advice to engineers just starting out: “You want to have your CV full of amazing projects, just move globally…. don’t limit yourself”…. “go as far as you can”
An engineering item for discussion. The Roof of the British Museum Great Court… it is very clever, so well engineered and amazing.
If you’re in London, go to the museum and look up!
An engineer to admire. Ken Wheeler. Member of Anzac Bridge team, has built big bridges all over the world. He has such a great generosity of passing along his knowledge. “The sort of engineer best to work with”