Don graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Engineering (with Honours) in Electrical.
Don really enjoys travelling, exploring and learning new things. Working as an engineer has allowed him to merge this into his day job.
He was inspired to get into engineering by his grandfather who is an electrical engineer. His grandfather worked as an engineer in the insurance industry and had travelled the world and worked on many amazing projects.
In early 2019, Don was the Manager of Intelligent Grid Power Platform at “Energy Queensland”. His team was leading the strategy for new technology for Energy Queensland. However by mid-February he will be in the USA with his new role in Boulder, Colorado to join Tendril as their Solution Lead for Orchestrated Energy
Don has worked with the likes of Ergon Energy, held a Board Position with the House with No Steps, was Manager Intelligent Grid Power Platform at Energy Queensland, is a Divisional Committee Member for Engineers Australia in Queensland and Co-Founded a range of companies including a tech start-up which he started with his wife called Becon Health.
Don’s first engineering role was with Powerlink, working with accelerated corrosion over power lines. His role was to determine which power lines were the priority for remediation.
The last 12 months Don has been working to determine where the energy network should go. He has been very forward looking and has been investigating what technology is available on the global scale.
Hot Topic discussion
“The engineering community is very much loaded with professionals that are 55+”. As these engineers retire from the workforce, a real hole is being left as there aren’t enough trained engineers to take over. And this is not improving with the engineering uptake dropping.
“The challenge I see is attracting STEM and engineering specifically within that, to young students to enter into the workforce and then empowering them to see it as this life-long profession” It is also important to support engineers in the profession so that they realise that it is a life-long opportunity.
Current Engineers in the field should be “Engaging on it and showing the tangible… the practical element of that, that comes from those sorts of skills and things that you learn in STEM related subjects.”
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
The task to identify societies energy demands currently and in the future. Ideas on future proofing our energy network.
Engineering is a team sport “Engineers don’t want to try and big note themselves” Dom said.
Don believes that in the future, just pick an industry and “there will be that role of engineering skills within them”
“Engineers are naturally leaders”
An engineering item for discussion… The smart phone is an easy engineering item to choose, but it’s disrupted society in such a variety of ways. It’s the “electronic swiss army knife”
An engineer to admire… Don’s grandfather, Warren Pitkin. He has a great way of carrying himself and was very influential in Don’s life. Don grew up excited by some of the big projects his Grandfather worked on which involved quite challenging logistics and how he got to go behind the scenes of sites to see things the general public didn’t. His job also took him around the world and he always had amazing stories to tell about the people he met, the things he saw, and the experiences he had. It made it seem like engineering was the most interesting career anyone could have, and it offered so many opportunities. He is someone who is very genuine, very knowledgeable, very personable, and is an authentic leader. For me there is a lot of elements of his personality and leadership style Don strives for, and so he has always been someone he has looked up to.
Our drinking game for 2019. Leave us a message on iTunes and Dom & Mel will raise a beer in your name over Facebook live! Show your support for letting the world know about our Engineering Heroes, leave us a review.