Today is Global day of the Engineer (4 April) – an important event on Wood & Grieve Engineers’ (WGE) annual calendar.
This year’s theme is Day in the Life of Engineers: Making Global Impact, and so we’re shining a light on some of our people who are at different stages of their career to understand more about their roles and passion for the industry.
Technically, Hydraulic Services Section Manager Quentin Wilson was a late arrival to the industry. While always fascinated with planes and air travel (he’s now an avid drone user and recreational pilot), it wasn’t until he was in his early thirties that he began his engineering career.
“I’ve always been quite technical and so it was an easy decision to move into engineering,” he said.
“After I graduated I was working for a mechanical services firm, and found myself working with WGE on a number of projects. It was then I met Paul Gray (retired WGE Principal) and after five years, Paul asked if I would join WGE.
“Having moved straight into project management after graduating, I was excited at the prospect of a more engineering-design focussed role. It’s the best decision I made joining WGE.”
Quentin’s story isn’t uncommon. 20 years after joining WGE, he can identify a number of people who have ‘re-invented’ their careers later in life.
“Previously typically universities only offered three engineering disciplines: civil/structural, electrical and mechanical. Now we’re seeing a blend and crossover of multiple disciplines, which is bringing a diverse group of individuals together,” he said.
“It’s not uncommon for tradespeople, such as plumbers and electricians, to crossover. They have a lot of technical knowledge and experience which is really beneficial, especially in the electrical, hydraulic and mechanical disciplines.
“However, the graduates we have seen coming through not only have that technical knowledge, but also possess superior computer skills – bordering on HTML coding intelligence. That’s a clear indication of the technological direction our industry is heading.”
So as an industry veteran, what sage advice does Quentin have for young primary or high school students searching for career direction?
“If you’re interested in physics, mathematics and chemistry, I’d recommend engineering. Not only is it (in my opinion) the most interesting out of the science disciplines, an engineering degree provides lots of career options,” he said.
“Engineering is the application of Science, and every issue the world is facing right now – climate change, population growth, infrastructure needs, technological advancements – requires engineers. Scientists theorise the solution, but engineers are the ones who make it a reality.
“You can guarantee that no day will be the same as an engineer.”
Check out our other articles for Global Day of the Engineer: