CELM Announces the nine delegate scholarship recipients for the Engineering Leadership Conference 2012
This year’s Engineering Leadership Conference is focused on exploring the profession’s future in Australia. This cannot be achieved without the attendance of those who will carry the profession into the years ahead.
Recognising Engineers Australia's Year of the Regional Engineering Team, ELC 2012 will also address engineering leadership issues confronting the many organisations and individuals operating in regional centres throughout Australia.
In 2012, The Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management has presented nine delegate scholarships to recipients from all over the country who will each receive conference registration along with $2000 in travel expenses.
Delegate scholarships were open to any member of Engineers Australia who might be currently unemployed or self-employed, or who work in industries such as the non-government aid sector (NGOs), education or small business (where their employer is unable to fund conference attendance) or to those based in regional areas of Australia who have added costs to attend the Conference in Adelaide.
The delegate scholarships have been made available through the generous support of Conference sponsors ARTC, Leed and AMEX.
Congratulations to this year’s delegate scholarship recipients:
Julian O’Shea – Director of the EWB Institute, Engineers Without Borders Australia
Julian O’Shea is an award-winning humanitarian engineer who leads Engineers Without Borders’ education, research and training programs as the Director of the EWB Institute. In this role he oversees research programs across the Asia-Pacific region with an emphasis on Cambodia, Timor Leste, India and Nepal. Julian also coordinates Australian engineering education projects that link local students to humanitarian engineering and appropriate technology projects in partnership with developing communities. Julian is passionate about applying his expertise for the benefit of disadvantaged communities in Australia and the region.
“The Engineering Leadership Conference is a great opportunity to discuss how engineering and technology can play a key role in shaping modern Australian society. There are major challenges and opportunities that have engineering solutions at their core - from renewable energies, telecommunications, scientific discovery and building sustainable cities for the future.
“Working in the humanitarian sector, I'm particularly interested in collaborative and community-focussed approaches to leadership. I'm excited about this opportunity and look forward to meeting and learning from Australia's engineering leaders,” Julian said.
Tamara Cusack – Engineering student, University of Southern Queensland
Tamara Cusack lives in Townsville where she is pursuing her engineering degree via external studies at the University of Southern Queensland. In addition to her academic commitments, Tamara works full time at the Townsville City Council’s Development Infrastructure Department, where she assesses engineering aspects of urban development. Tamara is passionate about the advancement of women in engineering, not only encouraging those like her to enter the profession, but also to lead, excel, and give back to the engineering community.
"I have always had a strong desire to ‘be involved’! I aspire to be a leader in my field, and in the wider community, and so I feel extremely fortunate and excited to be given the opportunity to attend the ELC to help me reach my goals. I can’t wait to network with inspiring professionals, to share my experiences with others when I return, and to put my new knowledge and skills to good use in both my public service and volunteer roles,” Tamara said.
Steven Lablack – Mechanical engineering student, University of Southern Queensland
Steven Lablack is a fourth year mechanical engineering student at the University of Southern Queensland. Steven comes from a trade background, where he worked as a qualified diesel fitter in the mining industry. This year, Steven began working for a company called Russel Mineral Equipment, where he plans to work while finishing the final year of his degree. Steven believes the Engineering Leadership Conference will be of great benefit to him, both in acquiring new knowledge and helping to plan his path to leadership.
“Being able to attend the 2012 Engineering Leadership Conference is a great opportunity for me to acquire knowledge that will help me plan my path into effective leadership and allow me to identify what areas of my personal skills I need to focus on in order to achieve that. Since I am new to the engineering profession, I see the ELC as a head start into what I plan to be a well-structured and progressive career,” Steven said.
Nicholas Bates – Process engineer, MJM Environmental
Nicholas Bates is a process engineer based in Newcastle where he takes an active role in Engineers Australia industry groups. As the chairman of the Newcastle Chemical Engineering Group, Nicholas thinks the Engineering Leadership Conference will provide him with leadership ideas and practices that will be hugely beneficial to both him personally and other group members. Nicholas believes the conference will be a great opportunity to network and meet other engineers including those involved with Young Engineers Australia.
“At this stage of my career, when leading teams and projects is becoming a big part of my job, attending this conference is a great opportunity and perfect timing for me to learn from other leaders in the engineering industry,” Nicholas said.
Mahmood Alibrahim – Structural engineer, Project Building Certifiers
Mahmood Albrahim moved to Australia in 2009 as a skilled migrant bringing with him more than 10 years of international engineering experience. Mahmood hopes the Engineering Leadership Conference will expose him to some of the most influential voices in the Australian engineering industry. He’s planning to apply for a Masters of Engineering Management course at Charles Darwin University and sees the Engineering Leadership Conference as a key step in his professional development.
“Leadership is part of every engineer’s professional career. Managing people and projects is one of the activities most engineers experience during their professional life; moreover, I believe engineers are community leaders as well. Attending workshops and presentations during ELC2012 will expose me to ideas, visions and techniques developed by some of the most influential leaders in the field, the benefits of that are invaluable. On the other hand, attending ELC2012 will support my continuous professional development and will boost my motivation, as I am planning to study Engineering Management. This event will also give me the chance to expand my professional network,” Mahmood said.
Jillian Kenny – PhD with the Co-operative Research Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Asset Management (CIEAM) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Jillian Kenny is the Queensland Chair of Young Engineers Australia for the second year running. Jillian believes that young engineers have a lot to offer in leadership roles in the industry. She believes the younger generation of engineers have the capacity and potential to make their mark as decision makers. Jillian hopes the Engineering Leadership Conference will substantially contribute to her personal development.
"Engineers are not just technicians. We are also managers, inventors, sometimes artists and often leaders. For me, the 2012 ELC will provide the tools and the inspiration to realise my aspiration for cultivating creativity in the engineering profession, both through my own research and my role within Engineers Australia," Jillian said.
Charlotte Wong – Chemical engineering student, Monash University
Charlotte Wong is in her final semester as a chemical engineering student at Monash University and looks forward to building on her engineering knowledge at this year’s Engineering Leadership Conference. Charlotte is actively involved in university life at Monash, and holds the position of Vice President of International Student Services. Charlotte hopes the Engineering Leadership Conference experience will help improve her own leadership and management skills when working with younger students.
“By attending the ‘Engineers Leadership Conference 2012’ in Adelaide, a promising learning curve from senior engineers and students which indeed valuable toward my future career path indefinite. This significant opportunity motivates and maximizes my exposure within the industry. My future is strongly dependent on what I do at present. Today, what I choose to believe is what I will achieve in the future,” Charlotte said.
Benjamin Parry – Civil engineer, Newton Denny Chapelle
Benjamin Parry is a recent graduate of the University of Queensland where he received a Bachelor of Engineering. Ben is focused on becoming a chartered engineer and thinks the Engineering Leadership Conference will help him grow his potential to become a leader in the engineering industry. Ben is passionate about contributing to his local community and feels the conference will help him become better equipped to make a contribution.
“For me, it’s clear that the role of an engineer cannot be confined solely to the aspects of a project their discipline covers while being disconnected from the larger picture. We are an integral part in forming the future of our local communities, cities and countries and every project we undertake has a bearing on the quality of life the future will hold for us all. I see the leadership conference therefore as an opportunity to learn and finesse the skills required to be capable of such a role; learning to manage and connect with all levels of the community to ensure people feel that we aren’t neglecting their concerns, supervising and directing the diverse teams involved in bringing a project to completion and understanding how to most effectively manage my time and skills alongside others to ensure the projects are completed as efficiently as possible.
I hope the conference will enable me to better serve within my community by getting actively involved in the decisions that will shape our local area. It will also be an invaluable opportunity to network and meet with other engineers in all kinds of different positions to get a wider perspective on how engineering fits in within society,” Benjamin said.
Eduardo Mba – Civil engineer – Brandon & Associates
Originally from Colombia, Eduardo has been living and working in Australia for more than four years. Eduardo graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 2001 and subsequently did a graduate diploma in the area of Transport and Roads in 2006. Eduardo has since worked in a range of roles in both the public and private sectors in overseas and Australia. Before moving to Australia with his wife, Eduardo started his own engineering consulting firm. Eduardo sees the ELC as the perfect opportunity to keep developing his professional and personal skills and attributes and also to meet influential members of the Australian engineering community.
“For anyone is a secret that engineers influence almost every part of our physical world, meaning enormous potential for creating positive environmental and social changes that our society desperately is in need right now. I am 100% committed to be part of that engine that helps people to change and improve their life, therefore I firmly believe that this Conference will be a fantastic opportunity to keep developing my personal and professional abilities that subsequently, without any doubt, will be translated in a more active and productive participation within the community, especially now that I’m working and living in regional Australia, where the demand for leadership skills and attributes is in a day to day basis. I’m so enthusiast and excited about the future in engineering and the way that we, as engineers, can make the difference to provide our future generations with a better and sustainable world.
“I have always believed that this kind of spaces provide with valuable tools, share of ideas and knowledge that are required to define strategies for a short and long term career development. At this stage of my profession I’m very interested and focus on identifying such attributes and skills that allows me to enhance in a positive way my participation as a civil engineer within Australian society and our engineering fraternity.
“Thank so much for giving the chance to share these few thoughts with all of you and I am really looking forward to attending and meeting everyone at the Conference……. As I always say please keep in mind that the key of happiness is being kind to one another," Eduardo said.
To register for the Engineering Leadership Conference please visit