Melissa Jovic FIEAust, CPEng, NER is civil engineer with over 30 years’ experience in strategic planning, design, and program/ project management of railway and infrastructure projects. Her experience includes high-speed, heavy and light rail systems on a wide range of projects within Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
1. What is your current job title and function?
My current position is Principal Manager, Corridor Development for Transport for NSW.
2. Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
My passion for railways comes from a family with a strong engineering background. My late father, a civil/railway engineer took me with him whenever he could to railway sites he was working on. No wonder, that for me railways and engineering are a “match in heaven”.
3. What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
It was Sydney’s Rail Future, a long term plan to increase the capacity of Sydney’s rail network through investment in new services and upgrading of existing infrastructure. This plan will eventually enable Sydney Trains to carry another 90,000 to 100,000 people per hour in the peak.
4. Why are you an Engineers Australia member?Why did you decide to become Chartered with Engineers Australia?
Because you have professional career and not just a job. It’s what you do when you finish an engineering degree in any country; you become member of a recognised professional engineering organisation and guide your career to gain chartered professional status.
You build your experience, industry recognition and maintain your CPEng status. This is your “professional licence” enabling you to confidently work all around the world.
5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you like to have with you?
Books, paper and pen to finally write the book that I have been dreaming of for so many decades. I suppose electricity and an iPad are out of question?
6. What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
The new industrial/technology evolution is on our doorstep. A holistic approach to every engineering task including a layer of emotional intelligence is happening right now.
Engineers need to reinvent themselves and redesign their roles in the face of digital change, because AI (artificial intelligence) application is our immediate future.
7. If the whole world was listening, what would you say?
Enough is enough – stop wars and destructions and let us build new, brave world.
8. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m a very keen reader and I love books. I also enjoy travelling, experiencing foreign languages and cultures as well as yoga & Pilates.
9. What is the best piece of advice your parents gave you?
Everything can be taken from you: your family and loved ones, your country, your house, all your material possessions, but there is one thing no person can take from you – education.
10. Who is your hero?
My children who have become respected professionals and accomplished human beings, they have moved across four countries and succeeded everywhere.
11. What makes you laugh?
My husband with his dry sense of humour and my adult kids who occasionally show the same reactions as when they were five years old?!
Photo: Melissa Jovic, 2015.