Leadership Networking event

The purpose of the event is to provide networking opportunities for the young engineers, senior engineers as well as undergraduates in the Illawarra. Give them an experience, some career guidance and interesting stories from senior engineers and directors.
Leadership Networking event

Young Engineers Australia Illawarra and Cardno South Coast would like to invite you to take part in our Leadership Networking event on 5:30pm Friday 11 October 2019.

The purpose of the event is to provide networking opportunities for the young engineers, senior engineers as well as undergraduates in the Illawarra. Give them an experience, some career guidance and interesting stories from senior engineers and directors.


Our Keynote speakers come from different backgrounds from Academic, Artificial Intelligence to Civil engineering, Project management and Business management who will have some very different perspectives to share.  

1.     Sonya Harrison - Technical Director - Cardno South Coast. 

Sonya is a Technical Director for Civil Infrastructure at Cardno and is based in the beautiful Illawarra region of NSW. Sonya holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Master in Engineering and in her career has been fortunate to work on innovative and complex, large urban development projects in the UK, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Australia in a range of technical and leadership roles working for local governments, World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations, not for profit organisations and engineering consultancies. She currently sits on the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW Diversity Committee and is passionate about designing for the future, STEM and working towards more diverse and collaborative teams.


Sonya is experienced in training and mentoring staff, both technically and professionally. She continuously looks for opportunities to transfer knowledge, encourage innovation and embed the concept of ‘working smarter, not harder’ in team members, while retaining her core values of a high quality product that delivers what the client needs. Sonya continually looks for opportunities to smart engineer on projects and promote stakeholder involvement, to minimise the potential for surprises in deliverables. This acts to encourage quality outcomes, project ownership and smart engineering solutions from her team members to take projects to the next level. Sonya is a fair and motivational leader who continuously seeks to improve, promote and provide opportunities for her team.


Sonya’s significant projects include Project Director for Calderwood Valley Development, Bingara Gorge Development, West Dapto 2 Development and 1881 Tullimbar Development. Riverwalk Development, Werribee, Hobsonville Airbase Development, Auckland, Stonefields Development, Auckland, Sustainable Farming in the Pacific Policy for WHO.


Sonya will share her story from a Graduate Engineer to Technical Director at Cardno South Coast. 

2.     Senior Professor Pascal Perez - Director of Smart Building.

Senior Professor Pascal Perez is a world leader in transport and urban modelling, as well as smart infrastructure and city solutions.


He is currently Director of the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, overseeing research in infrastructure-related fields such as water and energy efficiency, future transport and mobility, smart cities and communities, or infrastructure system engineering and logistics. As Director he is responsible for SMART’s academic governance and for establishing strategic scientific partnerships in Australia and beyond.


Snr Prof Perez was the catalyst behind the regional Digital Living Lab, a ‘smart communities’ initiative, funded by the University of Wollongong, aiming to offer a public and free-to-air internet-of-Things (IoT) network across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions in order to encourage the creation of problem-driven and community-oriented smart solutions with local start-ups, SMEs, Councils and associations.


Snr Prof Perez is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW and of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ). He is also a member of the national Scientific Committee of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). More recently, he was invited to join the International Advisory Board of UK’s Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC).


Snr Prof Perez has published over 200 scientific papers. In 2006, he co-edited with his colleague David Batten the book ‘Complex Science for a Complex World’ (ANU E Press).

3. Omar Khalifa

Omar’s background is diverse and multinational.  Omar was born in Cairo, Egypt but grew up in NY before spreading his wings to live across the USA and beyond.  He has work experience in the USA, France, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico and of course Australia where he settled 23 years ago.


Omar’s work experience spans many technology-driven sectors undergoing transition and growth - from being an engineer on the space shuttle program to developing new products at Apple Computer; establishing broadband internet networks to creating online communities for youth with disability; promoting energy-saving programs to developing environmental sustainability policies; working with not-for-profits to generating revenues in excess of $500 million; working locally and globally.


Omar sees the future as challenging many of today’s traditional roles and assumptions and that more young people to take an active part in seeing themselves redefining a future that will be more caring of individuals and of our planet.


11 / 10 / 2019 - 05:00 pm to 08:30 pm
Registration Closes
10 / 10 / 2019 06:00 pm
Cardno Wollongong
16 Burelli Street
New South Wales
  • Member: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Non-Member: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
Key Speaker(s)
Sonya Harrison; Pascal Perez
Young Engineers Illawarra
Event Contact
  • Contact:
    Engineers Australia Member Services
  • Phone:
    1300 653 113
  • Email:
Maximum CPD Hours