A chartered credential opens the door to career progression, leadership development and opportunities to work overseas. Brody Clark MIEAust CPEng NER was the acting Queensland pavement team lead for WSP and at just 26 years of age, became the youngest known person to acquire both a PhD and chartership in the civil engineering field in Australia. He gives us insight into what led to this achievement.
Brody became a student member of Engineers Australia during his first year of university and learnt about various job pathways, how to build employability skills and a professional network.
He says this “set in motion the enthusiasm to want to do as best as I can, as quickly as I can, to try and kick goals as fast as possible.”
Brody completed his Bachelor of Engineering in 2014 and says his choice for moving on to postgraduate studies was, in part, due to the lack of engineering jobs available at that time.
“We were on the back side of the global financial crisis, so as a young person graduating uni it was difficult to get jobs during that time,” Brody says.
One of Brody’s lecturers encouraged him to stay on at university and subsequently took him on as a PhD candidate.
“I didn't think I was going to get a job offer, so I decided to go down the research route... But I was fortunate enough to get a call a few months later,” he says.
While working full time at a small engineering consultancy on the Sunshine Coast, Brody completed his PhD thesis in pavement engineering and began a new job as a pavement engineer at WSP.
“Once I finished my PhD, I had a bit more spare time to focus on the chartership,” he says.
Brody had been working while he was studying, so by the time he joined WSP he had already gained four years of experience. This new role also saw him matched with a mentor who helped him with the chartership process.
“Mentors can help you identify what competencies there are, what you're lacking and what you need to improve on to help you with the chartership process,” he says.
As well as having a mentor, maintaining an Engineers Australia membership and building up CPD hours in those first five years is crucial for any engineer on a pathway to a chartered credential. For Brody, he worked towards his chartership with the guidance of a mentor and was able to apply his postgraduate studies to the CPD requirements.
One year after completing his PhD, Brody acquired his chartership in civil engineering. He was recently named the Young Professional Engineer of the Year in the 2022 People and Project awards in Queensland.
The bulk of Brody’s work is now focused on engineering projects.
“I now have the opportunity to work on major projects all over Australia,” he says. “I’ve worked on billions of dollars of infrastructure upgrades all along the east coast.”
Brody says participating in industry events, becoming a student member as quickly as you can and getting involved in local events are just some of the small steps young engineers can take to becoming chartered.
“I encourage more young people to join in and participate,” he says. “All the tools are out there and available. You just need to pick them up and use them.”
Find out more about the steps you can take toward Chartership at any stage of your career.