| 26 September 2022

Meet Sydney Daelo, graduate member and structural engineer

Sydney has been an avid volunteer from a young age, and she is passionate about using her engineering skills to develop innovative solutions to complex infrastructure challenges. We spoke to her about her transition from undergraduate to graduate engineer and her experience as a volunteer. 

What led you to study engineering?  

My favourite subjects in high school were design, technology and maths. I also love solving problems using creative solutions so I wanted a career where I could combine my passion for these and continually learn by working on challenging projects. 

I decided to pursue a career in structural engineering because I have always been curious about designing complex structures, for example, bridges, train stations, skyscrapers, and how to make them more sustainable. 

You have worked at AECOM as both an undergraduate engineer and a graduate engineer. What have you found to be the differences in the two roles?  

I have been fortunate to work on many exciting and challenging projects as both an undergraduate and graduate engineer in AECOM's bridges and structures team. This includes project coordination, learning different structural analysis and design software, designing various structures such as bridges and train station refurbishments, and inspecting multiple bridges and heritage buildings around New South Wales.  

As an undergraduate engineer, I worked in a support role by assisting professional and senior engineers on their projects. Now that I am a graduate engineer, I have been given more responsibility in managing my tasks with less supervision. 

You have been an avid volunteer from a young age, what inspires you to keep volunteering?   

Volunteering makes me feel more connected to the people in my community. As a volunteer, I am inspired by the opportunity to create valuable impacts. I also love meeting new people and learning about their experiences.  

Volunteering for Engineers Australia as a student ambassador has allowed me to connect with engineering students and learn about their aspirations for the future. I feel I have motivated them and helped them feel more connected to the engineering community by sharing advice from my learnings and experiences as a young engineer. 

What are your hopes for your future in the engineering profession? Or for the profession more broadly? 

As a graduate structural engineer, I hope to continue developing my technical skills and grow professionally. I am curious to see more innovations within the civil and structural engineering space, particularly in designing more sustainable infrastructure that creates positive social and environmental impacts. In the future, I hope to transition into a project management role and manage large-scale projects.