The MEFvic held a luncheon on Friday 26th July 2013 to award the receipients of the 2013 MEFvic Scholarships.

A summary of scholarships awarded in 2013 are

1. 2013 Overseas Study Tour Scholarships were awarded to

  • Brett Martini, Manager Engineering & Public Space, City of Greater Bendigo
  • Trevor Dando, Building Projects Coordinator, Bass Coast Shire Council
  • Ossie Martinz, Director Infrastrcutre Servies, City of Monash
  • Samantha Krull, Manager Major Projects, Wyndham City Council
  • Steven White, Director Infrastructure Services, Bayside City Council

2. Three scholarships to attend the 2013 International Public Works Conference in Darwin in August

3. Two scholarships at attend the 2013 National Works and Engineering Conference in Bendigo in September

4. 25 scholarships to students to attend the 2013 IPWEAvic Public Works Cofnenrece in Melbourne in March

The luncheon was generously sponsored by Soveriegn Finanical.

One of the 25 Students who received a scholarship to attend the 2013 IPWEAvic Public Works Conference in March spoke at the function.   Mardi Cuthbert, a 4th year student at Swinburne, gave a short inspriational acceptance speech which is reproduced below.

My name is Mardi Cuthbert, and I am a 4th year Civil Engineering student at Swinburne University of Technology.

I was privileged to attend the IPWEA Public Works Conference in March as an Student Scholarship holder. What myself and my fellow students experienced, was a fantastic practical insight into the important role that engineers play in the community, and where the future of public works engineering is headed.

I have been lucky enough to experience public works first hand. As part of my studies, I am completing a one year full-time placement at Banyule City Council. I think I can say that I’ve learnt just as much, if not more in my 7 months in Council, than I have in three years of classes so far.

When I say that I do engineering, a lot of people ask “Oh, so that’s maths and science, isn’t it?” Little do they know that those sums and equations we spend hours studying at university, can come to have a huge impact in the wider community. From designing a parking space, to creating the East West Link, public works engineers have an incredible potential to shape the world around us.

A few things stood out to me at the conference.

One was the challenges engineers face in making their engineering solutions a reality. What might look like a problem with a straightforward solution – when put into the context of the community – can become a contentious issue with many avenues of resolution. The challenges faced in affordability, funding, stakeholder and community engagement, urban planning and risk management all make public works engineering so much more than just maths and science.

The second was leadership. Many presenters, attendees of the conference, and I’m sure many in this room are Directors  and CEOs of Councils and related organisations. As a young engineer, it is inspiring to see that these leaders started their career right where I am now. At the conference, IPWEA National President and CEO of Campbelltown Council Paul Di Iucio spoke about his strategies for effective leadership, and about making a positive change – ‘doing the right thing for the right reasons.’ He shared a Steve Jobs quote, which I found particularly memorable – ‘Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower’ – and that’s where I think we, as engineers, can come to make fantastic leaders in both public and private sectors.

And my last point is passion and reward. At the end of the day, public works engineering is about creating and fostering the community. From constructing a community hub for a rural council like the Pyrenees Shire, to building Peninsula Link, the engineers of the IPWEA are out there to make a positive change.

I’d like to thank the Municipal Engineers Foundation and IPWEA for sponsoring students to attend the conference. I found it a very worthwhile experience, which I look forward to developing on as I take the first steps in my professional career.

Thank you.


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