There are 2 reasons Jillian became an engineer. The first is that she was good at maths and science and engineering seemed like the logical extension of this.
But the second reason, the real reason she got into engineering was because she was interested in a life of freedom. She grew up in southern Tasmania. A gorgeous part of the country, but an area that 30/40 years ago didn’t really encourage anyone, let alone young girls, to go to further education.…
my observation of them was that they could do anything that they wanted
Extra discussions during the episode
Future: Engineers have some big jobs ahead of them
we need to learn how to create the interfaces between all the different parts of humanity to be dealing with some of these issues
Advice: It’s difficult for engineers to stand up and speak because the risk of being wrong if very strong. But engineers must learn to present their thoughts in a way that offers the public a way to engage.
our first strength is sometimes our first weakness
Any item that challenges the norm. That would have taken real courage to have created and presented
something that goes in the face of what would have been normal or what would have been acceptable
The unnamed heroes of engineering
a different kind of courage to keep fulfilling on something when you’re never going to get the accolades
Jillian specialises in enabling individuals and organisations to reduce employee, project and business risk exposure by assessing, leading and coaching for breakthrough results. She is a Chartered Engineer with strong technical experience as a Regional Operations Manager in gas facility management including emergency management, regional distribution and controls and was a Principal Government Engineer accountable for the governance of fuel gas utilisation in WA.
For over 15 years, she has provided direct consulting services to major industry stakeholders and contractors for the safe construction and operation of oil, gas, electricity and mining facilities. She coaches leaders and teams and develops programs to optimise safety and environmental responsibility. She believes that sustainable safety comes with the capacity to be successful in varying conditions which allows people to authentically create safety and performance rather than simply stopping bad things happening.
As a skilled coach of 20 years, Jillian has empowered and enabled individuals, teams and communities to produce exceptional and sustainable results including safety, environment, shutdown performance and productivity.
Jillian is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, Chartered in Mechanical Engineering and Leadership and Management, an Engineering Executive and President of Engineers Australia WA Division Committee.
This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken during the Podcast, Season 4 Episode 15
It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Jillian Formentin
[00:00:00] Jillian: [00:00:00] I was very interested in living a big life and there were a couple of key people in my life that were engineers. And my observation of them was that they could do anything that they wanted. They could travel the world. They could make a big difference. They were smart. People respected them, they had authority.
[00:00:18] And I wanted some of that. So seeing as the maths and science wasn’t a problem, it was a really logical pathway to go study at the University of Tasmania and kind of felt like I got my wings. So, and I have been all over the world.
[00:00:32] Mel & Dom: [00:00:32] So with the engineers you knew were they family or friends or…
[00:00:36] Jillian: [00:00:36] well one of them is my father. Now I didn’t grow up with my dad, it’d be interesting if he heard me say this, but I really did kind of look at him and saw someone who could do whatever he wanted and I kind of inherited half his brain.
[00:00:48] So it was a really logical thing to do. So I really saw it as a pathway that was really available for me.
[00:00:54]Mel & Dom: [00:00:54] After you finished your degree, do you remember what the first project you worked on as an engineer was.
[00:00:59]Jillian: [00:00:59] Well, I made a really good decision when I finished university and it was that I didn’t know very much. I had a really good, solid honors degree, but I realized that I didn’t know much. So I went looking for a very practical first appointment. I got a job with the gas corporation of Tasmania. And it was very practical. I learned to weld, I learned to install hot water systems, high pressure systems for autogas and manage dangerous goods site.
[00:01:27] But the first project that I had real responsibility for was the gas conversion, the conversion of the town’s gas plant in Launceston in Tasmania. And looking back, I was like 23 and I was accountable for the whole plan. I know 23. And what were they thinking? But I did it within budget and we did it safely and it was a very old system.
[00:01:51] It was the oldest gas network in all of Australia. Some of the pieces under the roads and every now and again, we would dig down and there would actually be nothing left. It was like the gas was just running through the clay. I was one of the reasons why it was decommissioned, but some of the big pieces looked like they come out in the first fleet, and they may have, right. All these great big pipe sections. But I run the conversion and we converted the whole city to LPG and it was terrific. I had a team of gas fitters that we’d brought in from Queensland and where it was a relationship exercise too, because there were, I remember there was this little old lady and she was a bit of a worry because she was sitting there and she said, Oh, I’m really sad for my heater to go.
[00:02:29] I used to sit in front of it every night and I just go to sleep. And then when we pulled it out, like the whole thing was corroded. The woman had probably been breathing carbon monoxide. So it was a real safety exercise to get rid of appliances that were maybe a hundred years old. And some of them at least a hundred years old and make sure that those people were safe and that it was done well in a way that we could do very economically for people.
[00:02:53] So that was, that was an exciting project and it was a really great way to get going in my career.
[00:02:58] Mel & Dom: [00:02:58] Amazing. Yeah. Great way. It was not your first one, but definitely a great one to so young to have been in charge of such an important project. I’m gonna throw a question in here for you. When did you really start hitting the road with your engineering degree and seeing the sights and seeing the world.
[00:03:14] Jillian: [00:03:14] Well, when I was working at, was Bowral Energy by then, it’s now origin energy that went through a few iterations. My boss’s boss at one point, he came to me and he said… so, you’re running a conversion project. So you are literally doing yourself out of a job. What do you want to do next?
[00:03:30] And I had been to Western Australia to visit a couple of aunts that lived here with their families. And I love Western Australia, like the big blue sky. It was a place where I felt that I could be anyone, I wasn’t like the little girl from the Valley here. I was anyone I want it to be. So I’d just come back when he asked me that question and I said, well, I want to be the operations manager for Boral organization in Western Australia. Said, well, we’re not big enough there yet to need an operations manager, but, okay.
[00:03:59] So you’re interested in moving anyway. It was inside of three months later, he rang me. He was in Brisbane and he rang me and he said, Jillian, we’ve just won some significant LPG work in Western Australia and your job has come up and I want you to apply for it. So I was like, Oh my goodness. So it was a big deal. People have asked me why Perth? You know, it’s the edge of the world, you know, why not be on the Eastern seaboard?
[00:04:24] And I said, well, we might be the most isolated city in the world, which has been pretty handy lately. I have to say. but we’re also same time zone as China, the Asian market is right here, it really is a great place to be an engineer.
[00:04:38]Mel & Dom: [00:04:38] So tell us about when you are at now. So are you still in Perth?
[00:04:43] Jillian: [00:04:43] Yes. Still in Perth.
[00:04:44] Mel & Dom: [00:04:44] the
[00:04:45]Jillian: [00:04:45] No, not, well, not directly. I only intended to stay here for five years, but I met the man of my dreams and, and he has four daughters from his first marriage. So he’s very established in Perth and I’m a grandmother of five little boys.
[00:04:59] Well, four little boys and one big boy. I know
[00:05:03] Mel & Dom: [00:05:03] Oh my goodness.
[00:05:04] Jillian: [00:05:04] it’s good.
[00:05:05] Mel & Dom: [00:05:05] I’m still getting over the 4 daughters
[00:05:09] Jillian: [00:05:09] Well, I call them my well they’re my step women, the step women’s. Yeah. But yeah. So, what do I do now? What was the question I kinda went?
Mel & Dom: [00:05:19] So what are you up to now?
[00:05:21] Jillian: [00:05:21] well, I worked with origin energy, it became and the whole digital transformation and did all that, all of that kind of work with them.
[00:05:27] And then I started in inquiry., There was a few things that happened – safety issues. And I realized that my ability to work safely was… it certainly was a function of my knowledge and my ability to understand, you know, being a good engineer and understanding the systems and processes. But the biggest barrier was communication.
[00:05:51] And I could see in conversations with my colleagues, I was already a part of all sorts of different networks of engineering people. And often the thing that got in the way was people’s ability to either effectively request what they needed or justify what they needed to make sure industry was safe or, just have the kinds of conversations that would make sure that the consequences of not taking action were clear to the people who held the purse strings, if that makes sense.
[00:06:17] So I started this inquiry and the way I say it, now, it wasn’t quite how I’d word it then, but I started this kind of interest… as engineers, how do we be responsible, for what we’re responsible for? Cause I was clear whose fault it was if something went wrong. You know, I’d done all the safety training.
[00:06:32] And I knew the risk of going to jail for you know, negligence. So it was clear that if something happened whose fault it was not necessarily a good relationship to it, but I was interested in how do we be responsible for what we are responsible for as operations managers, design engineers, and the whole raft of people.
[00:06:49]So I started looking at how I could maximize the opportunity for me to be able to be the kind of engineer that started really working with people to answer those kinds of questions and make that kind of difference. And a job came up with the Office of Energy here and the Office of Energy, it’s all different now, it’s now a completely different department, but this was like nearly 20 years ago. They were the regulators for the gas industry here. And a job came where the principal engineer of gas installations and appliances here. So utilization principle engineer in charge of the gas regulatory system.. And he was like, Gas God in the industry. Anything that was worth knowing he knew. And he was retiring, he’d had an enormous career. And a friend of mine said, you should apply for that job. Now I’m 29 at this point. And I thought, well, you know, I was qualified.
[00:07:36] Right. And one of the things that I knew that was really needed was current experience. Like current, on the ground, dealing with moving gas around the state and making sure it’s being used safely. And anyway, I got that job. And I was the principal engineer there for four years and it was extraordinary. You can imagine the learning curve. Right. But I, I was there for four years and then I moved into consulting, which was always my plan. I wanted to work with a range of different kinds of companies and professionals. and I also wanted to keep answering this question, how do we be responsible for what we’re responsible for?
[00:08:11] And guess my main consulting role now. I call myself A risk leadership consultant. So, I was working with a global consulting company until two months ago, things changed dramatically and opportunities were lost. So I ran my own business for three years. So now I’ll come back to running my own business and I’m looking at where the best opportunities are, but I also, this is the year I’m the president of Engineers Australia . And it’s actually been a real gift to have more time to spend, in that role. So having a bit of time to really work with the members and create many opportunities this year and particularly this year, cause it’s been very hard for a lot of our members to be able to deal with what they’re dealing with. Yeah. So, so right now I’m running my little business called Formentin Consulting. So that’s what I’m doing now.
[00:08:56]Mel & Dom: [00:08:56] That’s hectic. It’s kind of like, it was really busy and then all of a sudden you go and then yeah. Then it all stopped. I think it’s amazing that it just goes to show that age is really no barrier To talent and to being able to take on those roles. I think there’s a lot of people who still know you’re too young.
[00:09:20] You can’t do it. You don’t have the experience. And yet I’ve even seen it in my career and where there’s people coming through and you just sort of. When you see them and go, you know what? You can do that role. I know for a fact, you’ll be able to do that role and you’ll be able to take it on without any problems whatsoever.
[00:09:36] Did you want to talk a little bit just briefly about your role as a president that you’ve experienced?
[00:09:41] Jillian: [00:09:41] fantastic. Actually, I love Engineers Australia. I became a member of Engineers Australia when I was at university and my first year they said become a member and we’ll give you a free beer and I’m like, sure, good deal. Uh, so engineers, Australia has been a really important part of my journey. I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole, my career is not one that is what was kind of expected as I was growing up. My relationship with Engineers Australia is the constant in my career. There’s no question about it. So when I’ve had moves from one state to another Engineer’s Australia has been the network of people that I’ve taken with me and they’ve been fabulous.
[00:10:19] So as president, I’ve been on the division committee for Engineers Australia now for this is my fifth year. And my commitment is that each and every person that takes on this magnificent career, like being an engineer in Australia or wherever they find themselves in the world have the opportunity to do their best work, like really fulfill on their potential. And also have the support to be everything that they need to be in this incredibly complex and complicated and ever changing world that we find ourselves in. one of the things about an engineer, there’s so many different disciplines , I think the most important part of becoming a chartered engineer are the questions of ethics and how we are relating to work that’s outside of our expertise and our commitment, not to do that, those things, you know, we’ll say that we’ve got competencies that we don’t, it’s one of the most important parts.
[00:11:11] So as President of the division here, my commitment is that the division committee and there’s 14 of us in the division committee. I might be a little biased, but I think it’s the best division committee we’ve ever had. fantastic people. we’ve got three ex presidents still on the committee, so we’ve got a real depth of knowledge and an understanding of the industry. so, when COVID kind of happened, and I remember thinking, Oh, what a year to be the president. I was kind of feeling a little bit disappointed, but I thought, well Who better to be the president in a year when it’s difficult than someone who has invested at least 20 years of my life in master communication. So I’m loving it and it’s really, I’m only halfway through, but it’s it’s been great.
[00:11:50] It’s been really great.
[00:11:51] The challenge is, what we need to accomplish as engineers in the years to come in the decades to come. there’s issues of climate change, there’s issues of well, global pandemics. There’s issues of all sorts of health, there’s infrastructure. There’s overpopulation, there’s the expanding digital world.
[00:12:11] There’s all the things that I don’t even don’t even know enough about to even mention in my list. Right. And. Engineers are such an important part of that future. And we have one of the least diverse communities in the world when it comes to the kind of people. And now I’m talking a little self righteously maybe, right.
[00:12:31] But the kind of people who were attracted to being engineers, are people who are very interested in things. You know, we’re good at maths? We’re good at science. I remember the moment when I was at university, when I realized that if I learned enough about maths, I could describe any surface, any shape with letters and numbers and we’re people who have had that kind of breakthrough in our thinking.
[00:12:56] And we’ve taught ourselves to be able to deal with things, it’s a very important part of our job. most of the future is to do with the interface between things and people . That interface, like how do we communicate better? How do we work with humanity? How do we deal with these human issues?
[00:13:16] And now I’m not a psychologist by any means, but I’ve done lots of reading and listening. Men are way more likely to be interested in things then than women are. I think that, I think it’s something like 60% of men. I think there might even be more than that. men are more interested in things than in people.
[00:13:36] Women tend to be naturally more interested in people than in things. Now it’s not like one’s worse and one’s better. I mean, you just need to look at the types of things that people do. Overwhelmingly most of our nurses in the world, the most intimate people issues you can do with, almost all of them are women because that’s what our interest is. Where overwhelmingly, it’s still sort of like 85, 90% of engineers are men. now it’s not bad, right? People ask me for the last 30 years, people have been saying, wow, you’re a woman and an engineer. Are you a real one? You know, like it’s still unusual, right? one of the things we’ve tried to do is get women more interested in things so they’ll do an engineering degree. we go to kids in schools and we say maths and physics, and, you know, you can do this, get interested in that thing. and we’re hoping that that’ll make a difference.
[00:14:22] And look, it has made some difference, but if we are really committed to having the kind of people who can work together to really be that interface between science and humanity, which is really the piece that, that engineer’s fulfill. it’s not about getting women more interesting in things.
[00:14:38] It’s not even getting men more interested in people. It’s about getting engineers more interested in the interface and what it’s going to take. A young person at school who is looking out at the world going, what is the difference I want to make? What do I want to do with my life? If they can see a niche in engineering where they can make a difference between science and humanity, that’s going to attract the kind of people that we need to fulfill on that need .I think that’s a challenge for us and I think as engineers, we need to start… Just being more curious about what that might take. because this is something that we know as human beings, people will participate, where they can experience expressing themselves and making a difference.
[00:15:20]Now. If you’re a young person and you’re looking about where you will want to play in life, you’re looking at it. Now I can see myself making a difference and I can express myself, that I’m going to be listened to here, then we’ll go play there. We need the expression of all diversity, to solve these intractable issues that are on the table now and let alone the ones coming our way, we need everybody.
[00:15:41] So we need to find a way for all those different voices to be able to contribute, to be able to be heard, to be able to express themselves.
[00:15:48] you know I was in a group a little while ago. And there was a real feel that we wanted to get the young people trained so that they would learn how to be engineers.
[00:15:57] And I was like, Oh my goodness, definitely. They need to learn some of it. But the last thing we need is that we need them to be like us. We don’t want them to be like us. We want them to be the fullest expression of who they are and then we’re getting our job done.
[00:16:08] Mel & Dom: [00:16:08] I think it’s a sensational point that you’ve made to be honest. And it’s something that, I believe strongly in as well, because I think that whole, telling kids if you’re good at maths and you’re good at science should be an engineer. I just, I think it’s wrong.
[00:16:21] I honestly think you need to be approaching it. It’s more about problem solving. Do you enjoy problem solving? Okay. There’s a component of maths and science to it, but there’s such a large component of the humanities as well. So it’s really a case of… engineers aren’t just about the numbers. Sure, it’s a component of engineering and there’s a lot of people who love doing them and that’s all they’re going to do.
[00:16:41] Jillian: [00:16:41] Yeah.
[00:16:42] And, and this, and this clearly space in our industry for people who love that. We need those people too.
[00:16:49] Mel & Dom: [00:16:49] Yeah.
[00:16:50]There’s so much opportunity for people who want to get involved because they want to help solve those bigger issues, solve those problems and actually work with people. And. Part of the problem is I think we’ve spent so much time focusing on the maths and science that it’s also meant that we’ve kind of led ourselves down a path where we don’t have those engineers who are good at communicating and who are good at bridging that gap between the humanities and the science component of it.
[00:17:15]Jillian: [00:17:15] We need to make sure that when we talk about the issues of climate change and population and all those, we want to look not at the technical things that need to be done so much, but how are we going to need to adapt as human beings to be able to fulfill on that.
[00:17:29] I think we’re going to attract very different people if we focus on more on what we need to adapt, like the adaptive nature of those challenges, rather than just a technical. Because we’re never going to solve it with just looking technically we need to look different mind set mindset.
[00:17:43]you know, you know that little saying that says the mindset that created the problem, isn’t going to be the same mindset that solves the problem. We kind of, you heard that before? It’s going to take different approaches.
[00:17:53]Mel & Dom: [00:17:53] no, I actually, cause we’ve spoken about that in different contexts. what sort of things would you like to see happen to, uh, ensure that diversity is taking place and that we are getting, kind of, the right engineers through?
[00:18:07] Jillian: [00:18:07] Well it’s a great question. And even just today we had a, it was a partnership between Engineers Australia and the West Australian universities to have a conversation about climate change. And I was asked to give a risk management perspective. And one of the things that we talked about was the adaptive nature of the issue of climate change. We had some technical experts as well.
[00:18:32] People who could really see some of the science that needed to take place. But I think we need to do more of these kinds of conversations cause young people, I want them hearing this, that kind of conversation as one that they can contribute to.
[00:18:45]their minds are way more adaptive than some of the most clever scientists. you know, so I want to see people asking courageous questions.
[00:18:53] So I think we need to keep looking at how do we work as engineering professionals in industry and where are we creating space for diverse voices and where are we not? And I think it’s, the most important way to look at it. Now, I’m not saying that we stop the work that we’re doing with schools.
[00:19:08]I think we just need to be very mindful what we’re inviting them into.
[00:19:12] We’re inviting them into a world that is going to need flexible mindset shifts, people with the courage to ask questions. I’m not going to pretend to someone that they, they can do an engineering degree and avoid those maths and science bits they will need to do with that.
[00:19:26] But it’s completely doable with the right help.
[00:19:28] So I, I don’t see that as a barrier for people.
[00:19:30]Mel & Dom: [00:19:30] I kind of remember going through university, I’m sort of thinking now, particularly in regards to some of the maths and physics courses that went through, and there is no way in hell that I’d be able to do them again, if you sat me down to do them, but you do your work your way through them. And What are your thoughts on the future of engineering? What do you think the future has to hold?
[00:19:49] Jillian: [00:19:49] Well, I think we’ve got some big jobs ahead of us. I look out at the world and there are intractable issues. We see intractable problems. The kinds of things that we look out in the world says, well, that’s impossible. I think engineers have got a really important role with regards to those issues.
[00:20:04]Organizations like Engineers Australia are very important for the fulfillment of that though, because it’s a team sport. We need to work together. we are A body of people who have strong, often stronger technical skills, then communication skills, and we need to learn how to create the interfaces between all the different parts of humanity to be dealing with some of these issues.
[00:20:30]and I think the other thing we need to do is we need to stand up and be heard for what our views are.one of the scariest things for most engineers Is risking being wrong. One of the things that’s got us to where we are was, even at school, we were right more often than our mates.
[00:20:45] You know, we did better on the physics test. We did better on the math test. and then when we were young engineers, we learned to be able to predict the risks and to be able to be right more often than not. Now, our first strength is sometimes our first weakness, because that feeling of, that need to be right or accurate or be the best predictor, can also be the thing that stops us standing up and shouting our declarations from the hilltops.
[00:21:10]You know, you don’t see many engineers on the news, like inquiring in ideas and things. And it’s because when we speak, there’s a gravitas to it, we’re talking facts and figures and predictions rather than a declaration for what’s possible.
[00:21:25] I mean, I would love to see us having well thought out, engaging views that we’re offering to the public to engage in. You see many other professions do that. Mostly engineers are in the news when something’s fallen down, burnt down, crashed , there’s a problem. And we’re really good at dealing with those past-based conversations. We need to get very, very much more proficient at being able to speak in the future that we want to have created in the world, because we’ve got the muscle, we’ve got the know-how we’ve got the numbers and we need to be part of that plan.
[00:21:55]Mel & Dom: [00:21:55] Do you think the reason that we won’t talk or put forward those ideas is because we’re worried about the litigious nature of the industry itself. That it’s almost as though we’ve become a little bit guarded in regards to our free thinking cause we’re more worried about what could potentially come back to haunt us , in what we’ve said?
[00:22:13] Jillian: [00:22:13] Yeah, I think it’s part of it. humans are, you know, we kind of risk management machines as it is. It’s how we stay alive, we predict the risk and we manage what we see as a risk. Right. An engineer is like a supercharged risk management machine.
[00:22:25]So it can be difficult for us to create kind of a blue sky future because we can see the problems. We can see them as we speaking them, we like, Oh, this, this great, fabulous new possibilities possible. But then in the saying of it, we can go, Oh, but that won’t work and that couldn’t work and that’ll be too expensive and noone will like that. Oh, and that happened before that failed when someone tried to do that in that country. And those thoughts happen in a nanosecond and then. That shuts us up and we don’t speak it. So I think it’s a function of our concern for our integrity, because if we say something’s possible, but we know that it’s not it shuts the whole thing down.
[00:23:03]we don’t want to lie, I think that’s kind of the thinking mechanism that gets in the way.
[00:23:07] Mel & Dom: [00:23:07] Hmm. I would like to see a lot more engineers in that public place, making those declarations. But what would you say to people just starting out in engineering?
[00:23:16]Jillian: [00:23:16] Quite a lot, actually the best thing.
[00:23:20] Mel & Dom: [00:23:20] You’ve been saying
[00:23:21] Jillian: [00:23:21] Yeah.
[00:23:22] Mel & Dom: [00:23:22] You’ve been giving a lot of gold away
[00:23:26]Jillian: [00:23:26] I think the most important thing is to remain curious. They’re going to be told that they need to know a lot, and it is important to learn and understand, particularly as an engineer. But curious engagement with the world and with the people around it.
[00:23:39] I think that that’s very important. The other thing I would want them to remember is… I think we’re in a real transition at the moment in the kind of leadership and the kind of leaders that are needed for the world and a really wise man , His name is Padeal and he’s from Bangladesh.
[00:23:55] And he works with The Hunger Project in Bangladesh with regards to the quest to end hunger and work with communities. And he says, the currency of leadership is courage. It’s not force, it’s not knowing, it’s not money, it’s not any of those things.. But the currency that the modern leader be a leader is courage. And it’s the courage to be vulnerable, the courage to be disappointed, it’s the courage to have faith in someone that maybe fails you. That’s what I would encourage our young people to invest in now. I encourage all of us to do that because it doesn’t get easier. the more you’re expected to know the harder it is to be vulnerable about that. But yeah, the courage and curiosity. And if you keep attending to expanding your ability to learn and be the kind of courageous leader that you’re proud of when you’re going to sleep at night, then you’ve got a career that is going to make the difference in fulfill on , what you want.
[00:24:54] Everything else will look after itself.
[00:24:56]Mel & Dom: [00:24:56] just to sort of finish up a couple of fairly kind of quick and lighthearted questions so the first being, is there a piece of engineering that impresses you.
[00:25:04]Jillian: [00:25:04] So many, so many, I I’ve had the opportunity sometimes to judge the engineer of the year or some of the amazing projects that get created. I think the things that impressed me the most is where I can see that the courage that it’s taken. something that goes in the face of what would have been normal or what would have been acceptable.
[00:25:26]for instance we’ve got some beautiful infrastructure in Western Australia being built at the moment. So I do want to include that because it really is amazing. Like Optus stadium, it’s just beautiful. I’m so proud of that. You know, that it’s in our city and, and the, the works that’s being done around the river, you know, I’m so proud when, when I can invite people to Western Australia, it’s a bit hard at the moment, you know?
[00:25:47]but the kind of projects that really alter the way a city grows. I think we’ve got so much to learn. when I’ve traveled I’ve had the opportunity to see historic engineering. you see structures and you go, Oh my goodness, how on earth did that get built 500 years ago with the technology they had then. I mean, that kind of thing just blows my mind. And then look up at a building it’s like a modern building in the city and it’s like, wow, what I can see is, is team. It’s not one person that builds something like that.
[00:26:17] So when people come together and can fulfill on a vision, but it’s, it takes hundreds, sometimes thousands of people to do that. that’s what impresses me most.
[00:26:27] That’s what blows my mind.
[00:26:29] Mel & Dom: [00:26:29] I really think we need to get the tee shirt made up from Don McPhail, who we spoke to right back in the first series, he was the one that said engineering is a team sport.
[00:26:38] And I think it’s almost as though we need tee shirts made up in regards to that.
[00:26:42] Jillian: [00:26:42] can I add to it? It’s team sport. It’s also an extreme sport.
[00:26:46] Mel & Dom: [00:26:46] I like what you’re saying there about how you like engineering that changes the way that society has grown.
[00:27:01] So just to wrap up, do you have an engineer that you admire.
[00:27:04]Jillian: [00:27:04] Um, none that really stand out, you know, like there’s a few, let me historic figures. no one particularly it’s. I think it’s a really good question. I’m way more impressed with people that have amazing things happen and no one even knew who they were. like their works might be left behind.
[00:27:19] I mean, there are some amazing engineers, iconic people around the world that have done extraordinary things, but I think the ones that I’m most impressed with are the ones I’ve never heard of. Which sounds, it sounds kind of funny. they’re the ones that often had a different kind of courage to keep fulfilling on something when you’re never going to get the accolades, but people will be left with your work for forever.
[00:27:39] Mel & Dom: [00:27:39] Yeah. Yeah, no, I like thank you for that. I really do like the way that you’ve ended there, because it just did make me think as well as like there’s so many things just even around me, I have no idea who created that, but so much thought and effort has been put into it. they’re the unnamed heroes.
[00:27:57] Yeah. The unnamed heroes. Yeah. So thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been wonderful speaking to you. Thank you so much.
[00:28:06] Jillian: [00:28:06] Verywelcome.
And thank you for listening to Engineering Heroes as we present the new dawn of engineering challenges for Engineers Australia. Your hosts have been Melanie and Dominic De Gioia. You can view this episode’s show notes or learn more about our podcast by visiting our website, www.engineeringheroes.com.au
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