The rise of corporate social responsibility with Steve Adamthwaite
About Steve Adamthwaite
Steve enjoys living in NSW’s Hunter region and spend a lot of his time checking out local wineries with his partner, and playing the occasional golf game.
Steve grew up outside of Orange which is located near a very large mine. While in high school, he was looking through a career advice book (no on line… show his age a little!) and went to see what a mining engineering did – it sounded awful! But the book recommended to also look into mineral processing engineering which he thought sounded much more interesting. He managed to get his Year 10 work experience placement in the mine where a supervisor advised “If you do metallurgy you can only work in a mine, so do chemical engineering because it’s way more broader” These words have guided Steve in his career.
Steve studied part-time at the University of Newcastle and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with Hons. Studying part-time “probably wasn’t the easiest way to go about things” but he liked how it meant he graduated with an array of experiences. It also helped him stay connected to the industry he was moving into during his studies, which was a very important component to his motivation.
Hot Topic discussion
Steve is concerned about “The rise of corporate social responsibility and how that’s playing into the engineering world”
Steve sees this as “being a huge point of employee retention and gain in recruitment between different engineering firms at the moment”
We are introduced to the phrase “Moonshot”.
“The idea of a moonshot is to never actually be profitable. it’s to have a huge lofty goal and solve it… and that’s sort of it!”
Google has a Moonshot lab – they have projects that are “never expecting to see profitability come out of it”. But, “they’re producing these projects and doing these things because there’s a huge problem that needs solving”
“Sometimes they do actually work out to be profitable, and some of them work out to just be game-changes“
Google glasses wasn’t really picked up as a viable product. But the technology that was created for this has gone on to be used in many other aspects of society.
Arup solved a water problem for a remote Australian community by creating a solution that was entirely self-sufficient with renewable power.“They were able to use what they were doing on other projects and shoot it out in a different way”. Now large water–solution companies and charities are looking to this solution to roll out globally to communities that don’t have traditional water supplies.
Working on these projects can help make you a better and more satisfied engineer.
There are many positives to an engineering firm looking into their corporate social responsibility. Dedicating a certain percentage of a company’s revenue is a model that seems to be very popular
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
For Steve, seeing what’s going on “outside my discipline, especially civil and infrastructure, is super exciting to me”
He’s really excited by seeing the various infrastructure that gets built – he knows the complexity that’s involved and likes seeing progress.
The future of engineering is “going to be very, very different to what we’re seeing now, and in some ways, it’s not going to change at all”. An example is mining – what is being mined now is not necessary the resource that will be in demand in the future.
Steve is seeing a shift in the engineering community due to the skills required when the value of materials change, and in the way humans interact with nature.
An engineering item for discussion…
“mine are very niche based in minerals processing”
“a love in my heart for gravity gold recovery” – essentially a washing machine which allows the gold to be separated from a process before it can get milled/ground down into dust.
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