Jacob – Project Engineer

Who are you?

Hello! I’m Jacob Landers, and I work as a Project Engineer for BMD Constructions.

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How did you get into this job?

I studied Civil Engineering at University. I have worked as a construction engineer since graduation, progressing from a graduate engineer to a site engineer to a project engineer.

The Projects I’ve worked on include: Port of Brisbane Motorway ($350m.), Toowoomba Range Reconstruction ($65m), Domestic Airport South Apron ($44m), Glenorchy Bruce Highway Reconstruction ($4m), Gympie Access Bruce Highway ($25m), Southport Burliegh Road 3 Laneing ($45m), and the International Terminal Apron ($35m).

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What do you actually do?

I turn technical drawings into physical assets by managing large, complex projects.

Clients come us with a set of drawings and a specification (normally developed by civil design engineers) for a project that they wish to construct. It’s my role to work out the most efficient way to safely construct what the client wants.

I cost, plan, supervise and review the thousands of small little jobs that make up a major scale civil project. From the digger excavating unsuitable earth, to testing the bolts in a guardrail beam, to marking out the linemarks on the road, each task requires careful planning to make sure the right material is put in the right place, at the right time, with the correct process, to ensure client success.

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What type of building (or otherwise) do you work in?

I work in temporary offices in the centre of our sites. I spend 100% of my time on the project site, with approximately 50% spent outside at the workface, supervising our works.

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What STEM disciplines are involved with your work?

Civil and Construction Engineering.

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What other STEM People do you work with?

The main STEM People I work with are Civil Design Engineers, Soil Technicians and Scientists, Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and Materials Scientists.

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What does a typical day for you look like?

5am – Alarm.

6am – Arrive to site.

6.30am – Prestart meeting with all workers on site to discuss plan for the day.

Morning – Typically spent onsite reviewing works, discussing plans with foreman, working with testers and reviewing works in progress.

Afternoon – Office work for Quality Assurance, Planning, Costing, Design Reviews, Site Meetings Etc..

4.30pm – Final site visit for the day – review works completed and plan for next day.

5.30pm – Home time!

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What do you like best about your work?

We create huge assets designed to last longer than any of us will be alive.

It’s an awesome feeling to watch the projects come together at the end of the day and be opened to the public.

What do you like least about your work?

I must admit, I don’t enjoy the long hours, or the smelly and sweaty conditions of being at the workface. I also don’t like industry competition!

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What advice would you have for a high school student considering a career in the STEM field?

Work hard, but don’t stress. No matter where you finish school, there is always a pathway to where you want to be.

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