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Reshaping design by going beyond technical specifications

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27 July 2016 - The Global Director, Excellence & Expertise of engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon, Dr Kourosh Kayvani, today announced the appointment of eight Design Directors as the firm continues to elevate its investment in Design as a source of competitive advantage.

According to Dr Kayvani, as the world becomes increasingly complex, ambiguous and volatile, creative and innovative design needs to underpin engineering and engineered solutions.

“Design is more than having an understanding of technical specifications and applying these to deliver new infrastructure,” said Dr Kayvani.

“Great design is about coming to a challenge without preconceived ideas or rigid sets of rules. It is about imagining what can be and then creating solutions to deliver great outcomes for clients and stakeholders.”

“In recent years in our industry, the power of Design has been subsumed by too much focus on conventional systems and narrowly-defined functional elements, rather than exploring holistic options and incubating innovation to create unique design solutions,” said Dr Kayvani. 

In the same way that computing and robotics have disrupted blue collar businesses, they are disrupting professional services companies today. For engineers and infrastructure advisors, this disruption comes in many forms and Aurecon’s response is multi-faceted, including a focus on innovation, digital and design thinking. 

“Aurecon’s Design Directors are leading practitioners, representing the pinnacle of technical mastery within our company,” said Dr Kayvani. 

“As Design Directors, these experts will focus on problem finding and problem solving for our clients and will explore the essence of great Design, just as the best design engineers did in the past.”

“In helping our clients navigate uncertainty, Aurecon embraces the view that delivering truly meaningful design solutions requires acknowledging the importance of human attributes like observation, creativity, as well as a deep understanding of, and empathy with, stakeholders’ desires and needs.”

“Building strong, design-focused relationships with our clients means empowering our best designers and allowing them to imagine and connect deeply with projects. Our creative objective is to conceptualise, provoke, refine, plan and deliver excellence across the lifecycle of client’s projects.” 

“Aurecon’s philosophy is to embrace, not fear business and marketplace disruption. Our Design Directors have deep technical, project and client relationship skills. These experts are the ‘custodians’ of the quality of our global design solutions.”

“Our Design Directors offer our clients a channel through which they can question everything, seek to understand change and partner in order to deliver great projects,” said Global CEO Giam Swiegers

“Great design, doesn’t happen in isolation. Responding to feedback from clients, we identified that if you want to create exemplar, memorable and highly valued projects, it’s essential to engage and explore ideas. Our Design Directors will bring this to our clients and their projects,” added Swiegers. 

Inaugural Aurecon Design Directors

Dr Harry Asche
Design Director – Tunnels 

Harry has acted as design leader and design manager on a wide range of transportation projects involving tunnelling and rail. Harry’s expertise within tunnelling, includes managing large teams who strive to better understand settlement induced by tunnelling, groundwater and the design of rock support across geotechnical diversity of forms.

John Hilton
Design Director – Bridges 

John is a highly experienced bridge engineer with a 40-year project history working on bridges within Australia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Africa. His experience encompasses a wide range of loadings, spans and structure types. John is passionate about real innovations in bridge design.

John Leech
Design Director – Industrial Machines 

John is one of Australia’s pre-eminent bulk materials handling engineers. He has led or guided the innovative design of a substantial proportion of the Australian resource industry’s export capacity. In 2016, John was recognised as one of Australia’s 50 most innovative engineers by Engineers Australia and create magazine

Paul Stephenson
Design Director – Manufacturing 

Paul is passionate about finding new ways to help our manufacturing clients meet their ever increasing need to be price competitive in an environmentally sustainable way. For more than 40 years, Paul has specialised in projects and operational improvements across the dairy, food, fish, minerals, forestry, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. 

Dr Verno Jonker
Design Director – Water Resources 

Verno has 20 years’ experience as a water resources engineer in the fields of catchment hydrology, flood hydrology, integrated water resources analysis, planning and management, decision support systems, hydraulic analysis, flood risk and hazard assessments, surface water monitoring, river hydraulics and environmental flows. 

Stephen Logan
Design Director – Building Mechanical & Electrical (MEP) 

Stephen leads a team delivering structural and building services and specialist building sciences for the building construction industry. He has extensive experience in major project design, including sports stadiums, airport terminal buildings, casinos, large commercial office developments, hotels and resorts

Dr Andy Davids
Design Director – Tall Buildings

Andy has been responsible for many of the Super Tall projects undertaken in the Middle East and around the world. The guiding principles of Andy’s designs are to consider the design of Super Tall buildings in a holistic way, and to then weave the best construction system into the fabric of the design. 

Julian Briggs
Design Director – Water & Wastewater Treatment 

Julian’s primary focus is on process design and modelling of wastewater plants, nutrient removal and membrane bioreactors. Across projects, Julian has develop innovative treatment approaches through detailed design, construction, commissioning and early stages of operation.

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