No'am Geffen, Engineer, Integrated Transport & Mobility
||Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce
What is your background?
I was born in Israel, where I lived until I was seven, when my family moved to Auckland, New Zealand. I then moved to Melbourne, Australia when I was 13 and have been living here ever since. When I was in school, I always loved maths and science, particularly the problem-solving aspects. This is what drew me to study engineering
I applied for an internship at Aurecon in my penultimate year at the university and did that over the summer of 2018–2019 in the rail team. I was then offered a graduate role for the following year and continued working part time during my final year at university. In 2020, I started as a graduate in the rail team and then transitioned over to the Integrated Transport & Mobility (ITM) team, which I am currently a part of.
What's your job about?
The ITM team aims at providing safer, smarter, and more connected transportation systems.
There are many different roles within the team, however I focus on transport planning and traffic engineering. This involves looking at the best way to move people and goods and what corresponding infrastructure is required. No day is the same for me which I love! This is because, in my role, we provide many different types of services and often work across multiple projects.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, definitely! Our team is made up of people with lots of different educational backgrounds, such as mathematics, urban planning, data science and more. A lot of the skills are taught on the job, so I think it is more about having a passion and interest in the work we do that is important. Being a good communicator with strong analytical and problem-solving skills is hugely beneficial.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I love that while my job is often about improving or designing transportation infrastructure, it is all about society and what/how people will use and interact with this infrastructure. It has a human-centred element to it that really appeals to me.
I have also been lucky enough to work on some big projects that have shaped the transportation network of Melbourne. It is really amazing to think that in 50 years’ time, I can look back and know I played a part in that.
What are the limitations of your job?
There’s often not a straight answer or one you get from a calculation. As an engineering student, I like having a clear solution that is based on calculations or standard practices. In transport, planning things are often assessed qualitatively and quantitatively, so the answer is often not as obvious. The good thing is, it gets easier with experience and I can already see how the work I have done on previous projects is helping me with my current projects.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
It’s okay not to know what you want to do and be, or what kind of job you want after life at university. Just take whatever opportunity you get and learn as you go.
Have fun and get involved! University has a lot to offer beyond the lecture hall. Be sure to get involved in any clubs or associations that interest you.
Make connections. This can be with your peers at university, as they will ultimately be your colleagues one day. In every aspect of your life, connecting to other people is so important.