Martin Fielke, Sustainability Engineer
|Degree completed:||Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science|
|Strongest Aurecon Attribute:||Resourceful|
A day in the life of a sustainability engineer
Sustainability engineer Martin Fielke shares what a day in the life of an Aurecon graduate looks like, from attending client meetings to working on sustainable projects that contribute to a better future.
I usually start my day at 7:00am by rolling out of bed and stumbling my way into the kitchen to have my breakfast. After finishing my morning routine – eating breakfast, feeding my fish, making my bed, etc. – I grab my bike bag, which I packed the night before. Then, I am ready to go.
I’m lucky enough to have a bike ride along the Yarra River to work. The commute takes about 20-30 minutes and it’s where I get to relax and listen to a podcast – usually about yesterday’s news to see what’s happening in the world. When I arrive at the Aurecon Centre in Melbourne, I drop my bike off in the storage area before having a shower and freshening up in our change rooms. Aurecon has a fairly relaxed dress code, so you have the freedom to be yourself and wear what you like – as long as it’s professional and smart. It also means I don’t have to ride into work wearing a full suit every day!
Time for work! I head up to my floor where the 3D printers are located and check on a print that I set into production the previous night for Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel. In addition to developing models as a sustainability engineer, I help other areas of the business with their 3D printing. I’m also currently working on scale wall panels to help our clients visualise our designs before construction. After checking on my print, I make my way to my locker, pick up my laptop and notebooks and go find a desk for the day. My floor is a completely agile working space, so I can sit wherever I want – though I usually go for a seat near the window. After finding a home for the day, I grab my morning coffee and get to work.
Every day I write out a list of tasks I need to complete and identify the most important tasks to tackle first. Then I get to work, savouring that satisfying moment when I get to cross as many tasks off my list as possible. As a sustainability engineer, I ensure that all projects I design are fit-for-purpose and have a low environmental impact. It’s a rewarding career because I know that I’m contributing to a better future.
Within my role, I’m required to have diverse knowledge of building physics. I typically work closely and collaboratively with the building services, project management, and architectural teams. Since I’m in a small team I often find myself working on numerous different projects. Although focusing between multiple projects can be challenging, it’s one of the things that I like most about my job. I love getting the opportunity to work on a really large range of projects – from modelling building energy consumption to designing rooftop solar systems. I really enjoy learning new skills, and within Aurecon I am able to learn from countless experts.
We have flexible working hours, so you can choose your own start and finish times – and you can take your lunch whenever you want. Today, my stomach dictates that I should go on lunch around 12:30 pm after a productive morning. I head to the kitchenette, eat lunch, and a group of us work our way through all the quizzes that we can get our hands on to relax.
Heading back to work for the afternoon, I revisit my list of tasks for today. I make a few phone calls with architects about my work on an Australian Government Department of Defence vehicle regeneration project before getting ready for my monthly meeting with my line manager at 2:00 pm.
At Aurecon, everyone has a line manager. Your line manager is someone who will help you with just about anything you can think of, such as your career progression or helping you manage your current workload. I have a monthly meeting with my line manager where we usually talk about the goals that I have set for the year and how I can continue to grow my career. This week I call her on Skype as she is working from home. We discuss my personal and professional development plan along with all works in progress.
After my meeting with my line manager, I head out the door with my colleague to go to an architects’ office on the other side of the city to discuss proposed optimisation of shading design on one of our buildings projects. Through collaboration and thinking outside-of-the-box we found some great solutions which we believe the client will like. After the meeting wraps up, we make our way back to the Aurecon Centre.
Making my way back to my desk, I get started on pre-reading for one of my ‘Catalyst’ training modules. Catalyst is Aurecon’s instructor-led programme designed by Aurecon’s Talent and Development team to respond to digital disruption and the changing face of work. The topic of today’s module is ‘Introduction to designing differentiation’. I manage to tick off a few more tasks on my list before I pack up and finish for the day.
I make my way back down to the bike storage to grab my bike and go to the supermarket just around the corner from my office to grab ingredients for tonight’s dinner. After finishing my quick shop, I load my bike bag up with my groceries and I jump on my bike to head back home.
The day isn’t truly finished for me until much later. I have a big interest in the energy industry and people’s relationship with energy. Because of this, some friends and I are starting up a business that uses a software-based service to help people change their energy habits and save money. We have a Skype meeting tonight to discuss our progress on tasks that we set ourselves to do from our catch-up on the weekend.
After the Skype meeting finishes, I can finally relax for the rest of the night. So, I make and eat dinner, and prepare myself for tomorrow.