With a career spanning over 40 years in bridge design and construction, John has an extensive project portfolio, within Australia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Africa. This experience encompasses a wide range of loadings, spans and structure types. A renowned expert, John has presented over 40 technical papers at various technical forums covering a range of diverse initiatives throughout his career. He is an integral part of the AS 5100 Bridge Code Committee and is chair on a number of sub-committees.
John is passionate about exploring new ideas, innovation, design led thinking and sustainable construction, and in helping to create and enable a professional environment where people can thrive and grow. Testament to this, he has recognised as Champion of Change as part of a gender equality initiative within Aurecon, and actively mentors and tutors our emerging professionals as well as university students.
The most important lesson you learnt early in your career?
The importance of professional integrity; it’s everything.
There will be times when you will be privileged to know the truth on an issue. When you do, don’t be afraid to stand up and be counted. People need you to do that.
What is an essential key to innovation?
Start with a blank canvas – anything is possible. Know you will come up with a great solution before you start and never lose sight of this. Have patience. Encourage the doubters – you need the challenges, but don’t be put off by the many people who simply want the status quo. Interrogate each constraint before you bring it in, be prepared to backtrack many times, don’t rush it, and accept nothing but the best solution. Sometimes the result will be magic.
Keys to a successful project delivery?
A committed project team led by a strong collaborative leader with a clear vision
Proudest moment in your career?
Continually seeing young people achieve and grow professionally, particularly those that I may have been able to able to influence in some way. I’m very proud of these people.
Your most challenging project? And why?
I have had many challenging projects over my career and not all I got right. Some were extremely satisfying, particularly those where I have been privileged to work with a committed team to pull success from real adversity.
Enjoyment is... a productive days’ work, then relaxing with family over dinner at home with a bold shiraz from the Barossa.