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John Leech

John Leech, Aurecon Design Director

John Leech, Aurecon Design Director

John Leech is one of Aurecon’s inaugural Design Directors based in Brisbane, Australia.

Originally graduating as a mechanical engineer, as one of Aurecon’s inaugural eight Design Directors John enjoys helping clients find solutions to challenging problems and partnering with them to deliver great projects.

For more than 25 years he has specialised in the planning and design of bulk materials handling and storage systems within bulk commodity supply chains, which he has applied to other, sometimes unusual, sectors such as ferry terminal design and moving stadium roofs.

Where do you get your inspiration for innovation?

Engineers do incremental innovation all the time, often just small changes to make something operate smoother or faster.

The big innovations comes when you have no choice but to come up with something different in order to solve a problem. There’s no better source of innovation than when you’ve got a challenge that can only be met by an innovative solution.

How do you encourage others to think differently?

The key is for the whole group to understand the problem and creating an environment for everybody on the team to have ideas about what might work. It’s not necessarily from the mechanical person, you might get it from the electrical person.

It’s getting everyone, even new graduates, to be questioning what is the problem we’re really trying to solve? One approach might be a good way of addressing it but is there a better way of solving it?

Why is engineering important to society?

Engineers design things people don’t even realise they’ve done. People are so used to having products all around them that just work they don’t often appreciate what’s gone on behind that. Aurecon’s design academy is helping teach its engineers to communicate ideas better to clients and the general community so we can tell better stories about how our work benefits society.

What do you enjoy about working at Aurecon?

You never have to turn a project down because you’re worried that it’s too big, or too complex. You’ve always got someone who can help with the parts of it that you might not be familiar with yourself.

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