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Graduate stories


Michelle Doolan

Michelle Doolan

Track & Civil Engineer

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Time at Aurecon: 3 years
Degree completed: Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Civil Engineering) and Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Unconventional thinker

When I started my degree, I really had no idea where it would take me. I had a passion for all things technical, creative and innovative. I, like many idealistic university students, wanted to change the world. Engineering seemed like the right fit – and now I know it is.

With rapid population growth continually increasing the strain on our resources, infrastructure and housing, the world will experience significant challenges in the future. It is engineering that provides the foundation for society to thrive – and, as such, it will be engineers who will solve some of our greatest challenges.

My experience with Aurecon

In the three years since graduating and joining Aurecon, I have already experienced and learnt so much! From working on both the consulting and government sides of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, to owning my own design packages on major projects including the West Gate tunnel project and Furlong Main Heatherdale and Blackburn Level Crossing Removals projects in Victoria.

The rail and people teams have always got my back. My colleagues keep me engaged and foster continuous learning. They point out development opportunities such as scholarships, secondments, conferences and competitions that I should strive to attend or enter. In 2016, I applied for an ‘innovation pitch’ competition for young professionals working in rail. I pulled together an idea from my experiences with Aurecon and my secondment with Melbourne Metro Rail Authority. To my surprise, I took home the inaugural Australian Railway Association (ARA) innovation pitch trophy! Since then I have been involved in chairing conferences, participating in industry panels, and speaking at industry events. 

My strongest Aurecon Attribute is "unconventional thinker". Through the work I have done, and my achievements to date, I can see how this attribute has helped me to innovate and deliver great outcomes for my clients and my career. If you are eager to learn and would like opportunities to take your career to new heights, then I would definitely say that Aurecon is the place for you.

My best advice for graduates

I think many university students place too much emphasis on grades, exams and assignments. While these are obviously important, I have come to realise it pays to look at the bigger picture. Many engineers can design, programme, calculate and draw – being slightly better at any of those won’t really make you stand out. You need to get out there, go to networking events, meet people, learn about companies and engage with their representatives to be noticed.

The last thing you want to be is an anonymous name in an online job application system. You want your name to be recognised, and you want to be able to build a connection with your prospective employers. If you’re a bit shy or need some help – I’d encourage you to find a mentor. There are various professional bodies around that offer this type of support, and networking will help you meet likeminded individuals keen and willing to help. Lastly, I would say learning about a potential future employer’s culture, and deciding if it is a good ‘fit’ is very important. The old cliché’ of being yourself and the right opportunity will arise I believe is really true. Just put yourself out there and the rest will come.


William Puente

William Puente

ESD Engineer

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Time at Aurecon: 2 years
Degree completed: Bachelor of Biological Science specializing in Zoology, Deakin University and Master of Environments, specializing in Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation, University of Melbourne
Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Fearless

After finishing my Bachelor of Biological Science, taking the leap into building energy efficiency was a huge move for me. I was motivated by the belief that I could contribute to society better as an ESD engineer, where my work would have a positive effect not only on the environment, but also the people that use in the buildings.

My experience with Aurecon

When I started at Aurecon, my role mainly involved creating models in the ESD team, simulating thermal, daylight and energy performance. However, I've since expanded my scope and can now be recognised as a key modeler for our team – being recognised as a, Green Star rating accredited professional and, soon, a WELL rating accredited professional.

I’ve previously worked on the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal, which was definitely a challenging project. My role was to ensure that all the stations achieve a Green Star rating –, a task that relied on a high level of multidisciplinary knowledge. Working with all the different teams taught me so much about how these complex projects function, and who to speak to about challenges and ideas. 

Through my work I helped deliver a result that went beyond our client’s expectations. The work ethic of our people and our capability are why, I believe Aurecon is such a successful company.

I’m also currently working on commercial building projects aiming for WELL and Green Star ratings, as well as assisting in HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling) modelling tasks. The work involves a lot of communication with the architects and the electrical, mechanical and structural teams about relevant standards, provideand performance analytics provide advice to the client.

Having such a strong and supportive ESD team gives me the best chance to excel in my career. For instance, theyThey always make sure I’m aware of opportunities to attend workshops, seminars, webinars, networking events and to present at conferences.   Largely due to their support, I have been accepted to present my building modelling research at the International Building Performance Simulation Association’s (IBPSA)’s Australian Building Simulation 2017 conference. I never would have had such an opportunity without the ESD team, who have also helped shape my research.

While I identify with a number of the Aurecon Attributes, I believe my strongest is being ‘fearless’. I’m always ready to ask the questions that others may not. I believe it’s always important to ask, “Why can’t we do this differently? Can we try this new design?” as this allows us to produce unique results in a projects and keep our clients coming back.

My best advice to graduates

My best advice to graduates would be to maintain your curiosity and your confidence. If I didn’t first take the leap into engineering, I would never have discovered my passion for sustainability. If I didn’t build up the courage to apply to Aurecon, I would never have experienced all the great opportunities and amazing individuals here.


Cass Kenworthy

Cass Kenworthy

Transportation Engineer

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Time at Aurecon: 4 years
Degree completed: Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) Hons, University of Auckland
Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Engaging

I pursued a career in engineering after realising my passion for mathematics and complex problem solving while studying biomedical science.

During my Honours year of my Bachelors degree, I completed an internship at Auckland Transport working in the Public Transport Capital Development team. Here I worked on various bus and rail projects with several design consultancies, including Aurecon. I applied to Aurecon’s graduate programme because I thought they were one of the most engaging consultancies. I also appreciated that to be a good engineer, I needed experience working in a consultancy environment.

My experience with Aurecon

Unlike similar organisations Aurecon doesn’t have a formal rotation programme, which means you can focus on your area of interest from the outset. Over the years I have been given the opportunity to contribute to many multimodal projects within the transport planning team, including high profile projects such as the Auckland City Rail Link.

Being able to articulately communicate with a diverse range of people is an important skill to develop as an engineer. I believe that my strongest Aurecon Attribute is "engaging", which has helped me significantly to get my projects over the line.

A key achievement for me was being Global Chair, during 2017/2018, for Limelight, – Aurecon’s emerging professionals’ programme that aims to promote a culture of innovation, involvement and improvement. In this role, I supported Limelight committees across our operations and facilitated global events to encourage emerging professionals to help bring ideas to life. Fundamental to my role was engaging senior business leaders to set the Limelight Business Plan and diversifying the way in which we communicate with our emerging professionals.

My best advice for graduates

I encourage aspiring engineers to gain as much relevant work experience as possible while studying. This helps to get your foot in the door when applying for jobs and gives you an advantage.

Aurecon has a great reputation in the market place. Hearing complimentary feedback about its work and people is a great motivator for me – I feel proud to work for such a highly regarded consultancy. Delivering excellent client experience is critical, and is at the forefront of what we do.


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