We talked to Tierney George, Graduate Civil Engineer at GHD in Brisbane and the winner of the 2020 Young Professional Award for Queensland
I graduated from the University of Queensland in mid-2019 with a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Business Management. I’m a local Brisbane girl but love to travel. Some of my favourite things to do include ice skating, wine tasting and photography. If I wasn’t an engineer I’d either be in neuroscience or own my own ice cream store.
What is your current role and organisation?
I’m a graduate civil engineer working in the transport planning team at GHD in Brisbane.
Where do you live and how do you move around?
I live in Brisbane’s inner-west and generally walk to the train to commute. I have a car and use that to get around on the weekends and evenings, but I walk to the shops whenever I can. I’ve recently started to explore cycling and rollerblading along the bikeway, although I’m in need of a new bike and some more training wheels before I can commit myself to the Lycra lifestyle!
Tierney George with Maple
What first attracted you to get involved in the transport industry?
When I was a child, I thought it would be really cool to be a bus driver. I thought the network maps were amazing and that it would be nice to be one of those fun bus drivers who says a big hello and makes people smile first thing in the morning. So I suppose that was the first seed… But what really got my attention was at university, where I found I connected better with transport and traffic studies than I did with any other subjects. Once I worked out that transport was also a huge area of innovation towards sustainable systems, I was set on it… plus, I still really like network maps.
Do you have a mentor (informal or formal) and how have they helped you in your career to date?
I had a formal mentoring relationship during university that was established through a meet-a-mentor program. He was instrumental in helping me to direct my career, helped me to work in London during my undergraduate placement and to apply for jobs in my penultimate year of university. At work, I have a formal mentoring relationship with our business group leader, which he has set up for graduates in their first few years, and that relationship has helped me to get an understanding of business strategies and opportunities. I also have two mentors who train me and guide me through my technical development, which has been really critical for building my engineering skillsets and confidence.
What has been involvement with AITPM to date?
I hadn’t known about AITPM as a student, so this year is my first involvement with AITPM. I’m currently on the QLD branch committee as YP representative, and as part of that am involved with the QLD YP committee.
What are your aspirations for your contribution to the AITPM?
As a young professional, I’m hopeful to help AITPM reach students, graduates and other YPs, provide them with events and tools that are valuable and become part of the existing passionate community in the organisation.
How has this year of COVID19 changed your life: for the better, and the worse?
One of my favourite things to come out of COVID is a greater focus on Wellbeing. My company started a Wellbeing program for which I was able to become a Champion. That has helped me learn a lot more about how the brain works and practice tools that help build resilience. I like that I have brought a daily consciousness of wellbeing to my life, and I’d like to hope to the people I work with.
In hand with that though, COVID brought work into my home, which had an impact on my mental health, reinforcing why putting effort into your own wellbeing is so important!
What do you do in your spare time to unwind?
I recently got back into reading after a long study-induced hiatus, which has been a wonderful way for me to both learn and relax. But, nothing makes me happier than playtime with my beautiful dog Maple.