Director Civil Engineering
Transport for NSW
Where is your hometown? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Uttar Pradesh, India. While completing my civil engineering degree I was selected to work in a public sector company, WAPCOS as a Trainee Engineer in Delhi. I worked with WAPCOS until 2005 and was promoted to Deputy Chief Engineer. During this period I developed port planning and maritime engineering skills through self-study and on-the job training. In 2005, I decided to move to New Zealand to take a position in New Plymouth in North Island where I worked for three years. New Plymouth is the most beautiful place I have ever lived, one can go hiking and surfing on same day. In 2009, I moved to Australia and have lived here since.
Where did you go to university and your field of study and most importantly why did you choose that field?
I completed my Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from MMMEC, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India and masters in Structural Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India.
At 10 years of age, I received my first lesson in construction. During my summer vacations, I helped my dad in managing construction for the family home in a remote village in India. Every little task given to me was a game for me as I often helped tradesmen in brick laying, mortar making, curing etc. I have no doubt that this fun exercise sowed seeds of civil engineering for me.
In high school I had high level exposure to civil engineering where I prepared a project about urban design of a township under guidance of my brother who was studying civil engineering at the time. This project exposed me to key urban design and civil engineering principles. This project after competing at district level, was selected for displaying at a regional level interschool competition. The small scale exposure I received to planning, design and construction motivated me to pursue a career in civil engineering.
Who do you work for now? What has been a highlight of your career?
I work for Transport for NSW (TfNSW). Prior to joining TfNSW, I worked for a number of consultancy organisations in Australia, New Zealand and India and received an opportunity to travel to a number of iconic locations in Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa and Asia-Pacific. I worked on a number of high profile projects including Rooty Hill station upgrade and multistorey carpark, Barangaroo ferry hub, Coal Terminal-3 at Newcastle Port, NSW, Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Western Australia, Saldanha port upgrade, South Africa, Port Taranaki upgrade, New Zealand, the container terminal at Port Nauru, etc.
What do you most enjoy about your role at Transport NSW?
Currently, I am working as the Director of Civil Engineering. This role provides me an opportunity to work on a variety of projects relating to railway infrastructure, carparks, maritime and other civil engineering projects. I also get the opportunity to work with project teams and delivery partners to adopt low emission/ recycled materials and to incorporate renewable energy infrastructures in projects for improving sustainability.
Tell us why and how you first got involved with Concrete?
Immediately after graduating, I gained an opportunity to work on planning and design of cement terminals at Muldwarka, Gujrat and Panvel, Maharashtra, India. This project enabled me to understand design of reinforced concrete piles, headstocks, precast beams for berths/ approach jetty and plain cement concrete for tetrapod armour units for breakwater. From this project, I learnt about the effect of seawater exposure on durability of concrete structures and various strategies for improving durability.
What do you find most challenging about working in the industry?
I think developing a lower carbon footprint/ sustainable concrete mix while complying with the requirements for strength, durability and workability is the most challenging task. This task becomes even more challenging due to limited guidance offered by Australian Standards for use of recycled and low emission materials requiring a task based research.
If there was one thing you could bring to life to help shape the future of infrastructure, what would it be?
Probably a software or tool, capable of assessing the effect of addition of virgin/ recycled materials and admixtures to a concrete mix whilst predicting concrete performance parameters such as strength, durability, workability and carbon footprint of the concrete mix, will benefit the future infrastructure projects. Such a tool will enable to develop a fit for purpose sustainable concrete mix to suit requirement for an individual structure.
SmartCrete’s objective is to help guarantee the long-term viability of crucial concrete infrastructure in Australia, what are your thoughts on this?
SmartCrete CRC is evaluating a few research projects for use in industrial and non-industrial wastes in concrete mixes to improve sustainability and the carbon footprint of concrete while meeting performance requirements. These projects when complete, are likely to help in mitigating waste management issues.