David Anthony McHugh

FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Project Director

Turner and Townsend Thinc Pty Ltd

David has over 40 years direct experience as Project Director on major NT and Commonwealth Government contracts and as a Senior Engineer and Project Director in the management of project implementation, design, documentation and procurement and construction delivery throughout the Northern Territory.

How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
Since 1974.

Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
To be involved in major construction activities that provide major infrastructure such as roads and bridges for the community.

I always like to see some form of physical structure for work undertaken.

How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
Infrastructure facilities and buildings that are providing road transport services and capacity to deliver good Health and Education outcomes for society.

What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
One of the most interesting projects I have worked on was the $130M RAAF Base Tindal Redevelopment Stage 5 and Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Aircraft Facilities at RAAF Base Tindal.

The best roles I have undertaken were:

  • Chief Executive of the Department of Transport and Works
  • Chief Executive of the Department of Infrastructure

What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
In Australia:
• National Registration – Certification Independent checks
• Water Supply – Urban and Rural Communities – Desalination opportunities
• National Tree Planting Programme – (Additional 35 Million Trees /Annum) in areas not required for agriculture

What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
Maximising the use of technology to provide more efficient and effective delivery of projects to the community.

Who is your engineering hero?
Sir John Holland (John Holland Construction) – he was outstanding Civil Engineer and built a great Civil Engineering Construction Company in Australia.

Image: courtesy of David Anthony McHugh