FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)
Systems Development Manager
FUJIFILM Australia Pty Ltd
Deon Rowley is an internationally acclaimed electronic systems engineer and business leader, with more than 20 years of experience in the field of systems engineering and commercial software development. He is leader who takes accountability for developing delivery-based solutions with emphasis on developing people and collaborative environments.
“I enjoy a leadership role where I have the opportunity to drive the strategic technical direction of the organisation, to consistently create industry leading products and services which generate strong commercial results.”
He holds a Bachelors Degree in electronic engineering, is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Australia.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I joined Engineers Australia as a member in 2009 and started volunteering with the Joint Institutions Lecture Series and other committees, including Engineering Week, and events such as the Great Engineering Challenge and Bridge Building Competitions.
Why did you become a volunteer?
After receiving support and mentoring from a volunteer as part of my Chartered Engineer accreditation, I wanted to be able to give back to the institute in a similar way to support others in their engineering careers.
For me, this started by visiting my local university where I provided mentoring advice to the students and explained how membership of a professional engineering institution could benefit their future careers and provide a pathway towards Chartership.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
For me I get a real sense of ‘givers gain’ and I enjoy promoting the engineering profession in general, through speaking at events and arranging technical lectures for our members and their guests.
One of the most rewarding activities for me is to assist others on their pathway towards Chartered professional registration where I act as an adviser and Interview Panellist.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
As an engineer, I can’t help but try to improve things, so for me, my greatest achievement has not yet occurred and I am sure it will always elude me as I continue with my journey.
In the mean time I have taken great pleasure in helping others to achieve their goals of becoming Chartered, seen hundreds of enthusiastic students building bridges as they consider a career in engineering, assisted Engineers Education Australia to train our future engineering leaders, and have helped to share knowledge with thousands of our engineers through a program of technical lectures.
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
I have been fortunate to have worked in a research and development role for the majority of my career. This has allowed me to recognise the importance of balancing innovation with the need to generate strong commercial value to ensure sustainable results, through sound engineering judgement and ethical practice.
These guiding rules continue to provide me with a rewarding and enjoyable career and this has inspired me to share these virtues with others through my volunteer work within the engineering community.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
There is always more that can be done, but it is important to understand that any amount of voluntary work is always well received and it can be in many forms, so it need not take over.
I started the Chartership process with the support of my employer, so it is a balance that must be found, and for me, membership has enhanced my engineering and business competencies through technical training and networking opportunities.
If you are fortunate to be able to bring benefit to your work life through your voluntary activities as I do, then this most certainly helps.
I also have a very understanding and supportive wife, Joanne, to whom I am most grateful!
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Give it a go, it will give more than you know.
I have had the pleasure of assisting many groups and individuals as a representative of Engineers Australia and other organisations, and there is a common theme, the more you give, the more you gain.
You will be well supported by a team of your peers and everyone has something to offer from a friendly smile to technical expertise.
When I am asked why do you do it, I always wonder… why don’t you try and then you will know.