Dominic Burnet is a Systems Engineer at Frazer-Nash Consultancy, with experience in rail, solar and defence. Dominic adopts a creative outlook to solve technical and non-technical problems, drawing upon his studies in both Mechanical Engineering and Visual Arts. He is enthusiastic about engineering and currently volunteers as a Division Committee member of Engineers Australia in South Australia.
How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
I have been a member of Engineers Australia since I graduated in 2017.
Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
As a child I was always interested in how things worked, I spent my time pulling apart computers and designing perpetual motion machines. This curiosity progressed into a desire to create novel and interesting technology for our future. Engineering seemed the natural choice for these ambitions.
How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
Using my engineering background, my long-term objective is to create and design innovative technologies to advance our society. I have an interest in improving the living efficiencies and standards for people around the globe by making day-to-day life easier. I have volunteered my time to investigate how the use of 3D printing can be of benefit to the blind and visually impaired with the use of tactile surfaces for spatial navigation.
What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
The most interesting project I have worked on would be my honours project. Together with my team we designed, tested, and built a magnetically levitating motor. This project was particularly interesting to me as it required a multidisciplinary skill set to complete. An understanding of systems engineering, mechanical design, electromagnetic design, and control systems was needed. I believe when there is an intersection of ideas and skills the biggest technological advancements will occur.
What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
I believe that education is the biggest issue facing the engineering profession. This issue comes in three forms, formative, continuing and transfer. The largest challenge with the formative stage of education begins with ensuring the standard of education is kept at a level commensurate with technology in society. In an ever advancing world, keeping pace is vital. The established professional community has the challenge of continuing their education throughout their career. Finally, I believe those nearing the end of their career have a duty to transfer the knowledge they have gained across their career. This not only benefits the recipient but the whole of society.
What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
The most exciting prospect for the future is the utilisation of scientific discoveries that don’t yet have a purpose. We, as a world are sitting on a gold mine of information, which with the right application will have the ability to transform society.
Who is your engineering hero?
Leonardo da Vinci. As a man who made multidisciplinary advancements in engineering, science, art, and medicine, he is hard to look past. I often wonder what advancements would have been made had he been born today and given access to the vast amounts of information available.
Image: courtesy of Dominic Burnet