MSc (Eng.) CPEng. JD (Law)
Civil and Structural Engineering Master’s Student
Charles Darwin University
Grant Scott is the 2019 Engineers Australia Victorian Division Committee President and acting Deputy Chair of the Engineers Australia Chemical College Board. Grant is also an Engineers Australia panel member to certify University Chemical Engineering accreditation, and a Standards Australia committee member for new Innovation Management ISO TC-279. Grant is a Certified Professional Engineer, Fellow and Engineering Executive, a Lawyer and experienced Director.
How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
Over two decades!
Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
After completing a Bachelors in Physics and Masters in Petroleum Engineering I was interested in pursuing engineering because of the global opportunities available, looking to use my technical knowledge in creative and innovative ways to make a real practical difference in the world.
How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
I am interested in growing future opportunities for Australia and in particular encouraging innovation and entrepreneurial start-ups, and growth of new base economies though Engineering.
I am currently doing this in the Bio waste conversion space, using innovative technology to create/provide products that are currently 100% imported. The goal is to create Australian jobs through innovation, with products that are 30% cheaper to produce and fulfil a local, country need and create an export market. Also, more broadly I’m working with Venture Capital Institute Australia, a not-for-profit aiming to support Australian innovation infrastructure resources with the support of government, education, business, service providers, venture capitalists, research and development leaders.
What is the key learning you’ve made during your time as the Engineers Australia Victorian President?
Engineering practices have a long history and can be shown to have been used in Victoria for more than 6,600 years. The Gunditjmara Aboriginal people built one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems using their exceptional knowledge and ingenuity in the Budj Bim cultural landscape (about 40 kilometres north of Portland).
They truly demonstrated sustainable practices and sensitivity to the land using complex channels, dams and weirs in the landscape to store and harvest the kooyang eel and sustain villages and undertake trade. This significant cultural site at Budj Bim was added to the World Heritage Site list on 6 July 2019.
What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
I have a long history of working on Engineering programs and projects. One interesting project (South Louisiana Methanol) was developed by a company I was a founder of over 10 years ago. ZEEP Inc. is focussed on ’gas to liquids’ technology developing the $2.2 billion Methanol plant, aiming to convert cheap natural gas into over 1.8 million tons of methanol per year. I worked on the overall development program and investments into ZEEP to exploit the company’s expertise in gas conversion to a valuable methanol product.
What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
The fast-moving digitisation of vast amounts of data for use in the engineering profession, and the challenge to ensure that we have the appropriate level of engineering educational framework to support practical understanding and interpretation of the digital data.
What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
Looking to the future and our contribution, the mindset of Engineers Australia’s centenay year ‘anything is possible’ is a reality. I believe that Engineers are instrumental as leaders providing innovative ideas and practical solutions to grow economies, and provide sustainable solutions for complex issues facing the world today.
Who is your engineering hero?
John Barden (1908-1991) was a Physicist and Engineer, and the only person to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics twice for the invention of the transistor (with William Shockley and Walter Brattain) and a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory (with Leon Cooper and John Schrieffer). He used his physics and electrical engineering knowledge to make possible the development of almost every modern electronic device from telephones to computers and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and medical resonance imaging (MRI).
Image: courtesy of Grant Scott