Swinburne University of Technology
Kerry McManus graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1963 and then followed up with a master’s degree, both from the University of Queensland. He began his career with Queensland Main Roads before moving to work in private practice, specializing in geomechanics in Australia and North America. Shortly after his return, Kerry obtained a position at Swinburne University of Technology, where he worked for over forty years, gaining a PhD. He rose to the position of Deputy Head of the School of Engineering and Science. In 2019, Kerry was granted the title of Emeritus Professor. In 1991 he was Chairman of Victorian Division.
Kerry served in the Army Reserve for over thirty years, ending his career with the rank of Brigadier. He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the Army in 1991.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I began as a student member in 1962 while at the University of Queensland and I joined the graduate and student’s committee of IEAust, Queensland Division.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I wanted to understand the role of the Institution of Engineers Australia in the development of the profession and my personal growth as a young engineer.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I enjoy interacting with the engineering community and explaining to students the role professional engineers play in contributing to Australia’s development.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Encouraging my daughter to become an engineer and to follow my footsteps in becoming Chairman of Victorian Division – an event unique in EA history.
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
My contact with undergraduate students has made me aware of the need to bring the work of the engineering profession into the limelight and resulted in organisation of the Victorian Division annual display of the roles of engineers held for high school students over a number of years.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
It is difficult because volunteering can absorb any amount of time that one has to spare. By encouraging team work of likeminded members, the load can be spread and kept to a reasonable level. It controls the extent of the commitment.
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Every engineer would gain from interaction with other members of the profession and the broader community. The work brings us closer to the community so we can understand their needs better and show them how engineering can benefit them.
Image: courtesy of Kerry McManus