General Manager and Senior Engineer
CBM Sustainable Design Pty Ltd
Liam Dingemanse graduated from the University of Tasmania with a civil/structural engineering degree, and immediately took a position with GHD working in their Launceston, Hobart and Darwin offices. Liam is currently the General Manager of CBM Sustainable Design, an architectural and engineering consultancy firm. He is also director of a number of other construction related companies.
Liam has more than a decade of experience in engineering design, construction management, and project management for development projects in a broad range of sectors that includes commercial property development, industrial, mining and agri-business.
How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
I became a student member of Engineers Australia in early 2000 while studying civil and structural engineering.
Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
I was very interested in maths and science during my schooling. After completing work experience at an engineering consultancy in grade 9, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do – and I haven’t looked back.
How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
My current role is managing an architectural and engineering consultancy firm that has a heavy focus on sustainability. We integrate sustainable solutions into our designs and into our projects, and on a practical level and see many valuable outcomes from this such as community benefit and environmental enhancement. I think we all have a responsibility to give our children the best possible future, and engineering ingenuity can play a huge role in this.
What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
I have been very fortunate to be involved in numerous interesting projects throughout Australia and overseas, however I love being involved in projects in my home town state of Tasmania. As a young engineer I was privileged to be involved in the civil and structural design of the reinforced concrete levies that protect Launceston from flooding. The levies were designed and constructed to replace the pre-existing 50+ year old levies that were no longer deemed adequate. It was a challenging yet rewarding project that taught me many skills and practical knowledge. Some years later a major flood occurred which tested the design and construction of these levies and they performed exceptionally well.
What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
Over-regulation and the increased liability of the engineering profession is stifling innovation and creativity. We need to be encouraging innovation, creativity and risk taking, particularly in young engineers as this will help the profession flourish.
What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
The improvement and advancement of technology, both in terms of design and management tools, and in the improvements of materials use and innovative engineering solutions. These enable us as engineers to provide more effective and inexpensive ways of solving modern day problems that enhance the standard of living for people not just in Australia, but also worldwide.
I believe that, as new problems continue to emerge as a result of expanded urbanisation for example, we engineers will be at the forefront; coming up with new ideas, new designs, new materials and new products that will remediate and solve those problems.
Who is your engineering hero?
Rather than an individual hero, I am indebted to the senior engineers who trained, encouraged and mentored me to become the successful professional engineer I am today. These engineers taught me not only the theoretical aspects of engineering but also the practical and human elements that ultimately make for successful projects. I am very grateful for the learnings gained from those highly experienced practicing engineers, and that knowledge and learned skills continue to serve me well today.
In my role as manager of a consulting firm, I am now mentoring others and I find this to be both enjoyable and of vital importance to our business future.
Image provided by Liam Dingemanse