Merv Lindsay is a consulting civil/structural engineer. He began his career as an undergrad engineer with Newcastle Council. Upon graduation Merv joined CMPS, one of the largest engineering consultancies in Australia at that time, working in their Newcastle, Teheran and Sydney offices. In 1980 he commenced a consultancy practice that now has over 80 staff in 4 offices across Australia. Lindsay Dynan Consulting is a specialist Civil Structural practice operating in the mining, industrial, infrastructure and building areas. Merv recently resigned from the board but remains involved in a part time technical capacity.
His EA career has included a long involvement at Newcastle Division level as well as, for the last 20 years, continuous involvement at national level. The latter has included Civil College Board, Congress, Council and culminating in National President in 2010/2011. He was also board member of EMedia Limited and Chair in 2013/14. More recently, Merv has been National Chair of Engineering Heritage Australia and on the technical committee for the recent World Engineering Convention in Melbourne.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I began on Newcastle Division Civil Group in 1983. I have been continuously active since then.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I guess the initial motivation was largely networking. I had recently commenced a consulting practice. However, I found it satisfying and motivating and quickly realised one gets so much more from membership when actively participating.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I can’t believe how many enduring friendships I’ve made through my involvement with EA. Yet even more than that, I’ve enjoyed the continuous professional engagement and mental stimulation created by being at the front line of all EA deliver.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Being National President was a career and life highlight and from that I promoted and led the restructure to a modern corporate governance model. But there have been many highlights that I look back on as personal achievements. Division President and my current role as national chair of EHA are just two that have been and are achievements.
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
I’ve always believed a strong professional association is vitally important to advancing and sustaining the profession that I’ve chosen to make my career. I began my technical engagement focusing on my areas of practice, but in many ways it’s been the broader technical discoveries that have become even more interesting. Areas like Nuclear, Sustainability, Engineering Heritage and so many more.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
That’s a question I’ve never asked myself. I don’t think they’ve ever competed. I am certain my involvement in EA has complemented my career.
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
I know careers are probably more demanding now than they have been in the past, but our profession needs a strong professional association and that just won’t be sustained without member engagement, involvement and some support through volunteering. Find a pathway that is enjoyable and rewarding then be prepared to try whatever comes along and seek to influence outcomes. I don’t think I really measured benefits but looking back, I got back in spades.
Image: courtesy of Merv Lindsay