Michael van Koeverden

FIEAust CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Director

CQT Services Pty Ltd

Michael has spent his career as a specialist in the use and application of construction materials. He has worked on numerous infrastructure projects nationally and overseas, including bridges, pavements, dams, wharfs, tunnels, rail works, precast operations, coal loading facilities, and major projects.

With a real passion for constructing things the right way, Michael has been a vocal advocate for engineering certification. He has been an EA-authorised spokesperson in the Newcastle region for a number of years, including interviews on ABC radio and local television on the Newcastle light rail, Milano’s restaurant collapse, and for Australian Engineering Week.

Graduating from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) in 1991, Michael spent 17 years at Hanson Australia and Hymix working with construction materials, before starting his own consultancy, CQT Services, in 2007. Michael was also a founding director of Quarry Mining Systems, Engineering Material Solutions, and BG&E Materials Technology engineering consultancies.

How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
20 years ago, I started my journey with EA as Secretary, then Chair, of the Civil College and couldn’t believe how many talented and dedicated engineers were giving their time freely to this organisation. I quickly learnt how important it was to have a strong professional association to ask the right questions and ensure engineers had a voice, because we aren’t always good at talking about ourselves and the great things we achieve every day.

With terms in Newcastle Division, National Congress, Civil College Board, the Australian Geomechanics Society National Committee, and as a current member of the National STEM Committee, I feel it is now more important than ever that our profession supports important changes to certification of engineering competency to ensure the community we serve have confidence in the great work we are doing.

We need to do a better job of explaining what we do as engineers, and the important role we play in the life of so many. This must start early in school and EA have an important role in getting a consistent message out about the contributions made by the whole engineering team.

What has been your greatest achievement in your time with Engineers Australia?
As Newcastle Division President in 2015 and Chair of the Education Subcommittee, I was fortunate to be one of the founding developers of the Newcastle Division Engineering Studies Teacher Program, which has been well received by the broad teaching community. The program subsequently accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority, so when teachers complete the program it contributes to teachers’ professional development hours. The program was also awarded the EA President’s Prize in 2018.

How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
As time passed, I have enjoyed the opportunities to give back to the engineering profession and have always found the more time you give to EA, the more you receive in return. I’ve been fortunate to meet many incredible engineers, developed a tremendous network of colleagues and hope in some small way have helped the next generation of engineers as well.

A strong EA means a strong profession.

Michael van Koeverden