Owen Keenan

MIEAust

Structural Engineer

Cardno

Owen graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering, with a major in civil/structural engineering from the University of Western Australia. Owen has worked in the civil construction industry with Georgiou, and most recently as a Structural Engineer with Cardno.

Owen is currently is the Engineers Australia EngTalk Coordinator for Engineers Australia WA Division which focuses on providing STEM and engineering volunteers to local and regional Perth high schools.

He is also Secretary for Young Engineers Australia WA Committee, in which he represents the young engineers in WA from undergraduates to 35 years of age.

How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I have been volunteering with Engineers Australia for the past 2 and a half years. What a great time that has been!

Why did you become a volunteer?
I became a volunteer to mentor others. I am a volunteer and the coordinator of Engineers Australia’s schools outreach program – EngTalk. I have had many mentors in my early career and even until now, because of this I want to mentor others too.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I have loved the opportunities that have been afforded to me to develop and progress as a professional. It’s also rewarding to give my time and advocate for engineering. I am able to engage and learn much from engineers that have varied experience and are from different disciplines.

What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Standing in front of a class of 50 high school students and sharing about my journey as an engineer. Many were unaware of what engineering is. I talked to each student individually about what engineering is and how he or she can take this path.

How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
I have developed as a professional during my volunteering service in Engineers Australia and vice-versa. My career has helped me to gain perspective on the wider needs of the engineering community and be an advocate on those issues.

How do you balance work and volunteering?
I have a wife and three children, work full-time, and volunteer. The best way to balance is to define priorities and stick to them. I also only commit to something if I know that I will be able to give it the time it deserves.

What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Do it! But do it for the right reasons. Give with no expectation of return, and seek to help and develop people in the process. It is less about events and committees, and more about who you are helping.

Image of Owen Keenan