Rachael Cochrane


Senior Civil Engineer

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Rachael Cochrane is a Senior Civil Engineer working for the Department of Transport and Main Roads. She has spent the past 8 years working as a Delivery Engineer for the Client, managing projects and administrating contracts in Far North Queensland for Transport Infrastructure.

How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I have been volunteering for 5 years now.

Why did you become a volunteer?
It was a way to meet new people working across the industry outside of the immediate disciplines I was involved with and it was a way to give back, grow and develop as an individual.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
The great people you meet and the amazing things you hear that people and groups are doing, which you wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to with your job.

What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Seeing our event attendance rates increase each year and growing the local committee where we had more volunteers than positions.

How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
My career has given me perspective about what people find interesting and how to communicate technical information in a creative and engaging way.

How do you balance work and volunteering?
I commit to a time, either one hour a week or two hours a month and mark it out in my calendar. Sometimes that means combining volunteering with work (planning site visits to your own project) and sometimes that means eating lunch at your computer while you research interesting speaker topics or google venues.

What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Volunteering is a great opportunity and can be very rewarding. The best part of becoming a volunteer is that everyone contributes what they can, when they can, however they can. All talents are appreciated and valued; it is so humbling to see the variety of talents and skills our industry has.

Image: courtesy of Rachael Cochrane