Building and Energy, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Government of Western Australia
Sean de Prazer is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, Chartered Professional Engineer (Civil and Structural Colleges) and Chairperson of the WA Structures Panel of Engineers Australia.
He currently works as the Principal Engineer for the state building regulator and as a lecturer/tutor in structural steel design for Bachelor and Masters Engineering degrees.
Sean is grateful for having worked and volunteered with many exceptionally talented and honourable engineers. He hopes to pay forward some of what he has learnt from these inspirational people, both through his career roles and volunteer activities.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Since my first post graduate year (2004) when I promoted engineering and STEM to high school students through the Engineering Ambassadors programme and sat on the WA Young Engineers committee. I also joined the WA Structures Panel the following year and have chaired the panel for the past three years.
Why did you become a volunteer?
I joined to gain insight into my profession, grow networks, and assist in providing quality professional development to other engineers.I now also strive to assist in the advocacy of the engineering profession and industries in which we operate, for the creation of a safer and more sustainable built environment.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I enjoy being able to connect people and assist sharing of knowledge for the betterment of individuals in engineering related industries and associated stakeholders. I greatly value the friendships forged and feel privileged to interact with so many amazing people through my voluntary roles.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
My small part has been to facilitate connections between people and groups who have provided great benefit to engineering industries and the public as a whole.
I am also proud to have assisted remarkable engineers to be recognised and supported in their valuable work.
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
My career experiences assist to identify areas for professional development and areas in our industry I strive to help improve.
The conversations with my engineering peers through EA panels and networks consolidate what is most relevant and how our combined voluntary efforts can gain greatest benefit.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
As with all the busy people which whom I volunteer, we find time for what is important. We also gain valuable insights through conversations bred from our volunteer work. The support of our family, friends, and workplaces also requires special mention and their flexibility forms part of the balancing act.
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
EA connects people! I have had the honour of forging connections and collaborating with representatives from Young Engineers Australia, the Heritage Panel, Risk Engineering Society, Construction Panel, Geomechanics Society, WA Division Committees, National Structural College Board, academic institutes, consultancies, and associations representing concrete, glazing, masonry, steel, timber, welding and BIM (among others).