Shalendra Ram

FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus)

Technical Director – Civil Infrastructure

AECOM

Shalendra is a professional engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and Master of Engineering (Civil) from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Shalendra is a Technical Director – Civil Infrastructure at integrated infrastructure firm AECOM and has extensive experience across all phases of infrastructure projects in both the private and public sectors.

Shalendra is a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ), and a Fellow and Executive Engineer of Engineers Australia. He is the Chair of Engineers Australia’s Transport Australia Society (TAs) National Executive, a member of the Civil College Board, and a board member of the Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ).

How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I have been an EA member since 1986 (in my student days!), became a full member in 1990, a Fellow in 2003, and an Executive Engineer in 2018. I have been volunteering with EA since 1992. My volunteer roles have mainly been linked to the transport groups and committees in Queensland and nationally.

Why did you become a volunteer?
My volunteering experience started with Red Cross during primary school and I haven’t looked back. I am a strong advocate of ’giving back to the profession’ and collaborating with mentors, peers, young engineers, and future generations to help create a better world for everyone.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
The joy of helping and engaging with others motivates me to volunteer. Being able to share ideas and thoughts to shape a better future with school, university students, and peers at the state, national, and international level is extremely satisfying. Finally, I have made many friends and professional connections while volunteering.

What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I have been fortunate to become a Member, and then Chair, of transport groups at the state and national levels. I also received an EA QLD Division Distinguished Services Award in 2007. As the Chair of the Transport Australia Society, I have successfully arranged for representation on TAs from across Australia and arranged the first National Transport Conference in June 2019 in Sydney. I am also pleased to be on EA’s Civil College Board.

How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
My career has been in civil engineering, with a focus on transportation across all modes in the movement of passenger and freight. Having worked across all levels of government and the private sector on projects across Asia Pacific, I have been able to apply my transport experience to my volunteer work with TAS.

How do you balance work and volunteering?
It is great when your employer supports your contribution and I’m grateful to AECOM for supporting my volunteering. Volunteering needs planning and commitment, similar to one’s work, so ‘as best as you can’, it’s important to commit to your fair share of responsibilities within a group of volunteers to see success.

What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
I would say that obtaining employer support for your volunteering efforts, and then allocating time to deliver yours and your groups volunteer activities are key ingredients for success. Being a volunteer is personally satisfying and extremely rewarding with a variety of benefits – including connections you make through the many networking opportunities.

Image: courtesy of Shalendra Ram