Australia New Zealand, Buildings and Places, People Spotlight, Sydney

Our People Spotlight series gives you an inside look at our technical experts around the world. This week, we are highlighting one of our mechanical engineers from our Buildings + Places business line in Australia and providing insight into his growing career.

Ed Ang is an associate director in strategic engineering based in Sydney. He is a chartered professional engineer in both Australia and the UK, specializing in mechanical and fire safety. Over the last 15 years, Ed has worked on many major buildings and infrastructure projects as a multidiscipline design manager, project manager or as a specialist in fire and risk. Ed works closely with AECOM’s key clients to develop integrated solutions to complex project challenges. Through his involvement in Sydney Metro Northwest, Ed was recognized as Sydney’s Young Professional Engineer of the Year 2019.

What inspired you to join the industry? I was drawn to the opportunity to get involved in different projects from a range of sectors. Over 15 years, I have been fortunate to work on stadiums, train stations, road, rail and utility tunnels, substations, naval bases, airports, industry buildings and historic buildings. This has helped me to develop a diverse skillset and use my experience across a variety of sectors to help solve our clients’ unique challenges.

What is your favorite AECOM project that you’ve worked on and why? My favorite project to date has been Sydney Metro Northwest. We were faced with a world-first challenge of integrating a fully automated driverless train into an existing heavy rail corridor, alongside conventional trains. There was no precedent around the world at this scale.

It meant that we had to develop a brand new certification framework that allowed this to be certified and accepted by our client, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), while we also utilized digital tools like laser survey as part of our work.

This was only made possible by fostering a collaborative culture to support engagement not just with TfNSW, but with the many stakeholders on the project including operators, constructors, safety agencies, emergency services, local councils and disability councils.

Our integrated approach across many technical disciplines helped us to provide a more holistic and efficient outcome which contributed to the Sydney Metro Northwest project opening on time. This project was memorable for me in many ways, and it led to recognition from Engineers Australia as the Sydney Young Professional Engineer of the Year in 2019.

Tell us a story of how your work positively impacted the community. What inspires me most is that the projects I have worked on directly benefit the people in our communities – by improving their journey to work, improving quality of life, or by supporting access to energy and increased comfort in the home. Knowing that I have contributed to improving people’s lives is hugely fulfilling, and one of the main reasons I became an engineer in the first place.

The experience I have gained has helped me to contribute voluntary time to assist governments and industry bodies in shaping better legislation and providing inputs into a state’s strategic goals for safety and infrastructure.

What career advice would you like to share? One of the things I always try to remember is that “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. I believe it’s important to remember that often what we achieve today is due to the effort and contributions of those who came before us. While strong leadership is vital, collaboration is fundamental to success. This is a constant reminder for me to appreciate the support and guidance I receive throughout my career, and to be a support for others whenever I can.

Originally published Aug 18, 2021

Author: Edmund Ang