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  3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals27 April 2012 12:03 AMRoslyn Atkinson
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals27 April 2012 1:49 AMWayne Eddy
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals02 May 2012 3:21 AMTimothy McCarthy
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals28 April 2012 8:08 PMRobert Bowyer
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals30 April 2012 3:50 AMWilliam L. Peach
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals30 April 2012 7:50 PMVasiliki Didaskalou
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals30 April 2012 7:51 PMGary Chapman
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals01 May 2012 1:37 AMLes M. Edmistone
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals01 May 2012 1:40 AMTony Lickiss
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals01 May 2012 7:45 AMRodney Wallace
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals30 April 2012 3:51 AMWayne Eddy
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals01 May 2012 7:35 AMRodney Wallace
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals29 April 2012 6:06 PMDarron Passlow
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals30 April 2012 7:46 PMStuart Small
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals01 May 2012 1:36 AMDarron Passlow
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals02 May 2012 3:18 AMWilliam L. Peach
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals03 May 2012 11:05 PMWayne Eddy
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals08 May 2012 10:24 AMRodney Wallace
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals10 May 2012 7:00 PMWayne Eddy
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals02 May 2012 3:39 AMFrans Brouwer
  RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals01 May 2012 1:32 AMPeter Sheath
 

1.
3 trends that will change the world for public works professional...
From: Roslyn Atkinson
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 27 April 2012 12:03 AM
Subject: 3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

[IPWEA CEO Note: I'd like to introduce you to Roslyn Atkinson, who is the Managing Editor of Mahlab Media - and IPWEA's new 'Public Works Professional' magazine to be launched in July. IPWEA will now have a dedicated journalist to research news & write articles for our profession. I'd like to encourage some active discussion as below.]

From Roslyn:

I'm currently writing a feature story for IPWEA's member magazine on the concept of "Three trends that will change the world for public works professionals" and I'm seeking your input/ideas.

The three biggest trends, as I see it, are:

1) New technologies
2) Sustainability
3) Skills shortage

Of these three topics, which do you think will have the biggest impact on the way public works professionals do their jobs into the future?

Which new technologies will dramatically change your day-to-day tasks?

What aspects of sustainability will provide the biggest challenges and opportunities?

How will local governments cope with a skills shortage of engineers?

Please share your thoughts.

-------------------------------------------
Roslyn Atkinson
Managing Editor
IPWEA's Public Works Professional
Sydney NSW

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2.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Wayne Eddy
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 27 April 2012 1:49 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Hi Roslyn,

I think without a doubt, new technologies will have the biggest impact.

The biggest concern on the sustainability front that I can see is the availability of sufficient clean cheap energy.  Fortunately there are a number of technological solutions in the pipeline that should ensure our future energy needs.  The cost of solar power has been dropping by about 7% a year for a number of decades, and there have been enough articles published in the last year or two on potential advances in solar technology to suggest this trend will continue way beyond price parity with fossil fuels.  Even more potentially game changing are recent developments in the LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) field.  LENR power could hit the market in the next couple of years, and this would radically reduce the cost of energy production, and decentralise it as a bonus.  Add Thorium fission, nulcear fusion and genetically modified organisms optimised to produce biofuels to the equation and our energy future is bright indeed.

With sufficent cheap clean power almost all other sustainability issues become trivial to solve.

The skills shortage is also solvable with new technologies, namely a combination of AI and robotics.   IBM's Watson AI has already been pressed into service to help doctors with diagnosing illnesses and choosing therapies, and I just read an article today stating Google translate is now translating far more documents that all of the human translators in the world combined, and I know personally that the quality of translations is getting better and better every year.  No doubt engineering expertise will also start getting replaced with AI applications in the next few years.  I also expect that robots will be used more and more in engineering construction and asset inspection. 

In my field asset management it will be AI that has the biggest impact.  If it doesn't replace me altogether I am sure it will change the way I do things drastically.

Regards,

Wayne Eddy



-------------------------------------------
Wayne Eddy
Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
City of Whittlesea
BUNDOORA MDC VIC

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3.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Timothy McCarthy
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 02 May 2012 3:21 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Hi Guys

This has been an interesting discussion particularly around skills shortage and the changing role of Engineers and engineering in Local Government.

It is very obvious that the service delivery is the driving force behind the current reforms in Local Government around the world. I believe that it is very difficult to argue that the communities that we serve are not entitled to know what level of services they are getting and are paying for. In adopting this service driven approach the role of the engineer has substantially change.

The real problem with this service based management approach is that organisations and service managers have not adapted to this new role and role that this management model places on the public works engineer.

I remember when I was a junior Engineer working in Local Government the Municipal Engineer / or Shire Engineer at that time was the person or in the position to develop the communities and provide the necessary infrastructure. Now we have a whole range of professionals which were unheard of in local government. We have infrastructure planner's, sustainability officers etc. People in these positions are talking to the community and trying to do what the older style shire Engineer did (and in many cases doing a really good job).

I guess the point of my ranting is that times have and will continue to change as Public Works Engineers. We must change and adapt with the organisations we work with and for.

So what are the implications for us as engineers? As I see it our role will be one of a consultant who advises, educates and leads your organisation and / or client so that they understand the long term implications of the decisions that our elected representative make. This will require us to think and act differently and in many respects require a higher level of technical skill and understanding and importantly improved communications skills so that our message is understood. This is our challenge.

Thanks

-------------------------------------------
Timothy McCarthy
Morrison Low Consuktants
Director

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4.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Robert Bowyer
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 28 April 2012 8:08 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

I wouldn't worry about trends until how we can get over the GFC. Joe Hockey is right when we need to live within our means now before we can look to the future and it is just not happening at any level of government.

-------------------------------------------
Robert Bowyer
Director
Kacey Products
BOONAH QLD

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5.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: William L. Peach
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 30 April 2012 3:50 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:
The reason for the engineering skills shortage in local government is that it is no longer a place to obtain job satisfaction.

Local Authorities have been de-engineered with the majority of sebnior personnel being non engineering professionals. The rot started over 20 years ago when the engineer's role at council was diminished. Many experienced engineers with "get up and go" got up and went to private enterprise at that time. Since then the situation has progressively worsened. Poor engineering decisions are now coming from many councils and good engineers do not want to associate themselves with such a situation.

I do not have a solution, but if the cause is recognised then that is the first step to remedy. I would ask my fellow engineers in private practice who know this to confirm the above as those within council would be reluctant to confirm publicly.

Regards

-------------------------------------------
William Peach
Manager
W L Peach & Associates
Gordonvale QLD

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6.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Vasiliki Didaskalou
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 30 April 2012 7:50 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

I am finding this discussion very interesting.

I am still considered a Junior to intermediate in the area of Asset Management however I do notice with the recent move towards "Service Driven Asset Management", the empowerment of "Service" areas (such as Recreation, Open Space etc) to own and drive the overall planning framework is another interesting move towards engineers not being so necessary in the whole Asset planning ... In the case of roads or drainage, the Service managers tend to be from an engineering background and unlikely to change in the near future but for all other assets this is not the case.

It does make you stop and wonder ...

-------------------------------------------
Vasiliki Didaskalou
Asset Management Officer
Bayside City Council
SANDRINGHAM VIC

-------------------------------------------


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7.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Gary Chapman
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 30 April 2012 7:51 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Rosyln,

I cannot agree with William's view, some of us went on to become GM's and today influence better engineering systems thinking in the way our councils do business.

I believe the greatest challenge is the looming skill shortages as the baby boomers transition to retirement and this impacts equally both the private and public sectors as qualified engineering staff become scarce in a highly competitive job market.  It is bad enough trying to recruit engineers now, imagine what it will be like in 10 years when about 25%-30% of local government engineers have retired.

The other stuff will look after itself, engineers are very adaptable.

-------------------------------------------
Gary Chapman
General Manager
Queanbeyan City Council
QUEANBEYAN NSW

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8.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Les M. Edmistone
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 01 May 2012 1:37 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:


The work place, local government or otherwise is only what you make it.

The roles and responsibilities of senior engineering services or works departments personnel within local government has transitioned to more of a management position away from engineering to cope with the highly regulated work environment with the engineering grunt work being outsourced to professional engineering consultancies.

With respect to sustainability I think pavement recycling technology and incorporation of existing pavements into modified pavement designs is key.

-------------------------------------------
Les Edmistone
Project Manager Natural Disaster Recovery
Mackay Regional Council
MACKAY QLD

-------------------------------------------






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9.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Tony Lickiss
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 01 May 2012 1:40 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Bill I don't agree with your assessment of Local Govt. Engineers. There are a lot of good in-house projects being delivered, but as always only the failures are publicised. The private sector has been a consistent source of disappointment over the years producing lazy solutions without any regard to whole of life costs and suitability.

But aside from the in-house V external argument, we as a profession are failing our young engineers by not investing our time to train them up. We need to allow our young engineers to make recoverable mistakes and then guide them to develop their own solutions to fix them. Our profession is suffering as the next generation coming through are not doing their apprenticeship/internship under more senior engineers, they are being supervised but not educated. 

There are a lot of projects that are way over engineered as an arse covering exercise that junior engineers could deliver, with senior ranks stepping back and guiding them through.

With the world looking more and more to engineering to solve the problem we have to invest the time to grow the next group, and unfortunately with every dollar scrutinized the young get pushed to the sides.

-------------------------------------------
Tony Lickiss
Manager Engineering Services
Cook Shire Council
COOKTOWN QLD

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10.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Rodney Wallace
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 01 May 2012 7:45 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Bill Peach is exactly right.  However, I will go a little further and say that, as this 20 yrs ago de-Engineering progressed new rising (substitute) professional Managers/ambitious Political activists etc were keen to maintain their status. As they progressed via their political prowess, they sought to boost their status by progressively building a similar minded non-Engineer structure of yes men and non practical academic Engineers under themselves.  Good Engineers still get respect, even though the audience doesn't always appreciate the message "at the time".

Nonetheless, life is cyclic and - I predict that - as things begin to crumble around us, experienced, practical, forthright Engineers will increasingly become more in demand.  We are almost to the point where our community is awakening to the reality that a series of wrong decisions has ultimately culminated in a downward spiral, difficult to turn around - in many professions, not just Engineering.

Isn't it grand to be semi-retired, and not dependant on "toing the line" with a mind to the next paying job!
-------------------------------------------
Rodney Wallace
Consultant
Rodney Wallace Consulting
GREENWELL POINT NSW

-------------------------------------------






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11.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Wayne Eddy
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 30 April 2012 3:51 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Interesting thoughts, Robert.

Living within your means is a great idea whether you are; an individual, a company or a government, but so is thinking about your future.  I don't see how two wrongs (not living within your means, and not thinking about your future) make a right. 

More likely governments aren't living within their means precisely because they aren't thinking clearly enough about the future.

And, given the very few responses to this thread so far, it seems like no-one much does much deep thinking about the future.

Regards,

-------------------------------------------
Wayne Eddy
Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
City of Whittlesea
BUNDOORA MDC VIC

-------------------------------------------






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12.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Rodney Wallace
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 01 May 2012 7:35 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

We are in the age of political expediency.  The restricted outlook of our nation's leaders is that the future is the next election, or the next employment contract renewal date.

-------------------------------------------
Rodney Wallace
Consultant
Rodney Wallace Consulting
GREENWELL POINT NSW

-------------------------------------------






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13.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Darron Passlow
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 29 April 2012 6:06 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Roslyn,

Welcome aboard. This is a very positive initiative from IPWEA. I would like to congratulate them on this innovative approach.

I would like to answer your question;
"Three trends that will change the world for public works professionals"

I must start by saying that the three trends you have lumped into one discussion are "huge" and very important topics.

You need to take care in discussing any of these that you define what you mean to avoid confusion for the reader and confused input into the debate.

Take "sustainability" - This is not a trend but the outcome of good practice.
The problem we have with "sustainability" (before we even start discussing it) is having everyone on the same page with a good definition. Then on top of this there are different sustainability issues for local government.
The two key definitions (which cause a lot of confusion) are;
1 Environmental sustainability - this is a global issue that local governments around the world can make a significant contribution (if only they knew what to do!). This is an outcome that needs the cooperation (and good practice) of the communities of the world. We are a long way from solving this one (or even getting concensus on what needs to be done)! 
This is not to be confused with;
2 Services (Council) sustainability which is an outcome of good asset management practice.
Councils (in the last 5 years) have become more aware of this issue (following a report from Percy Allan 2006) and are current driving towards positive outcomes through a new emphasis on Asset Management Planning and having meaningful, useful, "living" asset management plans and practices.

I suggest caution on all your proposed trends. Each topic is significant in its own right.
Wayne has given some insight into technology trends, particularly around # 1 Environmental Sustainablity but the trends in technology are forever present and engineers in the public service need to be aware of all appropriate technology and need to introduce it and use it to their (the community's) advantage. This requires innovative thinking and innovative practices.
The formal use of innovation in the public service might be a better topic for consideration.

Finally skills shortage is of our own making and can be solved by us.
This is another huge topic (refer current IPWEA discussion group) which can be solved by the use of technology and innovative thinking and practices.

Keep thinking innovation

Regards

-------------------------------------------
Darron Passlow
Asset Management
Pittwater Council
MONA VALE NSW

-------------------------------------------






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14.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Stuart Small
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 30 April 2012 7:46 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:


I would imagine everyone is thinking about the question being asked and have had very little time, due to the skills shortage, to contemplate their answer.

All three topics are linked, however the key to local government is probably more the paradigm shift that has occurred for local government engineers.  The shift I am referring to relates more to the workplace and the impacts upon our day to day activities, which can be seen in other industries as well.

Since I am not near retirement, I am basing my thoughts/reasoning upon the stories that I have heard/read and what I am seeing occurring now.

In the old days, money and cost efficiencies (budget bottom line each financial year) probably were not as big a driver as what they are now.  This was probably helped by the fact that due to the paper administration of the financial system, senior management were not as strong with financial management (in comparison to today where any manager can know almost instantly where his/her budget is at exactly by logging into the financial system).  The old days saw young engineers being mentored and trained up on the job, with sufficient slack in the budgets to cater for this extra overhead.  There was sufficient time in the day to keep abreast of things via reading trade journals, and talking with fellow engineers (even considering the extra time needed back then due to slower travel times and communication systems).  Engineers had secretarial support and assistants to help them undertake their day to day work.  Although the engineers worked hard, they were not stretched to their limits all year round.

In comparison to today where the assistants are largely non-existent, secretarial support has been removed for all bar very senior executive staff, young engineers are expected to produce effective work from day one (although there are some exceptions where employers do invest in their workforce) and thus are not trained/mentored in the workplace.  The focus has been on cost savings, with the removal of "fat" when looking at the budget rather than the results being produced in the field.

Because of the mighty budget and the restrictions that are placed upon local government (capped rate rises), something has had to give.  A proactive management team will always chase a long term balanced budget and have had to rein in their expenditure as a result.  This has been made more difficult by the need to provide an ever rising level of service to the public.  With staff being one of the largest costs for local government operations, the staff have been trimmed back to the bare bones.  This trimming has been done in many ways, one of which is not replacing staff as they leave the organisation.  The result is a stretched team of engineers struggling to cover for day to day operations.  It is only when things are not working that they succeed in adding to theirs numbers.  However we are in this continuous cycle of growth in work and being stretched to breaking point.

We will, where we have time to research, always take up new technology that will help us with our work loads and work more efficiently or provide a better service to the public.  We will continue to take on the sustainability challenge as we as a profession always are considering the long term impacts of what we are doing.  But our ultimate challenge will continue to be how many of us are on the ground trying to keep our local community happy with what little money we have available.

The above picture will not ring true for everybody, but I expect some of my colleagues will recognise elements of what I am discussing.  How our problems will be resolved have not yet been identified, however they will be complex and require everyone to work together as a team.  The fortunate thing is we have the potential to make a fantastic future for ourselves and the Australian public.

-------------------------------------------
Stuart Small
Projects Contracts Engineer
Great Lakes Council
Forster NSW

-------------------------------------------






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15.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Darron Passlow
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 01 May 2012 1:36 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Stuart,

Nice summary of the "Skills Shortage" situation. Thanks. However, I do not think this discussion group is the appropriate place for a "full bottled" discussion on this topic. 

I would like to suggest that a new, related topic to be set up to discuss a major concern for LG. It is related the the skills shortage and the pending exodus of a significant number of very experienced and knowledgable engineers from LG.

A lot of good, experienced engineers will leave LG and their experience and knowledge will go with them - this is unforgivable! Councils are very poor at capturing knowledge of current employees.

There are very good examples and a lot of experience in "Knowledge Capture" and "Knowledge Management" in high performing businesses. Councils need to start adopting good practice and capturing knowledge before it is too late. As an example look at the SECI model (for Knowledge Capture/Management) - google "SECI"
Councils are very poor at this and we need to start considering (doing) this as part of out commitent to council sustainability (by that I mean Councils remaining financially viable and continuing to deliver acceptable services to their community).

Suggested topic for another debate - Why Knowledge Capture is important to Councils

Regards

-------------------------------------------
Darron Passlow
Asset Management
Pittwater Council
MONA VALE NSW

-------------------------------------------






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16.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: William L. Peach
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 02 May 2012 3:18 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

With all due respect Darron, it is not up to you to decide which "forum" a posting should go to. Why is it so detrimental to the discussion on a particular topic for a wide range of opinions, some of which may be far left or far right of the topic to be expressed? Copy the posting to the "correct" forum as well but do not attempt to stifle ideas and discussion!!

Cheers
-------------------------------------------
William Peach
Manager
W L Peach & Associates
Gordonvale QLD

-------------------------------------------






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17.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Wayne Eddy
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 03 May 2012 11:05 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

I agree that knowledge capture is a very important issue for Councils.

And just as important as capturing knowledge is being able to find it again.

Having a discussion about "capturing knowledge" under a thread about "3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals" will almost certainly make it more difficult to find later on - which I think is what Darron was getting at.

On the subject of knowledge capture, by far the greatest tool for capturing knowledge that I have found so far is the "wiki". 

I think all council's should be setting up wikis as encyclopaedic knowledge bases of the history of their organisations and of what they do.

They are cheap (MediaWiki for example is free), easy to use, and great tools for recording and retrieving knowledge.  

Regards, 

-------------------------------------------
Wayne Eddy
Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
City of Whittlesea
BUNDOORA MDC VIC

-------------------------------------------






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18.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Rodney Wallace
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 08 May 2012 10:24 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Following on from Wayne's comments

We are in the age of advertising.  "Global Warming" is the most magnificent advertising campaign in our lifetime.  It has done much more to promote the livelihood of environmentalists, research scientists etc depending on public sympathy re donations/grants etc; than did "the  Hole the Ozone Layer" sell replacement to CFCs, or did "the millenium bug" sell more computers than would have the natural trends.  Global Warming has certainly been a boon for Politicians and the media.  "For a little while" it did allow Politicians to divert public attention from the very real urgently needing attention problems of our society.  However it did set the platform for Environmental/Research Scientists etc to promote their careers.

However. life is cyclic and the wheel keeps spinning.  For a little while now, we have been over-run with Lawyers and Environmentalists (and a primary function of Govts is to create employment - otherwise why do we have 3 levels of public administators all shuffling the same paper and the same $$) but the trend is changing - or (perhaps more correctly) I should say it will have to change.  As the environmental spin becomes a bit boring, repetitive and overbearing, many young people are now considering Engineering as a career    .....    and the (current advertising) promoting the state of the economy, the salvation of the mining boom are all causing young people to think that it may be more rewarding to build something that to be applauded for stopping development.

In this light (re Skill Shortages in Engineering) I suggest that the executive of IPWEA (and others) could do more by actively promoting the achievements of Local Engineers in local communities; than promoting the own salary/career security by the ripping off of members by promoting more and more costly (largely irrelevant) training refreshers and charging exhorbitant fees for glossy, glamorous conferences, and promoting their own "businesses"  -  as they do now.

Skills Shortages are beginning to be remedied (via the turning wheel) by smarter, more serious young persons - as they search for a more sustainable career, and the stigma is removed from the idea that "Engineers kill frogs" and "Engineers knock down trees" etc.  A difficulty has been the salary expectation compared to Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers etc, but the mining boom is slowly changing that (I think).  All we really need is for Engineer's good outcomes to receive more "public advertising" within the communities which benefit.

-------------------------------------------
Rodney Wallace
Consultant
Rodney Wallace Consulting
GREENWELL POINT NSW

-------------------------------------------






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19.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Wayne Eddy
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 10 May 2012 7:00 PM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Rod's comments are really interesting.  I personally believe that humans are contributing to global warming and that there will be some negative consequences of this, but I don't think they are anything that the global technological civilization can't overcome.

I think that it is good that the general population is thinking about the future, but that it is very bad that they are so negative about it.

I think the reason that the "advertising campaign" has worked so well is that it is tapping into an insidious vein of anti-human sentiment out there in the community - a meme that humans are a blight of the face of the Earth and that the world would be a better place with out us. I totally reject this meme, and do my best to convince people that the future is bright, and I'd be very interested to hear the thoughts of those on this forum on this subject.

On the subject of "largely irrelevant training refreshers and charging exhorbitant fees for glossy, glamorous conferences", as much as I feel the same sometimes, I hope this is more about being stuck in the past and not "getting" modern technology than outright self interest.

Conferences are OK, but we need to take more advantage of them - think TED is a great example of how to get more out of conferences.

http://www.ted.com/

If someone gives a good talk, record it and let the masses get value from it as well.

Largely irrelevant training refreshers - Lets take advantage of technology here as well.  We should build a Local Government Training Video Library along the lines of the Khan Academy, TED Ed or RSA.

http://www.lgam.info/educational-video-library

Lets get smart about sharing knowledge.

Regards,


-------------------------------------------
Wayne Eddy
Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
City of Whittlesea
BUNDOORA MDC VIC

-------------------------------------------






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20.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Frans Brouwer
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 02 May 2012 3:39 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:

Darron,

This discussion group may not be the appropriate forum, but it is raising some very important issues about skills shortages, knowledge retention, business continuity, etc.  These are exactly the issues that should be considered by the Senate Inquiry into engineering shortages. 

I have joined the IPWEA discussions (and intend to become a member) although I am from a different engineering sector (electricity operations and planning).  This is because the IPWEA submission to the Senate inquiry was identifying issues and proposing realistic solutions, unlike so many of the other 80-odd submissions that seemed to support more engineer migration or were a whinge-fest.

I especially support the concept of Local Government sponsoring a training programme for engineering students - for the common good of engineering.  The IPWEA submission and present discussions show me that you all care.  That is more than I can say for big engineering companies and consultants, who poach talent and don't give much back. 

May I suggest going beyond setting up a new topic, and instead elevating these matters to their own Community of Practice?  Although possibly appropriate, I don't like the title "Human Resource Management", and certainly not "People and Culture".  Any other ideas for naming a CoP covering skills shortages, knowledge retention, business continuity, training, mentoring, de-engineering......? 

[IPWEA CEO Note: Great Frans that you have read and are pleased with the IPWEA Submission to the Senate Inquiry on Engineering Skills Shortage. IPWEA, as a result, has now been called by the Inquiry to appear before it on 7 May 2012 in Canberra. IPWEA will be represented by the IPWEA National President Paul Di Iulio and Ross Moody, National Executive Officer. I will update the Forum on the key issues that we will be raising separately. These will be drawn from the combined submissions of IPWEA National and its State Divisions.

It is important that we don't dilute this Forum or discussion by creating too many Communities of Practice (CoP). At this stage, we have chosen 5 CoP areas (Assets, Fleet, parks, Sustainability and Road Safety). However this topic is of such importance that I suggest that it resides very well (where it is at present) in our all-inclusive open forum: our Ask Your Mates Open Forum. The AYM's Open Forum essentially includes everyone in the discussion rather than only those interested in specific specialised topics. 

Great discussion mates! You will interested to know that Ros Atkinson, our Managing Editor who started this discussion, is also planning to send an IPWEA Journalist down to Canberra to report back on the IPWEA Submission and presentation to the Senate Inquiry.]


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Frans Brouwer
VIC

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21.
RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professio...
From: Peter Sheath
To: Ask Your Mates Open Forum
Posted: 01 May 2012 1:32 AM
Subject: RE:3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals
Message:


In response to Roslyn Atkinson's story about "3 trends that will change the world for public works professionals". Here are my thoughts...

Infrastructure Planning - The introduction of the NSW Government's Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework will improve infrastructure planning such that assets are more likely to be financially sustainable into the future. The Framework obligates NSW Council's to produce and report annually on a Resourcing Strategy: Long Term Financial Planning, Workforce Management Planning, and Asset Management Planning. Until now some poor major infrastructure spending decisions have been made, due to political pressure or due to hastily take advantage of funding opportunities without adequate planning. However the development of well-considered Resourcing strategies will help Council's to realise their critical infrastructure priorities, such that they can lobby for funding or simply direct funding in the best direction as opportunities arise.

Climate Change Adaptation - Local councils are responsible for many of the land use planning, infrastructure planning and development assessment decisions made in coastal areas. NSW local councils prepare studies to identify areas at risk from coastal flooding and coastal hazards through the coastal, estuary and floodplain management programs. However there is not presently much adaptation action, mainly due to political sensitivity and lack of a clear and universal framework for adaptation planning. This will change over the next few years as further information becomes available and policies are developed: especially through the OEH's NSW Climate Change Science Program, which is developing a Regional Climate Model for NSW on a 10km2 grid grid, rather than the current 300km2 grid; the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC (due in 2014), and as further actual measurements of sea level rise and ice melt.

Skills Shortage - There has always been a skills shortage of engineers in Local Government, mainly due to salaries being in the bottom 5% of the industry. In NSW Council's now have to produce 4-year Workforce Management Strategies that will assess issues within the Council, such as a skills shortage. I assume that if the skills shortage becomes chronic then it can be resolved, possibly via justification in the Workforce Management Strategy, by paying engineers at a high enough rate to attract engineers from the private sector.

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Peter Sheath
Senior Planning Engineer Hydrology
Wyong Shire Council
WYONG NSW

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