Young IPWEA

Communicating what we do

  • 1.  Communicating what we do

    Posted 10 July 2013 12:32
    Hi to all,

    I have seen the comments coming through on what got people into Public Works (hopefully a lot more share their own stories) and must say my beginnings were similar. I originally didn't know what engineering was and fell into it at uni with a couple of mates choosing it and then fell into a job in LG (after a couple of yrs part time in private) and again didn't really know what I was getting into.

    To be honest one of the main reasons I was keen to get involved in YIPWEA was to try and do better at helping others (and ourselves) to better understand what it is we do and how others can get into it.

    I would really like to see us (young public works engineers) get off our asses a bit more and try and help people that are in the shoes we were wearing a couple (or maybe more than a couple) of years ago to see the opportunity that public works engineering provides.

    Others may disagree but I believe public works engineering is an extremely interesting and rewarding career that we could do a lot better at bragging about.

    With the above in mind, as a start I think it would be an excellent idea if we all started documenting with videos and photographs the fun stuff that we do so that we can pool it together and hopefully put together a montage that we can all use as a resource. This is something we recently started to do here in NSW and i think it is something that we can now far more easily do with this forum.

    I will talk to do the guys here in NSW that started sharing and hopefully they'll agree to share what they have so far (if it works on this site).

    Happy to discuss any of the above further and I really do hope everyone out there uses this forum to share there thoughts/questions/stories.

    cheers

    [Anthony, our IPWEA website has the facility for uploading videos into the searchable library. We have set up Young IPWEA as an IPWEA online community, so it has a library, events, community members (419 so far) and more...Chris Champion, CEO, IPWEA.]

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    Anthony McMahon
    Assistant General Manager
    Boorowa Council
    BOOROWA NSW

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  • 2.  RE:Communicating what we do

    Posted 11 July 2013 20:54
    With regard to Anthony's message and with a changing of the guard in our shire with a new GM, I have just bought a GoPro for the organisation (eagerly awaiting it's delivery) and I'm looking into a time lapse camera. Both of these will be for capturing the works we do. The time lapse camera will be used on our short and long term jobs (rehabs, reconstruction, capex, sealing, heavy patching etc) and the GoPro will be used to 'fill in the gaps' with footage from it mounted on graders, excavators, pipes, trucks etc. It looks like I can get both for <$1000.

    We'll use this footage to spice up our social media outlets and generate a bit of interest there in the lead up to the next round of special rate variation applications and I've also got the go-ahead to use it to promote public works engineering in this forum and externally.

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    William Barton
    Deputy Engineer
    Junee Shire Council
    JUNEE NSW

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  • 3.  RE:Communicating what we do

    Posted 14 July 2013 19:24
    That sounds like a great idea William and I might just take that to our comms team. I'm involved in a lot of gabion wall construction and the like, which would be cool to capture with a time lapse camera. As you suggest, we really need to be looking for new and creative ways to engage with our community - particularly the youth - about the work we do and the challenges and constraints which we face.
    Do you (or anyone else) have any recommendations on a particular brand/model of time-lapse camera?

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    Philip Elms
    Works Engineer
    South Gippsland Shire Council
    LEONGATHA VIC

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  • 4.  RE:Communicating what we do

    Posted 16 July 2013 00:19
    G'day Philip,

    I've been looking at the Brinno Construction Camera (http://www.brinno.com/solution/construction-camera.html). I am currently in the process of trying to nail down a price (there's no Australian distributor). So far everything I've read has pointed me to the Brinnos (including the TLC100 and TLC200) as a cheap, workable solution the two models can be found for sale at http://www.robosnap.com.au/viewcategory.php?groupid=2.

    If anyone has any experience with these or any other brand, or has found another product that would be superior for a comparable cost I'd be interested to know.

    Cheers,
    Will

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    William Barton
    Deputy Engineer
    Junee Shire Council
    JUNEE NSW

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  • 5.  RE:Communicating what we do

    Posted 17 July 2013 19:16
    Hi William,

    Firstly, let me say I think the idea of using time lapse photography is a pretty good idea.

    But I have to ask if you have considered the potential downsides? I clicked onto the link in your post, and scrolled through the page and watched the bottom video. My first thought was "gee, they spend a lot of time sitting around!". Have you considered how you will deal with the likely community concern when they see people sitting around for a while? Or a group of people seemingly just standing there having a long chat? I'm not suggesting they aren't legitimate stoppages, but the community may not see it that way. Perhaps you will need a note that goes along with the video explaining why people sit down when "they should be working" - maybe even asking them to consider whether they work continuously all day in their job. :)

    The second potential issue I can see relates to how the work crew will react to being filmed. There are some privacy issues, and I suspect they may wonder if the footage will be used to review their performance. The union may also want a look in on it. I can recall a discussion about GPS tracking of street sweepers on another IPWEA forum that covered some of the same issues. The only way I think you can address these issues is to take the works crews and unions along for the ride from the beginning.

    Of course, you may have already considered these things. If you have, are you able to share what you came up with?

    Cheers,

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    Brendan Belcher
    Project Engineer
    Palerang Council
    BUNGENDORE NSW

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  • 6.  RE:Communicating what we do

    Posted 17 July 2013 20:42

    Would be a good idea to make sure the cameras aren't set up facing the area the work crews have smoko!
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    Anthony McMahon
    Assistant General Manager
    Boorowa Council
    BOOROWA NSW

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  • 7.  RE:Communicating what we do

    Posted 19 July 2013 02:09
    G'day Brendan,

    Thanks for the response; they're both very valid points.

    With regard to the first, the first point I'd make is that stoppages, such as smoko, lunch, toolbox talks etc, will last for an incredibly short time when you consider the time span of a project being compressed to a couple of minutes of video. If however it appears to last longer, or paints us in a bad light (and I don't think it will) then I'm fortunate that I have a bit of experience with video editing and I'll either cut it out or splice in other footage (eg from our GoPro) to replace it.

    Yes, the paranoia of staff has crossed my mind. Again I'm in a fortunate position; our crews are pretty good when it comes to this sort of stuff. I'm going to bring them along for the ride with it and they'll be the first to see a sample video just to allay any fears they might have. I don't think I'll get too much resistance to it at all and in fact I suspect it might actually bolster the pride they have for their work.

    I understand the dynamic at other councils will invariably differ from ours and I'm not suggesting that this will work at all, but if your crews are ok with it then why not give it a go?

    Cheers,
    Will

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    William Barton
    Deputy Engineer
    Junee Shire Council
    JUNEE NSW

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