Jessie Irwanto CPEng being presented with her certificate by Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO FTSE HonFIEAust EngExec.
Jessie Irwanto CPEng, Senior Structural Engineer at Taylor Thomson Whitting (TTW), admits she gets to work on some “pretty cool” projects.
“I’m currently involved in the design of a hospital on the South Coast of New South Wales,” she said. “It’s great to be involved in something tangible that helps people in the community, something that leaves an impression.
“It becomes part of your legacy — what you’ve worked on, what you’ve been a part of. That’s the best part about structural engineering: to see something that you’ve worked on develop.”
Irwanto’s career has taken her across the country and seen her work for a number of engineering consultancies.
She has now become the 35,000th engineer to receive the Engineers Australia Chartered credential (CPE).
“It’s always rewarding to be recognised for your abilities and the integrity of the role you have,” she told create. “In our profession we’re increasingly seeing that registration and Chartership is becoming more important — and with good reason. We’re always being prompted to push the limits of our design, and make things more efficient and cost-effective.
“Chartership really is something that everyone should be striving for and working towards so we can maintain standards and ensure that we’re building things well.”
At a ceremony marking the milestone, Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO FTSE HonFIEAust EngExec said Chartership is a measure of excellence in the industry.
“Reaching Chartered status is a significant career milestone,” she said. “Engineers Australia is thrilled to celebrate Jessie’s Chartered achievement and the fact she is our 35,000th Chartered engineer.
“Chartered credentials are internationally benchmarked and show a commitment to the highest professional standards. Becoming Chartered gives engineers a competitive career edge and means they have a globally  recognised credential. It shows they have attained the highest standards of competency and commitment to their profession.”
An engineering consultant’s work is naturally varied and diverse; one job might be dominated by meetings with stakeholders, while the next might involve being out in the field from start to finish.
That variety is true too for Irwanto, who spoke to create from outside Luna Park on Sydney’s harbourside where she was conducting a site visit.
“At a concept phase, I spend a lot of time in meetings with architects and clients, deciding on deliverables and deadlines critical to the project,” Irwanto said. “During design, I spend a lot of time doing analysis and working with the construction team, and solving problems that have come up onsite.
“I’ve always wanted to diversify my experience and work on many kinds of buildings. Consulting can take you anywhere. You can choose your own adventure, which is fun.”
She describes a decision she made at university to shift focus from chemical to civil engineering.
“It was the appeal of doing something that was so broad, that could take me into a lot of different industries. As a young kid not knowing what to do, that seemed like the best option.”
Irwanto has since worked at multiple other consultancies before starting at TTW.
“I started out as a grad at what was then SKM and is now Jacobs Engineering, and worked on infrastructure projects in water, power and mining,” she said. “So a lot of tangible structural work, but in very different industries.
“I then decided I wanted to work on commercial high-rise buildings, so I moved to WSP, where I got to work on some awesome commercial and apartment buildings in Perth.
“Again, it was very cool to see the skyline shift and change the way people interact with the city.”
Irwanto said that, given the nature of consulting, she isn’t sure what her next big project will be, but is confident it will materialise in time. For now, she is looking forward to seeing the hospital she is currently working on be finished.
“That’s the fun thing about engineering and consulting — getting to see projects you’re a part of come to life.”
Stand out from the competition with a Chartered credential. Learn more on the Engineers Australia website.
Lachlan Haycock is a journalist and translator who has written for publications in Australia and abroad. His passion for all things Indonesian is second only to the accurate use of apostrophes on public signage.
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