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Peter Lisle, Tonkin & Taylor
|Earning:||$45,000 – 55,000|
|In a nutshell:||Site investigations and testing|
|Why?||“I like the variety, getting outdoors, and the design work – it is really cool to see something you have worked on being built.”|
Pathway Kaitaia College, Year 13: Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, Geography, Automotive
University of Auckland: Bachelor of Civil Engineering majoring in Water Resources and Structural Engineering
Peter Lisle decided to do an engineering degree after considering other some other options. “I wanted to be a pilot in the RNZAF but that didn’t work out,” he says. So he decided to study engineering. “I am good at maths and science and quite logically minded,” he says. “I’ve always pictured myself as a project manager, or something similar, working on large infrastructure projects.”
When Peter first started at Tonkin & Taylor he worked in the civil engineering group. Designing systems for managing stormwater was a big part of his work, along with construction monitoring, site inspections and landfill design. These projects use physics and maths – especially geometry – to estimate the catchment size, pipe size and the best places to locate the pipes. “And you develop a kind of engineering common sense,” he says.
Peter likes the variety of activities in his job, the team focus and working with people. He also enjoys working outdoors when he’s gathering data or performing tests, or when he’s the onsite engineer’s representative. In this role he is responsible for making sure that the contractors build to the plan and for figuring out solutions for the construction crew if problems occur.
He’s now working in the Geotechnical Group, which does a lot of work for the Earth Quake Commission (EQC), assessing damage from natural disasters such as landslips, flooding, earthquakes and volcanic events. He travels around the country examining landslips and designing solutions to fix the problem and reduce the risk of further damage to people or property.
He’s also been involved with ‘dynamic pile testing’ which uses special equipment to measure the amount of weight that a foundation pile can carry. His role is to direct the crane driver and crew, and to analyse the computer data onsite. “The equipment is expensive and there is a niche market for this type of work so there are opportunities to travel,” he says. “I’ve already been down to Dunedin and there’s potential for a trip to the Pacific Islands as well.”
From his current job as a graduate engineer, Peter could go on to specialise in technical design work or in a particular area such in geotechnical, water resources or structural engineering. “I could go into management engineering or other management roles,” he says. “And I’m keen to work overseas after I gain a few more years of experience."
Posted October 2011