Transportation Engineer

Simon Prosee

Transportation Engineer, GHD

In a nutshell: Designing bus stops, cycle lanes, and other aspects of roads and bridges.

Why? "I'm managing my own time, the money is nice, and I'm being treated as a professional."

Pathway: St Peter's College, Auckland, Final year subjects: Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Maths, Physics
University of Auckland:

Earning: $45-50,000

You might think that designing a new bus stop was quite simple and straight-forward, but there's a lot going on behind the scenes. You have to make everything idiot-proof. You have to be 2.5m away from a power pole to stop people from climbing up the power pole off the roof of the bus stop. Bus stops also have to be away from road services, like the manhole lids in the ground.

As a transportation engineer I work on various aspects of developing safe roads, including cycle lanes, pedestrian bridges and public transportation facilities. My work involves taking measurements, designing sites, and going through the consultation process with local councils and other organisations.

You have to be precise in your measurements – you have to resolve the council records so they match the locations. For example, if someone got a parking ticket, it would have to be in the right place so it holds up in court.

Things have been very busy lately, as lots of new bus stops needed to be installed around Auckland for the Rugby World Cup. I've learnt a lot about staying organised and managing my time.

You don't have to be 'super smart' to do this job. You need to know how to talk to people – that would be the most important thing. And you need to look at things differently, from an engineering perspective. Being able to learn quickly is very important. Everything is always changing and you have to keep up.

In the future I'd like to try computer modelling and working on designs to fix roading problem areas. Valley Road to Stokes Road in Mt Eden is a very bad congestion point in Auckland at the moment, and it's one I hope to get to work on.

I like engineering because it uses the subjects I enjoyed at school and the profession is well-paid and respected. I also like having a certain amount of freedom and responsibility. You get to control what you do and when you do it.

Posted December 2011

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Degree in Civil Engineering: Environmental, Geotechnical, Structural or Transport

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