Message from Charles Rickard

I graduated from Surrey University, UK in 1974. My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Civil Engineering. I then completed a Masters in Structural Engineering in 1975 at the same University. My first job was with Taylor Woodrow Group, where I completed a formal 3 year training course. I took the 'design option' and completed two years of design experience with one year site experience. Since that time I have worked in many locations around the world and have been running my own practice in Australia since 1984.

Today, industry generally always have the intent to provide proper graduate training. However, it is rare to have formal training in the industry today of a standard to match 30-40 years ago. This is a big loss. Thus the emphasis is very much more on the individual to learn what they need on their own. You may be a graduate just leaving the University. You may be an engineer with or without experience who has just arrived from overseas. Alternatively, you may be an engineer who has already been working in Australia for 1 - 2 years but feel you need some extra guidance. This course is designed for you.

I always say to a young graduate engineer that you need to consider yourself a multi-roll combat aircraft in the making. That is to say, you need to arm yourself with the different facets of the industry in order to become a truly useful engineer and maximise future job security. It is no good having the greatest ideas in the world if you don't know how to apply them. Early site experience is therefore very important, and it is important that you respectfully insist to your employer that you need to achieve this key objective. You need a minimum of one years's site experience. Equally, if you want to become a site engineer in contracting long term then you need a minimum of one year's experience in a design office. I hope that this course will help you, whichever path you use.

Charles Rickard
BSc (Hons) MSc, CEng, FISruct.E, FIE (AUST), MIPENZ 
Consulting Engineer - Structural, Civil, Facade, Geotechnical and Diagnostic Work
Registered UK, NSW, QLD, VIC, NZ