Engineers Australia has awarded the 2011 Queensland Professional Engineer of the Year title to project management advocate Dr David Finch, senior director of global technical and management support services company AECOM.
Finch is the director of Technology and Risk, leading AECOM’s Office of Risk Management and the Innovation and Technology Council. With more than 30 years’ experience in engineering, he now oversees innovation, technical capacity and project delivery for 4,500 people.
The engineer contributed significantly to the development of a project delivery system, since adopted by AECOM globally, which led to the creation of the company’s project management training program for more than 2,500 project managers and directors.
“I feel fortunate to have spent my working life in a career that has been both interesting and professionally rewarding, while always providing new challenges and giving tangible outcomes for our clients and the community,” Finch said.
Finch, also an Adjunct Professor with The University of Queensland’s Civil Engineering Department and Chair of Engineers Australia’s Education Linkages Sub-Committee, has a keen interest in educational pathways for engineering and its related disciplines.
“We produce more [engineering] graduates per capita than any other English speaking country. However, courses are under pressure from escalating student numbers and funding isn’t increasing so that standards are maintained,” he said.
Finch currently leads an initiative to assist teachers by supplying sustainability-themed maths and science lesson plans created by education specialists. “The teaching of science and maths in schools is also suffering and our profession can play an important role in helping teachers make these subjects more interesting and build students’ understanding of how they can be used in their careers,” he added.
Chair of Engineers Australia’s Awards Sub-Committee, Stuart Lister, said Finch “demonstrated passion throughout his career and had a proven track record in innovation, technical ability and project delivery,” the mark of a true engineering professional.
Finch is a finalist for Engineers Australia’s nationwide accolade, the 2011 Australian Professional Engineer of the Year award, to be announced on 23 November.