Senior Project Engineer Sumesha Durais on Women in Engineering

26 Nov 2021
a corporate headshot portrait of civil structural design female engineer sumesha durais at the garden

Let's get to know Senior Project Engineer, Sumesha Durais!

Sumesha is a Civil Engineer in our Melbourne office with a great passion for the construction industry. Throughout her career, she has worked on a variety of projects in South Africa and Australia.

We chatted with the Women in Engineering society of the University of Queensland about Sumesha's career and how passionate she is about advocacy for fellow women in engineering. As a child, Sumesha was fascinated by high-rise buildings and unique-looking structures. This curious nature led her to study Civil Engineering.

Sumesha was lucky enough to be sponsored during her studies by a large South African construction company. After graduation, she was placed on a construction site building Africa’s largest coal-fired power station. Over the next 3 years, she continued to work on iron ore mines, major freeways, rural roads, and coal mines primarily doing structural concrete work. Sumesha then took a leap of faith and applied for a job in Australia, where she got the job and never looked back.

She started working on major tunnel projects in Sydney and Melbourne. These projects were larger and more complex than anything she had ever worked on before and provided a great challenge as an engineer keen to prove herself in the industry.

Ever since joining CaSE, Sumesha is grateful for her opportunity to be involved in the consulting and project management services of major construction companies. It has helped her to strengthen her project management skillset whilst ensuring she still gets to work on exciting projects.

A very basic overview of Sumesha's role includes planning, organising and overseeing the construction of a piece/element of infrastructure. The most vital part of her role includes people management, which is one of her favourite parts of the job!

Any significant projects you’d like to share?

"It would have to be my work in the City Square shaft at the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project. The scale and complexity of this project are phenomenal. It allowed me to work with technical experts from multiple fields which were incredibly enjoyable."

What do you love the most about your job?

"I love the challenges we have as engineers to solve problems. From long-term planning to day-to-day. No two days are the same."

Any advice for fellow women in engineering?

"A career in construction can be challenging but extremely rewarding. If you enjoy problem-solving and working in a fast-paced environment then this is a great choice for you. Remember that civil engineering opens doors to multiple career paths, so you don’t need to have it all planned out when you start studying. I would also recommend reaching out and finding a mentor in any industry you are interested in; this will help answer all your questions and give you a better indication of what opportunities there are within a particular industry!"

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

"I enjoy going for long bike rides and visiting regional Victoria in my spare time. I also enjoy working on and learning about natural earth building techniques."

We are incredibly lucky to have you as part of the team, Sumesha!

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