Marten Jajou CEngA likes to approach civil engineering projects holistically, which is why he focuses on ground-level work as well as theory.
Starting his career on construction projects, Chartered Associate Engineer, Marten Jajou CEngA wanted to ensure he had a solid understanding of the theory behind what he was doing as well.
“I feel my career started the moment I decided to study civil engineering,” he told create.
“My motivation to study engineering came from being able to see my work come to fruition. I love being able to drive past a completed project and know that I was a part of creating that.”
That involved, at one point, studying full time while he continued to work full time. He would end up graduating with a Diploma of Civil Engineering, an Advanced Diploma of Engineering Design and a Master of Engineering Project Management.
“The reason I took the seemingly long and winding path rather than the straight and narrow is because I know myself. I’m not the type of person who can sit and study from a book. I learn better through real world experiences,” he said.
“Everything I learnt on the job I was able to apply to my studies.”
Jajou believes taking that path has shaped how he approaches his current projects, too.
“I always had to take that step back to make sure that I maintained a view of the bigger picture,” he said.
“You also have to become a master of time management.”
At the moment, his projects revolve around civil infrastructure.
“We look after road intersection upgrades, noise walls, retaining walls, utility relocations, traffic signal upgrades and much more,” he said.
“Civil engineering is a large and interconnected industry, so you can get exposure to all engineering divisions.”
That has also included an award-winning stint as Principal Design Manager for TransGrid’s Holyroyd to Rookwood substation project. In 2014, he and his team were recognised with an award for best project over $75 million at the Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards.
“The TransGrid project was linking between two new high voltage substations,” Jajou explains.
“This design and construct project was one of the largest of its kind undertaken by TransGrid, and comprised the installation of two 330 kV underground cables circuits over a length of 16 km.”
Having his talents recognised also motivated Jajou to become Chartered.
“Being recognised in that way gave me a concrete sense of accomplishment,” he said.
“You enrich your knowledge, expand your network and increase your ability to motivate others.”
3 tips for success
- Don’t procrastinate; get Chartered as soon as you can.
- Once you’re Chartered, you’ll find greater opportunity for work — here and internationally.
- Engineering is not one-size-fits-all. You can get into many different disciplines and be satisfied with what you’re working on.