Monday, 30 March 2015

Thinking Outside the Box

Last weekend I celebrated 21 years on earth, but also 21 years in my hometown, Canberra. In those years I’ve seen Canberra develop from somewhat of a large country town into a vibrant city. We’ve even got a snazzy new catch phrase! (CBR. Confident. Bold. Ready). And we totally are!
On one of my rides around Lake Burley Griffin, I noticed a new construction site. It looked like it was in its really early phases because everything was still packed up in shipping containers. Six months down the track, I learnt from a friend that the shipping containers weren’t part of the construction phase, they were the actual structure! These containers make up Westside Acton Park, one of Canberra’s solutions to the perennial problem of getting more people to the Canberra lakeside.

They wanted an events centre, so they created this as a place for a rooftop bar, a pop up cafe, drive through coffee shop, some restaurants, a gym and even a BMX bike shop. This kind of out of the box (pun intended) thinking is super exciting to me from management, manufacturing and materials engineering perspectives. 
From a manufacturing and materials angle, it’s a really creative challenge and I’m definitely attracted to projects as special and uncommon as this one. A large steel structure is part of the design and they tried to use ready-made or recycled materials. What’s more, it will be demountable so in the end they can just pop it all on a semi-trailer or two! 
In terms of project management, this was a collaboration between government, architects, engineers, city planners, construction workers, retail and hospitality outlets. As a systems engineering student, my degree is preparing me to work in diverse teams like these and also work on projects that live in uncharted territory.

#NotJustANUtherEngineer
Love,
Emily

(Originally published on the ANU CECS Student Blog Page: https://cecs.anu.edu.au/studentblogs 12/03/15)

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