Engineers Australia credentials helps our engineers show their quality

This article first appeared in Engineers Australia ‘Create’ Magazine and has been republished with full permission.

A bulk credentialing agreement between Ampcontrol and Engineers Australia helped the long-running electrical engineering firm ensure it has the talent it needs for the future.

When Chartered engineer and Fellow of Engineers Australia Peter Cockbain FIEAust CPEng and his three colleagues formed a business partnership in 1968, a commitment to innovation was always part of the deal.

What started as a small operation in a Newcastle shed has grown to become leading electrical engineering company Ampcontrol. Today, Ampcontrol specialises in electrical engineering and control systems, including transformers, power distribution, electronic equipment and electrical protection. Its operations span resources, infrastructure and energy sectors, and its innovative approach has been recognised through state, national and international awards.

Cockbain was Ampcontrol’s Technical Director until 2012 and instilled a culture of collaboration and high achievement through his motto, “I can’t, you can’t, but we can”.

Its commitment to engineering quality is reinforced through Ampcontrol’s recent Engineering Workforce Credentialing Agreement with Engineers Australia. The agreement provides a pathway for Ampcontrol’s engineers to achieve Chartered status — a widely recognised measure of excellence.

“It also provides a beacon for bright young engineers who are starting their careers, knowing that they can develop professionally and be recognised by Engineers Australia through the agreement.” Rod Henderson

Independent engineering credentials

Ian Webster FIEAust CPEng, Ampcontrol Group Engineering Manager, explains that the credentialing agreement enables Ampcontrol engineers to be assessed independently and externally, ensuring that the company’s engineering competence is recognised across the globe.

“It also provides a beacon for bright young engineers who are starting their careers, knowing that they can develop professionally and be recognised by Engineers Australia through the agreement,” says Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol’s Managing Director and CEO.

Former Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans HonFIEAust CPEng says Chartership is something all engineers should aim for. “Chartered status should be an aspiration for all engineers, as it is independent recognition of the highest international standards of engineering competency,” she says.

Alexander Smith CPEng, R&D Engineer at ResTech

Developing Talent

Many of Ampcontrol’s credentialed engineers have grown within the business, starting as graduates or even undergraduate interns. After gaining diverse experience in design, research and development, project engineering and production engineering, they find their niche within the company.

This was the pathway for Alexander Smith CPEng, who joined the company in 2011 as part of its graduate program. Now a Research and Development Engineer at ResTech, a joint venture between Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle, Smith was encouraged to take up the credentialing opportunity last year during a conversation with his manager.

“I’d wanted to become a Chartered engineer for quite a while and I’d kept some pretty fastidious notes about my professional development and the projects I’d worked on, so I had most of the paperwork ready to go,” he says.

Chartered status is an acknowledgement that an engineer is seen as being highly skilled, professional and ethical by their peers, Smith says.

“That’s a good feeling,” he adds. “One of the advantages of the bulk credentialing was being able to talk to other engineers at work who were also going through the process and bounce ideas off each other.”

Fast-track your engineering career

Along with global recognition of skills and professionalism, the Chartered credential can help to fast-track career progression and provides leadership development opportunities via peer assessment against industry recognised standards.

“Having the words ‘Chartered Engineer’ next to my name indicates that I am committed to professional development.” Bahar Chaichi CPEng

Bahar Chaichi CPEng recently earned the Chartered credential and has already experienced the benefits. She has worked with Ampcontrol for a little more than five years and was recently promoted from the role of Tendering Engineer to Solutions Manager. “I think the Chartered credential helped to pave the way to my promotion,” she says.

“I also think it helped in my application for my MBA scholarship at the University of Newcastle, because having the words ‘Chartered engineer’ next to my name indicates that I am committed to professional development.”

“When you’re innovating, there often aren’t prescriptive standards to fall back on,” says Ampcontrol Chief Technology Officer Tim Wylie FIEAust CPEng. “That’s when we need a culture in which engineers can challenge each other in a collaborative environment.”

Dr Dmitry Miller CPEng, Ampcontrol Product Manager, Power Systems

Prove the talent of your engineers

“Ampcontrol has created an environment that is a breeding ground for some of Australia’s most capable electrical engineers, working on a diverse range of challenging projects,” says Tim Keech FIEAust CPEng, Ampcontrol General Manager, Sales and Customer. “The credentialing program allows us to recognise and acknowledge the ongoing development of these talented engineers throughout their career.”

“The Chartered Credential brings additional confidence not only to project engineers but also to our clients.” Dr Dmitry Miller CPEng

Dr Dmitry Miller CPEng, Ampcontrol Product Manager, Power Systems, has been with the company for about three years and recently completed his PhD at the University of Newcastle. He explains that achieving Chartered status through Ampcontrol’s program provided an opportunity to benchmark his engineering competency in an industry framework.

“The information I needed to provide during the process was closely aligned with my everyday responsibilities, so it was easy to present relevant experience,” he says. “The Chartered credential brings additional confidence not only to project engineers but also to our clients, which is important in complex projects.”

Henderson says Ampcontrol’s credentialing agreement with Engineers Australia reinforces a commitment to innovation that has spanned more than 50 years.  “With over 250 engineers on our team, we take pride in the fact that we work on some of the most challenging, rewarding and complex projects in the energy and resources sectors,” he says.

“There is no doubt that credentialed engineers are at the foundation of our innovation and agility. It was a great move to partner with Engineers Australia.”

This article first appeared in Engineers Australia ‘Create’ Magazine and has been republished with full permission.

Pictured at top: Bahar Chaichi CPEng, Solutions Manager