How civil engineers are building our regional communities

Have you ever thought about what it takes to build a town? Whether it’s delivering clean water, constructing highways or designing tunnels and skyscrapers, civil engineering has left a mark on our local landscape.

The facts

Charles Sturt University is #1 in the country when it comes to graduate employment – 86% of our undergraduates get full-time jobs within 4 months of finishing their degree*. And according to The Association of Professional Engineers, the average salary of a civil engineer is $141,000 per year.^

It starts with a spark

In regional New South Wales there’s lots to be done, and plenty of opportunities to do it. Take Mark Hernandez and David Ghrayche for example.  The pair are working as cadets with Western Project Services in Bathurst. And that’s not the only thing they have in common. They both study civil engineering at Charles Sturt University.

Mark and David are both halfway through a Bachelor of Technology (Civil) / Master of Engineering (Civil), and are among 53 cadet engineers in the course, working across Australia (and beyond), while studying online.

“I left high school and did an apprenticeship as a fitter machinist. I travelled for a couple of years and decided I didn’t want to be a fitter anymore. So I went to university and started studying,” David said.

Close to home

The consensus here is that working and studying regionally has its benefits.

“I’m able to stay closer to home. Which gives me the opportunity to do my share and give back to my local community through engineering. Like ensuring the road networks are safe,” said Mark.

Obviously David agreed, saying Charles Sturt was a perfect fit.

“Being a smaller regional university, you have more access to the academic team. If you have any questions or anything, I’ve got their mobile numbers.”

Many students have found a passion for working regionally, filling demand for civil engineers across Australia. Charles Sturt has cadets working across NSW and Victoria, in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Queensland. One fourth year student is even working in Leeds, England.

Engineering a passion

Civil engineers are behind some of the country’s biggest road and rail projects. And there’s more to it than meets the eye. David’s focus is on safety across our road network —and improving crash blackspots.

“I started looking at curve analysis works. That was part of my undergrad thesis.”

During his study, David developed equations and collected data on driving trends and our road network. This helped him advise authorities on advanced curve warning signs. David explains they’re speed recommendations. They’re “those yellow signs you see when you come up to a curve. Which most people probably don’t pay much attention to.”

For Mark, there have been some obvious drivers behind his passion for the industry. Although other motivations have emerged along the way.

“The main contributor to my decision to study engineering is the financial aspect. But as I do it more, I’m finding other motivations like being in an industry that is constantly evolving. Especially knowing that I can play a major role in solving problems.”

What about you?

Keeping Australia connected is no easy task, but you could play a role in shaping our country. If you’re passionate about sustainability and innovation, maybe an engineering degree is right for you.  

In 2023, Charles Sturt will offer new study support. By applying for a Transgrid Civil Engineering Scholarship before enrolling into a Bachelor of Technology (Civil) / Master of Engineering (Civil), or a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours), you could receive a $20,000 cash boost to help you through your degree, as you learn to keep our country connected. With $2 million worth of scholarships up for grabs, helping 100 civil engineering students study at Charles Sturt, one of them could be you.

Applications close on November 25, 2023.

*Good Universities Guide 2022/23

*Association of Professional Engineers