Aaron Townsend

B. Engineering w. major in Mechatronics

Electrical Engineer, JHA Consulting Engineers

I was fortunate to have been partnered with a senior engineer, and team who had a wealth of knowledge and experience to harvest, were always on deck to answer questions, and nudge me in the right direction as required.

Aaron Townsend

Electrical Engineer

Aaron Townsend, Electrical Engineer, JHA Consulting Engineers

Aaron has been working at JHA Consulting Engineers for over 18 months, he initially began as an intern – this formed part of the final component for his degree, Bachelor of Engineering with Honours with a major in Mechatronics Engineering at Macquarie University.

In order to graduate, students are expected to attain a minimum of 12 weeks full time industry experience.
His honours thesis was to design the electrical control system of a moving ground – it’s like a scaled up treadmill for aerodynamic testing. The moving ground system was to be retrofitted to the existing Macquarie University Open Circuit Wind Tunnel and Control System for later use by the MQ Speed team.

As such, Aaron was able to split his work experience between working with the universities’ speed team, and JHA Consulting Engineers.

Aarons Story

What was your initial experience at JHA as an intern?

My first days started slow, bouncing around the AV and electrical departments, where I was to get a taste for which discipline I may have preferred, and develop a fundamental understanding of construction services. Some of my initial activities included, learning how to work with software to mark-up layouts, drafting, and QA of drawings (software including: Bluebeam, AutoCAD, Navisworks).

As I became more competent, I was instructed to read relevant Australian standards to further my development. Over time, I was trusted with more and more design orientated items such as responses to, and proposals for clients. At one stage, I even had the opportunity to run some energy analysis and thermal simulations (using Sefaira) for the Mechanical Department.

It was about this time I began to appreciate the people around me who, to put simply, were with me every step of the way, to answer questions, crack jokes, and share their experience with me.

Did you get assigned a supervisor?

After my internship I was offered a graduate position and began to lay the foundations for my career. Rather than being paired with multiple team members across different departments I was assigned a single supervisor (in the field of my choosing – Electrical) and patiently introduced to the ins-and-outs of consultancy and managing projects, resources and time.

What were some of the challenges?

Through my graduate year I was constantly exposed to new things, and expected to progressively take on a more active role with projects I was assigned to. All the while, pushing to increase my understanding of the standards governing building services and common practice in the industry.

This often required more fore-thought, planning, and ingenuity than to just complete a single specific task – it still does.

Some specific examples of the tasks which I was involved in included the following:

  • Attending site inspections, defects inspections, etc.
  • Answering technical questions from clients
  • Preparing for and attending high profile client meetings
  • Developing design(s) for electrical services across a range of projects – schools, universities, aged-care, camping facilities, off-grid sites, and so-on

During my time as a graduate I was even in a position to work on a few high profile jobs – which to be frank, were tough, however the knowledge and experience I had gained as a result was worth more than any ‘easy’ projects combined.

Aaron Townsend

Electrical Engineer

Want to find out more about Bachelor of Engineering with Honours with a Major in Mechatronic Engineering and Macquarie University?