Chartered engineer Matteo Tirapelle CPEng found his passion for civil engineering later in life, but his younger days had invaluable lessons for his future career.
When founder and Managing Director of Perth-based consultancy Hera Engineering Matteo Tirapelle was growing up in Italy, it wasn’t engineering that captured his attention.
Back then, he was more taken with the opportunities available in the big city, away from his countryside hometown. He spent his summers working in the tourist industry, playing guitar and introducing visitors to sailing and windsurfing.
“I think that’s where I learned the communication skills that are very important in work, in society,” he told create.
“That’s what I think is a big problem in the industry: everybody’s looking at their own agenda. They don’t communicate with the other party — which can be the builders or the architects — and this is how you get problems in projects.”
It was when he graduated after six years of study and moved to Australia that he began to take his profession seriously. Civil engineering went from theory taught in a classroom to something he could live.
“I suddenly became quite curious about it, how things work, and I started to enjoy it,” Tirapelle said.
“I was passionate about doing engineering, doing high-rises.”
It was that passion that led him to start his own company: he liked running his own small business.
“I tried to really innovate with high-rise [buildings], which I couldn’t do where I was before,” he said. “And we did, we really innovated in high-rise design in Australia.”
Tirapelle points to sustainability as an example of this innovation.
“Reducing material in buildings and saving costs is good for the client, but it’s also good for the environment,” he said.
“We ended up designing the tallest tower in Brisbane, the tallest tower in Canberra, and the tallest residential building in Perth, and we’re doing the fourth-tallest tower in the Gold Coast.”
Tirapelle is a Chartered engineer, but he clarifies he is more than that.
“I’m not only Chartered; I’m Chartered, I’m a Fellow and I’m also an Engineering Executive,” he said.
“I think it’s just the natural progression through the business.”
He believes the Chartered qualification is a crucial milestone for an engineer.
“In Italy, if you’re not chartered, you can’t really operate,” he said. He also retains a sense of personal satisfaction from having the accreditation.
“For me it was a big moment: just to tell me, okay, I am an engineer now,” he said.
Matteo Tirapelle’s tips for success
- Be willing to get outside your comfort zone.
- Find a job that you really like and can be passionate about.
- Maintaining your integrity is really important.
Interested in learning more about the Chartered credential? You may already have what it takes to become Chartered. Find out more here and start your pathway to Chartered today.