Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans reflects on the past 100 years and shares her vision for how the profession can respond to future challenges.
Dr Bronwyn Evans brings leadership, commercial and policy expertise from a career spanning corporate and not-for-profit roles at the forefront of engineering in Australia and globally.
Those have included CEO of Standards Australia, senior executive roles at Cochlear Ltd and GE Healthcare, as well as non-executive board experience in the construction, medical technology and digital business sectors.
She spoke with create about her role as CEO of Australia’s peak engineering body, and what she hopes to achieve in the coming years.
create: What experience will you draw on in your new position?
BRONWYN EVANS: One is a strong understanding of the role that engineers have in a wide range of industries; from energy generation and distribution, medical devices, construction, and the important roles that engineers have in developing those industries.
Another is the ability to listen well, ask questions and bring teams together to create a strong executive and an outstanding organisation that will deliver the vision and the great things we want to do at Engineers Australia.
Equally important is listening to stakeholders, especially our members and volunteers, and understanding what matters to them and how we integrate that into delivering on our vision of the future of Engineers Australia and of the engineering profession.
create: What are Engineers Australia’s key challenges and opportunities?
BE: We are at an important turning point; we’ve just celebrated 100 years with a heritage as an influential organisation in Australian society and in industry.
This is a great platform to be building on for the next 100 years. Engineers Australia is highly valued — by the profession, by decision and policy makers, and by business broadly.
When we were formed in 1919, Australia was transitioning from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy. We’re now transitioning from an industrial economy into the new economy where cyber-physical systems will prevail. For the profession and for Engineers Australia, the big question is: How do we respond quickly enough to these future challenges?
The current team has done a wonderful job getting the right people in place and building the essential elements of our digital transformation. My responsibility as the new CEO is to take this as a springboard to the future.
create: What message would you like to convey to the members?
BE: When I reflect on being an engineer, it’s something that is exciting because almost every element of our environment is impacted by engineering.
I want to capture that excitement and make sure that we understand the important role we play in a whole range of decision-making. We bring a unique lens to decisions that impact the future.
This is an important profession and we need to position it clearly and positively in the minds of students, teachers, policymakers and industry. It’s vital that we have a seat at the table when decisions are being made about Australia’s future, and indeed, about how we want to design our world in the future.