Meet Dan

After starting with Tonkin as a graduate civil engineer in 2007, Dan Walsh has achieved exceptional career growth with Tonkin. As head of the company’s transport team, he’s now managing some of Tonkin’s biggest infrastructure projects and leading our next generation of engineers.

“I was quite a practical kid – I liked pulling things apart and putting them back together. Initially during high school, I had an interest in architecture."

"I did work experience at an architecture company and followed that up with work experience with some engineering companies. I realised engineering would be a better fit for me, so I then went on to do a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree at uni.”

Dan’s journey into leadership

We asked Dan to tell us about how he went from being a graduate engineer to leading Tonkin’s transport team.

“I had the opportunity to be involved in and lead some quite exciting projects from early in my career at Tonkin. Through those initial opportunities, management saw that I had an aptitude for project leadership and increasingly I was given more responsibility in leading projects, managing clients and winning work.”

“Eventually I started specialising in transport projects, and off the back of some successful state government transport projects, I was given the opportunity to focus on growing the transport part of the Tonkin business, and make it a key part of our service offering. Transport is now one of the key sectors that we work in around the country, with huge growth prospects as Tonkin continues to grow, particularly on the east coast.”

When we asked Dan what sets Tonkin apart from other engineering consultancies, he reflected on how Tonkin has the right mix of projects that helped him get a wide range of experience and progress his career faster.

“Our wide range of project sizes is something that’s a bit unique to Tonkin. It means that you can gain your experience working on smaller projects where you undertake everything from the winning of work, to the engineering, client management and construction supervision. This really helps build your broad engineering experience that holds you in good stead later in your career.”

“Now in my current role as Leader – Transport, a typical day involves a combination of project work, strategic business development and team management. A big part of my role is to help develop our younger engineers and coordinate the teaming arrangements for our larger projects.”


Positive culture and work-life balance

When we asked Dan what has kept him at Tonkin over the past 15+ years, in addition to the growth opportunities, it was clear that culture and work-life balance have also been critical to Dan’s positive experience at Tonkin.

“The people at Tonkin are great, and one of the reasons I’ve stayed here for as long as I have. Tonkin has always been a very respective and supportive place to work. The leadership at Tonkin is something that sets us apart from many other parts of the industry. The people in senior leadership roles are very accessible and that goes a long way towards cultivating a positive workplace culture.”

“Work-life balance is also really important to me personally. I’m a father of three young kids, so I place a lot of importance on being present as a dad for them. We set clear expectations for our people, we don’t expect too much and we respect that everyone has a work-life balance that they want to achieve.”


Supporting a sustainable future

Transport projects – and road building projects in particular – generate a large amount of carbon emissions through a variety or direct and indirect sources. We asked Dan to tell us what sustainable infrastructure looks like in his projects.

“As an engineer, sustainable infrastructure is extremely important to me. My degree out of university was Civil and Environmental Engineering, and I’ve always has a passion for the environment. Through the development of the designs and projects we deliver, we’re very conscious about minimising the carbon footprint of what we do. Civil infrastructure projects, particularly road projects, have a huge carbon footprint.”

“The environmental impact of the construction of road infrastructure can enormous, but there are lots of exciting things happening in that space. For example, the use of recycled products in new roads and using pavement stabilisation solutions to extend the life of existing roads. Alternative options like these are often more environmentally friendly and cost-effective for our clients.”

Are you a civil engineer interested in building a long-term career with Tonkin, like Dan?
View our current vacancies or submit a general expression of interest today.