#GradLife - Casey Schackow
As I like to maximise my nights, the morning is a welcomed rush. I cycle to work so all I need to do is eat a healthy dose of peanut butter and banana on bread, brush my teeth and get out on the bike. To streamline this process I’ll have my lunch and clothes sorted the night before.
Nothing beats Brisbane winters, riding comfortably along cycleways with scenic views. As my job involves designing and auditing active transport facilities, I’ll ride along paths I’ve helped design or conduct safety reviews for which is a sweet feeling.
Once I get in, shower and get ready I’ll greet my team and begin working. Generally I’ll check my emails and view my tasks, writing down my tasks for the day and prepare for the daily 9am meeting.
Head to the kitchen for that first (of many) juice bean hits. The first scheduled meeting of the day usually begins with a couple of minutes of catching up, followed by a bit of warranted banter before getting into what each member is working on for the day. After this meeting, I’ll be set with who I need to speak to or what task I need to get cracking on with.
Today’s project involves conducting a traffic impact assessment for a funeral home which is upgrading their facilities. A bread and butter job for a traffic engineer, the size of the development is increasing, this will bring more people to the destination and change traffic conditions on the network.
As a grad, I’m tasked with analysing traffic counts around the site and determining how many new vehicles will be accessing the site with the proposed development. This usually involves liaising with the client to figure out the increased demand, referring to traffic generation manuals and consulting senior engineers.
SIDRA Intersection is a microscopic traffic modelling software used to determine if traffic volumes at a given intersection will exceed the capacity of the infrastructure and surrounding network.
Once the results are in, these are added to a report which details the existing situation. This report will consider aspects such as the existing public transport facilities, active transport facilities, car parking situation and refuge truck collection access.
I usually enjoy a later lunch, makes the end of the day go quicker. I generally enjoy heading out to King Street or the RNA showgrounds for lunch, either with other grad friends from Cardno or friends from uni at other nearby companies. Being across the road from 3-4 other engineering companies it’s not hard to find old friends. However, today I decided to ride into the city to visit a few thrift stores and run some errands.
Back at my desk I grab another coffee and check in with my managers, checking for any updates on my projects. I have been working on the planning of a cycling facility in Toowoomba for the past 6 months, in a few weeks our project team, along with Transport and Main Roads will have several workshops to discuss stage 3 of the project, Design Treatments.
These workshops are consultation sessions with various stakeholders: TMR, Toowoomba Council and members of local cycling organisations. We will discuss different design options for various sections along the proposed cycleways, determining which designs will work and which won’t.
So, my part of these workshops will be to compile all of the designs that our civil engineering team draft, speak to our transport planners to rationalise the designs then build a presentation.
I start tomorrow off on the right foot, I’ll again check in my managers to check the progress of our projects. I also write down where I’ve gotten up to and prepare notes of what to commence on when I return to the office tomorrow.
Time is soaked in the surreal Brisbane sunset while riding across the Story Bridge, watching as the city lights slowly come to life. Riding to work still remains one of my favourite parts of the day, a chance to do a brain dump and keep work at work, it’s also the easiest way to incorporate cardio into my daily life. I get home, eat again then head to a mate’s house for a home gym session, followed by working on my business then and off to bed to start again tomorrow.
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