Five Minutes With – Gouri Dhabade

Housing Civil & Structural Engineer

Gouri Dhabade

From architect to civil and structural engineer Gouri Dhabade’s career has been one of agility and achievement with her residential footing designs contributing to award-winning developments across South Australia and Victoria.

What drew you to Engineering as a career?

Engineering wasn’t my first choice of career; I hold a degree in architecture, however when I first migrated to Australia the opportunities within architecture were very limited which meant I had to think outside the box. I initially focussed on engineering drafting 13 years ago, but it was a natural progression for me to move into engineering design through support and encouragement from my mentors at FMG. I enjoy it so much that I haven’t felt the need to go back to architecture. I would also like to add that possibly Engineering is in my blood because my Father and Uncle were Engineers and they excelled in their careers as Engineers.

What’s the most rewarding part of your role?

As a housing engineer I find the more challenging civil plans very rewarding especially designs for steep blocks where the driveway or stormwater design is critical. The most satisfying part of my role is working with my clients, especially the appreciation expressed for my efforts. I really enjoy walking them through a design, discussing the economic benefits and efficiency, and answering their queries. It’s also great to be part of a design which has won an award.

What career advice do you have for those starting out in this industry?

Always be eager to learn, be proactive and accept challenges. If you don’t understand, ask plenty of questions. Be honest and humble. An honest and hard-working person is liked by everyone in the company and with that attitude you can achieve your goal easily.

It also helps if you like change, as the technology world is always changing and you need to keep up with it.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea definitely – Indian chai tea with samosas.

If you could give your past self 1 piece of advice what would it be?

Don’t ever let anything stop you! Live life with no regrets! If you are not doing what you like change it as something out there will make you strive for excellence.

Do you have a personal mantra or a quote that inspires you?

There are a few quotes that I really like –

“Where there is will there is way”

“You get to learn something new every day so keep your eyes and ears open”

“Change is inevitable. Learn to adapt to the change or even better be the change”

Is there a stand out project from your time with FMG? What makes it special?

The housing projects I work on are really small individual houses for various builders. On rare occasions we come across a challenging project where the sites are steep or there are some specific requirements due to encumbrances which can make the design tricky and time consuming. On these projects we may work with the FMG Civil department as part of the larger subdivisions. One such project was a housing development in Hackham. I was involved in producing the footing construction report of all the houses in the development. When I saw the photos of the finished project it felt so nice to be a part (albeit a tiny one) of the whole process of that development.

What do you like about working with FMG?

The main thing I like about working here is the open work environment. I can approach anyone if I need any help. There are so many experienced people in the company and all of them are really helpful. I have learnt so much from all my mentors – Alice, Richard and Jan from Housing and John, Steve from Forensic and Civil disciplines.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Just to all our customers:  that here at FMG we value all of you and we always value your feedback. If you want any advice and help, we’re always there for you!

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