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Meet the Team – Gregg Hoesman

Meet The Team – Gregg Hoesman

Principal Engineer Gregg Hoesman has over 20 years of memorable project experience and engineering leadership within the structural engineering space, responsible for the delivery of iconic projects in the residential, industrial and social infrastructure sectors. With a love of collaboration, a natural excitement for how his home city of Brisbane is developing and a love of problem-solving, we caught up with Gregg to learn more about him, and his commitment to teamwork to engineer the best possible solutions to improve people’s lives.

How did you get to become an engineer?

I’ve always wanted to build things, and for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with how things are created and how people interpret problems and use ingenuity and creativity to solve them. I was that kid who always had a bit of Lego in hand, a project or design on the go and a vision for how I could turn those brightly coloured blocks into something cool that worked. That’s what got me started on the path to becoming an engineer and has been central to my career.

What is your approach to engineering?

My approach has changed over time. Early in my career, I would interpret a particularly problem or challenge and then interrogate the detail to design structures leaner and lighter.  While this remains an important aspect of engineering design, it isn’t always the right approach – the immediate answer isn’t always the best one. I’ve learned that what works best for me, my clients and colleagues is to spend time developing a deeper understanding of the overall goals for the project and the individuals involved.  By understanding people and building strong relationships develops trust to allow us to explore the problem together, identify the issues – sometimes which are not what you or the client initially think they are – and then use our knowledge and skills as engineers to start developing the solution. It’s especially true today as the challenges our society is facing are changing rapidly. As technology advances, material supply fluctuates and , end-users expectations evolve, what may have worked only a short time ago may not be the best way forward.

What has been your favourite project to have worked on?

This is a tricky question; I’ve had the opportunity to work on some pretty amazing projects in Australia and the UK. 1 Hyde Park in London was a spectacular development that comprises some of the most expensive real estate in the world, Suncorp Stadium has been home to so many iconic sporting and music events, and 420 Queen Street was Brisbane’s tallest building when I worked on it. But honestly, I think one of my most satisfying projects has been South Rock State School that is due to be completed and handed over imminently.

This project was special for me because when I think back to my primary school days, I can remember every inch of the school, from classrooms to school halls to outdoor areas, and while it was a great school, the facilities – the school hall was a small shed – we’re lacking compared to what a modern learning environment needs. This project gave me the opportunity to put the kids at the centre of a design and give them a chance to start their learning in an environment in which they can thrive. My school and teachers had such a positive experience on me that for me to be able to play a role in creating similar memories and opportunities for a new generation is very special.

What’s exciting you about our industry at the moment?

Opportunity. Everywhere we look, amazing opportunities and projects are coming to the sector. I’m a proud Brisbanite, and I’m positive and excited about the development and growth of our city. Green bridges, Cross River Rail, and Brisbane Metro will connect our city like never before. We then have the world coming to visit in 2032, and the infrastructure we create for the Olympics and Paralympic Games will be a legacy for Queensland that will be beyond our most positive expectations. If Expo 88 was when our city grew up, Brisbane 2032 will be when our city shines on the world stage.

As well as that, we are seeing investment in health infrastructure, social infrastructure, retirement facilities, growth at the port and airport, as well as a pipeline of projects around the state that will redefine our energy generation and consumption, secure our water supply and connect our regions. Good changes are on the way, and while there will be disruption over the next decade as we create the city and state we want, I think that when we look back on what will be achieved and the long-term benefits the projects have for our economic and societal well-being its clear to me that good things are on the way.

If you had a time machine, what advice would you give to yourself at the start of your career?

Invest more time in relationships and always seek to surround myself with people to learn from.  People who are willing to share their knowledge and collaborate instinctively.  Workplace and professional expectations have changed dramatically over my carrier and time and time again, we prove in construction and infrastructure that collaboration and teamwork get the best results.

What inspires you outside of work?

My family, being a dad and a husband. I have a three-year-old daughter who teaches me something about myself every day and has helped me to reprioritise what matters most. I am still looking forward to getting my boat wet a little more often when can become an adventure on the weekend for the whole family. I’m focused on what matters most to me, and that is being the best dad, husband, and colleague I can be.