Blog

Home / Blog

Meet The Team – Burt Wilken

By | News

Burt joined Madsen Giersing as a graduate engineer in January 2021, following the completion of his studies at the University of Queensland, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in 2020.

Originally from South Africa, Burt migrated to Brisbane with his family when he was ten and has called the city home ever since. With a natural aptitude for maths and science, Burt is one of life’s problem-solvers, which led to his career in marine structural design with Madsen Giersing.

We caught up with Burt to find out a little bit more about him, his passion for engineering, love of potatoes and the potential for floating cities.

Why did you become an engineer?

I have always been intrigued by how the things around me work. Why do air conditioners emit hot air outside? How does concrete “dry” underwater? (Hint, it doesn’t dry). Why do traffic lights seem to change just in time (Or sometimes annoyingly not)? Being an engineer is all about understanding how the world works and how you can use it to your advantage.

What do you love about engineering?

No two days are the same; there’s always a new puzzle to solve. I enjoy being challenged, but also knowing that what I’m doing might have a lasting impact for decades to come is very rewarding.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently designing berthing structures for a new 60m ferry cat to be used in South Australia. It has been interesting evaluating how current infrastructure can be repurposed to make up part of the design.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?

Madsen Giersing has very high standards when it comes to quality of work, systems and processes and adapting to meet the high standards has been a challenge, but one that I have risen to. We are proud of the quality of work that we do, and it is great that we all work together to ensure we retain our reputation for quality.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

There are so many to choose from. One of the best things about working at Madsen Giersing is that we have a variety of projects across a number of sectors in locations across Australia and South-East Asia.

My favourite to date has been the Woodlark Island Gold Project.

In my opinion, the most fun a structural engineer can have is setting up FEA models and seeing the rainbow of colours come out at the end. A memorable project stands out, where MG was engaged as the structural design engineers for a gold export wharf. The soil conditions were extremely challenging to work with, which led to quite an impressive design solution that utilised precast concrete elements used in combination with in-situ poured concrete. The construction sequence alone took me a couple of hours to fully grasp.

Another issue was the design of an unloading roll-on roll-off-ramp, which had to be designed for extremely heavy mining equipment. The ramp had to be close to the water surface so that vehicles could drive onto it from a barge. Coming up with a design that could deal with the poor soil conditions, be as cost-effective as possible and meet the requirements of having a low approach point was truly challenging.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?

Well, my career is still in its infant stages, but I would have to say a resilient mindset is important for continued personal and professional development.

What would your last meal be?

This is a tough one, but I am a sucker for potatoes. They’re so versatile; potato chips, hot chips, roasted potato, mashed potato, baked potato, potato salad. Potatoes also seem to fill scrawny people quite well, which is a plus.

What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?

I have recently finished the third season of the Netflix original “You”. There’s something very gripping about viewing the world from a psychopath’s perspective.

Who’s the greatest engineer of all time and why?

I remember giving a speech in grade 4 about Henry Ford, who I’m sure requires no introduction. He not only designed the first automobile but implemented the assembly line technique of mass production. One of the things he said which has stuck with me is that “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, so long as it is black.” This is the type of humour I hear used around the office.

What excites you about the future of our industry?

I remember a uni professor fascinating us with stories of where countries like Singapore are heading. With an ever-growing population and very limited space, they are looking at expanding their cities onto the water. Floating cities not only sound cool but also gets the engineer in me excited for what’s to come with our changing climate.

What would be your dream project to work on from history?

The Millau Viaduct in Southern France, hands down. Not only is it the tallest bridge in the world (336.4m), but there is a certain elegance of a cable-stayed bridge that no other structure can match.

What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring engineer?

Develop a passion for learning new things. I know it sounds like a cliché, but great engineers never stop adapting, learning, and refining their technical ability. A career in engineering is a career spent constantly learning new things.

Welcome Shovona

By | News

Madsen Giersing is delighted to welcome Shovona Khusru to the team in the role of Graduate Structural Engineer, specialising in marine and bridge structures.

Originally from Bangladesh, Shovona joined Madsen Giersing after a highly successful career in academia, relocating to the Sunshine State to further her studies. Holding a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, M.Sc. in Civil and Structural Engineering and currently finalising a PhD in Structural Engineering, Shovona brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team.

“I am excited to join Madsen Giersing, their breadth of work and variety of projects aligns with my interests as an engineer, and I am keen to start work supporting the design, development and delivery of projects on behalf of our clients.”

“From an early age, I was fascinated with skyscrapers, massive bridges and tunnels and the technologies that underpin them. It was, therefore, always my ambition to become part of an infrastructure design team. With the wealth of projects earmarked for Australia across the coming years, it is an exciting time to be part of the industry,” said Shovona.

Lasse Madsen welcomed Shovona to the team, “We are delighted to welcome Shovona to Madsen Griersing and look forward to the expertise and skill that she will bring to our projects in the structural, marine and infrastructure sectors.”

“Shovona’s background in academia allied to the role she played in Constructionarium Australia’s 2021 All-Female Build means that she has the perfect mix of talent and can-do attitude that will seamlessly support our clients, team and projects,” said Lasse.

Outside work, Shovona loves to travel, socialise with her friends and spend quality time with her family.

Meet the Team – Jay McIntyre

By | News

Jay joined Madsen Giersing in October 2020 and brings over 30 years of experience in maritime infrastructure engineering to the organisation. Across his career, Jay has supported the delivery of major projects across Australia and the Middle East, including Townsville Port Inner Harbour Expansion, Port of Brisbane Wharves 11 and 12 and Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade Project.

We caught up with Jay to find out more about his career, the Firth of Forth Bridge and his admiration for Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Why did you become an engineer?

My school friend’s father was an engineer, and he intended to become an engineer. This brought engineering to my attention, and I realised that I enjoyed the problem solving that engineering involves, and my best abilities at school appeared to be suited for engineering.

What do you love about engineering?

Being able to formulate economical and constructible designs that best meet the client’s often competing design requirements, the sheer variability of the work and structures that I am involved with and seeing my designs go from paper (computer screens these days) to reality.

What are you working on at the moment?

There is a new community/ferry jetty near Cairns and a buried corrugated steel arch bridge structure for a mining heavy vehicle haul road river crossing in the Northern Territory.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?

Professional achievements that stand out for me are:

  • Being onsite to see the construction of my first major design project, a large steel-framed cold store in western Sydney.
  • Formulating the winning tender design for the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade riverbank structure in the two-day window available after the client finally decided which option to proceed with.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

The container wharf mooring bollard upgrade for the Port of Brisbane required very bespoke solutions. The critical requirement of minimising disruptions to the wharf operations resulted in very tight windows to replace individual bollards on the wharves.  The solutions adopted to achieve this included:

  • Custom designed mooring bollards,
  • Precast concrete blocks to raise bollards up from recesses to deck level and allow the existing wharf structures to accommodate the higher bollard loads (every block was unique); and,
  • Increasing the lateral load capacity of a short wharf segment by structurally connecting it to an adjacent wharf segment by tying these together with post-tensioned stress bars placed in recesses cut into the deck slabs.

The project was successfully completed with minimum disruptions to the wharf operations.

 What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?

Always ensure that all of the design requirements/parameters/assumptions are fully documented/stated/agreed, even if these would normally be considered to be obvious before the design commences.

What would your last meal be?

Apricot chicken & rice.

What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?

The last series binged was Resident Alien, starring Alan Tudyk as a crash-landed alien named Harry. He takes on the identity of a small-town Colorado doctor and slowly begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth.

Who’s the greatest engineer of all time and why?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel due to the wide range of different innovative and groundbreaking structures he designed and projects he managed, and the effect he had on the engineering profession.

What excites you about the future of our industry?

The engineering profession will be critical in developing and realising soutions to the large problems that are emerging, from water security and transport, to energy generation and storage. Engineering will be critical to how we meet those challenges and adapt our infrastructure solutions.

What would be your dream project to work on from history?

The Firth of Forth Bridge.

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, 14 kilometres west of central Edinburgh. Completed in 1890, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and when it opened, it had the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world. It continues to be the world’s second-longest single cantilever span, with a span of 1,709 feet (521 m) and was a massive feat of design, engineering and construction.

What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring engineer?

Always consider the constructability of a design as the lightest and thinnest design on paper may not be the most constructible and economical design.

Be thorough with all elements of the design as it is the smaller elements of the design that may not be considered as important that are most likely to cause problems/issues.

Granite Island Causeway to Benefit From Madsen Giersing Expertise

By | News

Madsen Giersing is delighted to have been engaged by McConnell Dowell to undertake marine works to support the development of the new Granite Island Causeway that connects the island with Victor Harbor located in South Australia.

The Causeway is the only link between Granite Island and the Mainland, the original structure was first constructed in 1864 as Victoria Pier, before being extended to connect to Granite Island in 1875. It has become one of the region’s most iconic and popular tourist attractions. Refurbished in the late 1950s the Causeway has stood up to the rigours of nature, but time has taken its toll. A condition assessment identified that the original Causeway was approaching the end of its useful life and a feasibility study into the potential upgrade options determined that retaining the existing structure was not viable.

The South Australian Government has embarked on a project to replace the structure, committing state funding of $43 million with works commencing in April 2021, with Madsen Giersing engaged to support the construction of the new Causeway.

Lasse Madsen outlined the team’s involvement, “We are delighted to be working with McConnell Dowell on what will become a new icon for the region. We have been engaged to directly support the construction of the new Causeway due to our experience of temporary marine works.”

“We have designed the Causeway’s temporary works, including two travelling platforms that will enable the Causeway to be progressively constructed from the Mainland side. The platforms provided support for cranes to access the work front and for materials to be simply and safely moved to where they are required as the project develops. Our approach will ensure that construction is undertaken as efficiently as possible and for the new structure to be delivered to the community at the earliest opportunity.”

For more information about the project, visit:  http://www.dit.sa.gov.au/gicauseway

Image Credit: The Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT)

Accreditation Milestone Achieved

By | News

Quality is at the heart of everything we do, from design and project management to back-office systems and controls.

Last week, we were delighted to receive our ongoing ISO 9001 accreditation for our Quality Management Systems across general consulting engineering with specialisation in marine structures, temporary works, construction aids and advice, and alternative designs.

Sam Madsen, Marketing, HR and Quality and Management Systems Manager, welcomed the audit’s outcome, “We are delighted to have retained our ISO 9001 accreditation. As an organisation that prides itself on the quality of work we undertake, this is a fantastic result, and I’d like to acknowledge and thank the entire Madsen Giersing team for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that our processes and systems are executed and maintained to the highest possible standards. It is a testament to their efforts and the commitment we have to ensure the quality of our work for our clients.”

Bateman’s Bay Bridge Temporary Works

By | News

As the $274 million dollar Bateman’s Bay Bridge begins to take shape in southern NSW, Madsen Giersing has been working with the lead contractor John Holland to design and deliver a temporary works solution to support the existing bridge’s demolition.

Scheduled for completion in 2023, the new four-lane bridge, with its separate three-metre-wide cycleway and pedestrian walkway, is supported by concrete piles. The piers are located on top of the piles and rise 12 metres above the Clyde River.

A critical element of the removal of the existing bridge is the safe removal of the existing caissons.

Due to our experience in marine and temporary works, Madsen Giersing was charged with the structural fit-out of the barge and support frame used to move the caissons into place, providing IFC design drawings and design certification.

Managing Director Lasse Madsen outlined Madsen Giersing’s involvement. “This is a challenging project from a technical perspective. The process for caisson demolition appears straight-forward; an M16000 crane picks up the cut-down caisson and places it on a rotator on the barge, which rotates down onto the support frame lying each segment horizontally on the barge. The barge moves the caisson to the jetty, and the rotator self-levels back to the start position when the caisson is removed from the unit.”

“However, we are working with two different caisson specifications – 3.66m diameter and 3.05m diameter, with each being up to 10m in length and weighing up to 150 tonnes. Therefore we had to engineer a solution that would be able to adapt to the different sized caissons and distribute the combined weights of the crane and the caisson within the barge’s 20 t/m2 deck capacity. We were also working within tight environments and had to ensure that the rotator legs fitted between the crane mats,” said Lasse.

 

Madsen Giersing Seeks Engineering Talent

By | News

On the back of several project wins and successes, Madsen Giersing is seeking talented engineers to support infrastructure projects across Australia and South East Asia.

Based in Brisbane, roles are suitable for structural engineers at the start of their career seeking a varied role that requires an innovative approach to problem-solving and a desire to work across multiple disciplines and fields.

Lasse Madsen outlined the opportunity, “We are seeking the next generation of engineering talent to join the team. What we can offer is the opportunity to work across a variety of projects from offshore marine projects to major civil infrastructure.”

“Unlike typical engineering roles, no two days are the same at Madsen Giersing. One one day, you can be designing a solution to move 1,400-tonne deck modules to a remote resources site by sea, on another, you can be undertaking structural analysis of 150-year-old rail bridges onsite and in a lab environment. We are very fortunate to work on projects that are challenging and different, testing our ability to solve problems for our clients and engineer solutions that support constructability and delivery.”

“Applicants will be degree qualified in Structural or Civil Engineering and can be recent graduates or early-stage career professionals with 1-3 years experience. But most important of all, they must be keen to be challenged every day and prepared to work on projects that test their ability to create solutions that support the delivery of projects in the resources, civil, transport and industrial sectors.”

On offer will be a competitive salary, access to a fantastic working environment in Newstead and a close-knit structure that will support development and learning.

To learn more and apply, please send questions and your C.V. and a short cover letter to mgce@madsengiersing.com.au

Structural Engineer 1-5 Years Experience

By | Uncategorized

About Madsen Giersing

Outside the box thinking – an all too common catch phrase for some. Not for us however. At Madsen Giersing (MG) we take the box, and turn it into something extraordinary. Through a collaborative approach and tapping into our many years’ experience, the MG team delivers innovation unlike others in the field.

This approach has led to MG having a proven track record in the delivery of projects across Australia, PNG and South-East Asia, specialising in the innovative design and engineering of marine structures, bridges and temporary works.

About the Role

This is a permanent full-time position available for immediate start based in our Brisbane office.

  • This position will work on projects within the Marine and Coastal Infrastructure, Temporary Works and Construction Solutions, Bridge and Structural engineering disciplines
  • This position prepares engineering designs, calculations and verifications, specifications, and technical reports
  • Adherence to internal procedures, processes, and quality measures, which are carried out in accordance with our quality control system, which is third party certified to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2015
  • Occasional travel may be required in line with the development and delivery of projects

To be successful in this role, you will have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Engineering
  • A minimum of 1-5 years’ experience
  • Sound technical experience in structural engineering, preferably in the delivery of marine projects
  • Ability to think critically and problem solve
  • Experience working with Australian Standards, and a knowledge of Australian building codes is preferable
  • Experience in finite element analysis is preferable
  • Experience using structural analysis software, such as Microstrand or Spacegas
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite
  • Solid verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • You must be eligible to live and work in Australia to be successful in applying for this role

Why Choose Madsen Giersing?

Don’t be deceived by our size. We may be a smaller firm in size, but the projects we work on are industry leading.

  • We are the leading innovators in Structural Design Engineering specialising in marine structures, bridges, and temporary works
  • Provide engineering consultancy services to both private and public sector
  • Projects are based in Australia, PNG, and South-East Asia
  • Long term respected client partnerships
  • Large challenging projects

What we offer

  • Remuneration and benefits in line with experience and qualifications
  • A fantastic working environment in a modern top floor office in Newstead with close proximity to public transport and The Gasworks and Emporium complexes with their fantastic cafes
  • End of ride facilities including bike storage and showers
  • Close-knit culture and open-door policy

To apply, email mgce@madsengiersing.com.au with a cover letter detailing your experience and what you will bring to our organisation, referee details and a copy of your current C.V.

No agencies please

Ensuring Business Continues to Flow

By | News

Located between Brisbane and Ipswich, Goodman Commercial Property Group’s Redbank Motorway Estate is an industrial development experiencing significant growth due to the region’s connectivity and the need for fast and efficient logistics, transport and warehousing solutions for major brands.

Boasting tenents such as Australia Post, TNT, DB Schenker, Zenexus, Northline and Tyres4U, it is vital that such a site remains operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Working with APNL Project Managers, the team at Madsen Giersing has been responsible for the detailed design and certification of the site’s stormwater drop shafts and stormwater headwall outlets.

CEO Lasse Madsen gave an overview of the project, “As anyone who has spent any time in South East Queensland will tell you that ‘when it rains, it really rains.’ For industrial sites, significant rain events can pose major challenges. By their nature, they contain large buildings, significant concrete footprints and multiple access roads. Therefore we are faced with a dual challenge during a rain event; a large volume of surface runoff and a pressing need to ensure access at all times. In SEQ, where flash flooding is a common occurrence, the solution is to ensure stormwater is managed effectively, channelling it away from the surface and moving it to the river and creek networks.”

“Our solution for this project was to design a system of drop shafts and outlets that can take the water from the site and efficiently and effectively move it to the Brisbane River. Designed to withstand significant flows, our solution means that even in the worst storm event or prolonged period of rain, the tenants who rely on Redbank Motorway Estate should not be inconvenienced,” said Lasse.

Workbox Design Improves Project Constructability

By | News

A key aspect of every project we undertake is ensuring that what we design can be constructed efficiently and safely; in other words, ensuring the constructability of the project by identifying and overcoming any potential obstacles that prevent the solution from being completed.

On a recent project in Western Australia, Madsen Giersing was engaged by Maritime Constructions to support the refurbishment of piled navigation aids for the Dampier Navigational Aids Upgrade project for Rio Tinto. As with many offshore projects, it was essential to provide a solution that would allow team members to access free-standing piles, work above the open water safely and as freely as possible. Our team created a bespoke workbox that allowed them to do just that. The design of the workbox has been approved and formally registered by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), as required by Western Australia’s OHS&W Regulations.  Madsen Giersing worked with the client and DMIRS to ensure this bespoke workbox met the local regulations and was fit for the purpose required by Maritime Constructions.

The workbox is able to be lifted in position against a free-standing pile. A clamp is then installed around the pile to support the weight of the workbox, personnel and their equipment and materials. When positioned, the slings are removed, and the personal have safe access to the pile to work as required.

Lasse Madsen outlined the thinking behind the solution, “For this project, we needed to construct a solution that achieved multiple outcomes. Firstly we had to create a reusable solution that could be implemented on any of the project’s piles. It also had to be safe and provide a suitable working environment allowing work crews to complete their tasks efficiently and easily. Although a simple concept, it was not without its own peculiar challenges.  The workbox solution aided the constructability of the project considerably and provided a cost-effective outcome as it can be reused during this phase of works and on any future remediation or maintenance that may be required.”

See more for what we have to offer