Finding Your Niche

  1. Wal Lorimer

Wallace Lorimer

What are you qualifications?

I have a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (BE) from Newcastle University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from UTS Sydney. I’m a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) and Registered Builder (WA) No. 10951, Adjudicator – Building & Construction Industry NSW. After obtaining my MBA my career changed into corporate management and then moved into dispute resolution in construction-related matters.

Tell us about your career with APP.

I joined APP’s NSW Projects Division in July 2006 as the Project Director for the Contract Management team at Chatswood Transport Interchange. It was an interesting, diverse project that included everything – rail and rail-related capital works, track, stations, retail, concourse, bus interchange, fire, life and safety services works, systems integration, earthing and bonding, and commissioning with the Epping – Chatswood railway line.

From transport to retail – in 2009 I assisted APP in the forensic examination of matters in the dispute between the owner and the original design/construct contractor on the Westpoint Shopping Centre development at Blacktown in New South Wales.

Later that year it was off to South Australia, as Independent Verifier for the civil and structural engineering works related to the design and construction of Australia’s largest desalination plant in Adelaide. I found I enjoyed working on such large infrastructure projects so made the shift permanently into this area of APP’s business.  

From here, it was another on-site engagement as the Independent Verifier's Representative for the design and construction of the $300m Seaford Rail Extension in South Australia.  This project is a 5.7 km extension to an existing rail line south of Adelaide, including a 1.2 km incrementally launched box-girder viaduct over the Onkaparinga River, a shorter rail bridge, two road bridges, and two new railway stations with their associated transport interchange facilities, a rail stabling yard and commissioning depot.  

Now back in Sydney, I'm working on the North West Rail Link as part of APP's Independent Certifier team.  We are verifying and certifying a $340M parcel of work that includes a 4km elevated skytrain viaduct and 8 new railway stations, all part of the first stage of North Western Sydney's new rapid transit network.

How has APP helped you grow your career?

APP listens and acts. All employees are given the opportunity to take control of their own careers and articulate this through biannual reviews. I wanted to acquire and grow my career in new environments, with the aim of incorporating the skills I learnt into various teams to assist them achieve outstanding goals.

Having dealt with the challenges of working with railways at Chatswood, I joined the independent verification team at the Adelaide Desalination Project (ADP) to develop my career into independent verification. Then I applied the skills learnt at the ADP to the Seaford Rail Extension Project. Throughout my deployment to the ADP and SRE projects, APP has recognised the pressures on my family responsibilities whilst I’ve been working away from home by providing the necessary support and flexibility. I look forward with eager anticipation at future work throughout Australia.

How would you describe APP?

APP has four core values: Strive, Own It, Do What’s Right and Respect. APP – both as a corporate entity and as individuals – provides an environment that recognises each person, helps you balance career and family, gives opportunities based on performance, and encourages open communication.