Engineer Caitlin Tolone to project manage all-female Story Bridge build

With a proven track record in delivering major projects, Seymour Whyte’s Caitlin Tolone has been nominated as Constructionarium Australia’s Project Manager for the 2021 All-Female Story Bridge Build.

Starting her career in late 2009, Caitlin joined Seymour Whyte while at university to obtain the required three months of ‘industry experience’ for her Civil Engineering degree.

Following completion of her studies, Caitlin joined the team full-time delivering key projects in NSW such as Avoca Drive Upgrade, Thornton Rail Bridge, West Gosford Intersection Upgrade and the Tuggerah Bridge & Intersection Upgrade.

Building on her success, Caitlin has now relocated to Queensland and joined the team on the Pacific Motorway M1 Palm Beach to Tugun upgrade project.

“I am passionate about our industry and the opportunities it provides for a career working on the essential infrastructure that supports the growth of the nation,” she said.

“I am a natural problem solver and enjoy overcoming the challenges posed by projects, especially those with challenging elements such as traffic staging, earthworks, temporary works, utility relocations, retaining walls, and bridges.”

“I often look after utility relocations as I enjoy intricate problem-solving and liaising with different authorities across, traffic signals, intelligent transport systems (ITS), water, sewer, gas, electrical & communications.”

Caitlin will lead the project, acting as an advisor and mentor to our cohort of undergraduate and early-stage career professionals as they undertake an eight-day training program culminating in their construction of a 30m long 4-tonne replica of a Brisbane icon.

“The opportunity to be part of the All-Female Story Bridge Build is one that excites me. It will be a fantastic opportunity to work with a talented group and I hope to support and mentor them as they undertake their project, work to meet deadlines, manage budgets and deliver to cost and schedule.”

We caught up with Caitlin to find a little more about her and the advice she has for the team as they prepare for the 2021 Constructionarium Australia All-Female Story Bridge Build.

What are you excited about to be part of a Constructionarium build?

I’m excited to see the future generation of women in construction. Sometimes it’s difficult to really know what a civil engineer or other construction supporting roles do day-to-day. This will provide a complete experience to the participants to show them how rewarding a career in construction / engineering is.

What challenges do you expect the cohort to face as they build their Story Bridge?

Initially, the challenges I expect them to face are being thrown into a team of other people that they don’t know. Communication is key to all roles in civil construction, so they will need to figure out how to work together in their project roles. They will all come with different experience and backgrounds and will need to work out how to work as a team to achieve the required goal on time and within budget.

What advice would you give the cohort to prepare for delivering a project?

Plan, Plan, Plan. Being organised is key to delivering a project successfully. Poor planning leads to a poor result. Good planning will ensure everyone works together efficiently and achieves a successful outcome.

How important are initiatives such as Constructionarium Australia in helping the next generation of engineering talent to gain practical experience?

This is such a great program as it is a true reflection of a real-life project, from tender, award, then construction through to completion so the participants get a taste of the full life-cycle of a civil construction project. It really shows what happens on a real project, including all the different project roles that are available in the engineering industry.

Ahead of International Women In Engineering Day, what advice would you give to a female considering studying engineering at university?

Go For It! Engineering is a rewarding career path. I’m a project-based civil engineer and have great satisfaction seeing projects go from a concept design on paper, to a digital model, and then being constructed in the real world. It’s an ever-changing job, and you can never get bored; new challenges are presented to you every single day, which means you are constantly learning. It’s awesome!