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Sydney Metro Means: This Engineering Life

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From a shy civil engineering student to a (short-term) resident of Yass and a long-time scholar of all things Bradfield, meet Rodd Staples.

The program director of Sydney Metro – Australia’s biggest public transport project – gives an insight into the life of an engineer in the 2017 Roderick Distinguished Lecture at the University of Sydney.

Inspired by his grandfather Walter Hayward Staples – who worked on the Sydney Harbour Bridge – and by Dr JJC Bradfield, the world-renowned engineer who built the Coathanger, Rodd delivers a big-picture outlook at engineering as a career in the 21st century.
Rodd outlines his plans for the “keyhole surgery” construction method in the delivery of Sydney Metro through the centre of Australia’s biggest city – in contrast to Bradfield’s open heart surgery of a century ago.

While he’s now responsible for the delivery of the biggest urban rail infrastructure project in Australian history, Rodd weaves his way through the highs and lows of a three-decade career in civil engineering – from delivering Sydney’s new world-class metro system to how he felt when two years’ worth of work disappeared in a heartbeat when a global railway operator figured out Canberra was … well … Canberra.

With thanks to the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering and IT.

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