Remote working is not new to WSA

Remote working is not new for WSA

As engineers we are accustomed to coming up with novel solutions to solve problems.  Who would have thought that this time last year that we would have had the biggest shift in the way that we work and play in decades and that it would all have occurred in the matter of a few weeks?</span.

I could be lamenting the fact my family and I had planned to be in Italy celebrating a family friend’s wedding this Easter. Instead I’m here in Brisbane with my family and continue to steer our clients through this altered paradigm we find ourselves in.

Remote working, teleconferencing, and video calls are in no way new to the WSA team. We have been using these tools to our advantage for years. In fact, we have allowed direct bookings with key staff via our website for some time using these technologies.

I myself have been actively working remotely for over 12 years. While the amount of remote working actively changes week-to-week, and even year to year, the biggest uptake was adopted with the birth of my first child in 2007.

While I may not physically be at my desk or in the Richlands’ office I am still receiving emails and all of my landline calls. If I don’t answer calls it is most likely that I’m in a meeting or on another call, not that I can’t physically pick up.

As technology has changed remote working has become easier and more collaborative.  Gone are the fax machines that helped us to convey the sketch we were talking about on the phone.  This was replaced by email and now collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams.  I can now take over a team mates’ remote computer and point directly to the issue that I want to discuss.

Despite the advantage of remote working, I must stress however that the technological advances still do not replace face-to-face discussions but it can help minimise the requirements when dealing with experienced parties.  Direct supervision of all of our engineering work is paramount as an RPEQ.

In my experience whilst the digital transformation is progressing projects at a faster rate, the old-school skills of preliminary sketches on paper have all but disappeared. Often we jump straight into our design package and start manipulating data. But sometimes we need to step back and get out that pencil and scale rule and do the preliminary work by hand.

By all means use a calculator or rules of thumb to help you, but look at the contours of the site, determine where things are flowing and what the intensification of the development will mean.  Do the calculations to determine the approximate size of a detention basin if you divert the catchment without programs. Believe me it can be quicker than a program!

Fortunately, some things haven’t changed at WSA. We will always work with technology to enable our clients to meet their project objectives now and into the future.

What is a Civil Engineer?

What is a Civil Engineer?

Civil Engineers are responsible for the infrastructure that underpins many facets of modern life. Their job is to apply scientific, mathematical, and physics principles to provide solutions that enable infrastructure to be built, function, and be safe for users over a very long period of time. 

The role of a Civil Engineer also encompasses managing the growth of cities by designing systems that enable development to occur whilst minimising its impact on the environment. Any infrastructure that is required will need the input of a civil engineer at some point in the process. 

Civil Engineers can undertake many tasks related to bridges, roads, railways, dams, tunnels, ports, harbours, flood mitigation, sewerage, and water supply. The role is broad, but there are opportunities to specialise as well. 

The range of specialisations within civil engineering, include:

  • Construction and management
  • Geotechnical
  • Structural
  • Transport 
  • Water. 

Communities could not function without the expertise of Civil Engineers as part of the development process. Their input is critical for building the roads and bridges we drive home on; the protection of our houses from water; the removal of sewage from our bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries; and the buildings we work in every day. These are just some of the ways civil engineering make your life possible on a daily basis. 

The engineering team at Wilkinson Shaw & Associates has expertise in urban development and hydrology as well as water and sewerage supply. 

Get in touch with our team via or call (07) 3555 9888 to discuss your project.

Please note that whilst every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information, Wilkinson Shaw & Associates does not guarantee that this blog is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. Standards and requirements change frequently so every proposal should be thoroughly investigated.

October Property Feed

Its not long until the very last PROPERTY FEED for 2018 and Wilkinson Shaw & Associates are the sponsor.

October Property Feed


Come along and have a drink and mingle with:

– Property investors and developers
– Consultants and service providers
– Finance and investment professionals
– Real estate agents and marketers
– Construction contractors and subcontractors
– Government and planning authorities

We’re going to be sharing a few of our tips and tricks relating to subdivisions and residential projects.

We think before saying yes

The last thing you want to hear as a developer is that your site can’t be developed after you’ve gone unconditional on the purchase contract.

WSA have been involved in a job situated on a waterway that was affected by both local and regional flooding. Our initial brief was undertaking a preliminary desktop study to advise on the developable area. This report was provided to the client who then decided to push ahead with the purchase.

Under the advice of the client’s project manager the Development Approval phase of the project was sent out for pricing. We submitted our price and things went quiet.

Finally the project manager came back to us with feedback from other consultants that the development couldn’t be done. Fast forward six months and with WSA’s involvement this site now has a Development Approval that other consultants thought couldn’t be achieved.

WSA goes to great effort when providing preliminary information or tenders to ensure we can fulfil our clients expectations for a project. If WSA believe your proposal cant be delivered we will advise you immediately before to much money has been spent on a concept that is not viable.

Steps to Subdivide Residential Property

Are you thinking about subdividing your current property? Or maybe you’ve seen an investment site that has been advertised on a real estate website as a subdivision STCA (Subject To Council Approval). In this 5-part series WSA will take you through the steps required for subdividing a property.

Subdivisions in Queensland can sometimes be a tricky maze to navigate. The information in this series is generally related to residential subdivision. While the issues surrounding non-residential subdivisions can be similar there are often additional charges and services associated with them. To stop you wasting time and pulling your hair out with frustration it is always worthwhile to organise a site specific consultation.

How to Subdivide your land
When undertaking a subdivision WSA explain it in four basic stages:

  1. Development Approval
  2. Operational Works Approval
  3. Construction
  4. Plan sealing and registration

Get the experts in EARLY!
If you are looking at purchasing a property, all we can say is do your due diligence and get the experts in early. As a property developer there is nothing worse than doing your sums on the number of lots you think the property can yield to only find after purchase that it is a lot lower.

At this stage WSA’s experience shows that you should look at engaging a civil engineer, town planner and registered surveyor. It is common for surveyors to offer town planning services but just be aware that this may not be their area of expertise.

You may find that occasionally town planners may tell you it’s not necessary to engage a civil engineer (or even a surveyor) at this stage. However, for a small investment now, engaging a civil engineer with the expertise in subdivisions, such as WSA, could save you heartache and a large expense from an engineering issue that other professionals are not trained to see.

Before obtaining Development Approval or DA some investigation will need to be undertaken utilising your newly appointed professional team. Servicing of your site for things such as water, sewer and stormwater is undertaken by a civil engineer. The relevant regional plans and planning schemes are assessed by the town planner in association with the civil engineer. The surveyor will then be able to come up with a lot layout based on the information provided by both the town planner and civil engineer.

At this stage you may also be advised of other professionals, such as ecologists, that may be required to ensure that there aren’t any issues before pushing forward to obtain a Development Approval.

The next article in the series will examine the Development Approval process.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your next upcoming project.