Traffic & Transport Plus traffic engineer Jamie Murray gives insight into her role in the extractives industry.
Traffic & Transport Plus traffic engineer Jamie Murray enjoys the variety her role brings her and encourages other women to pursue careers in the extractive industry for its networking, learning, leadership, and salary opportunities.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the traffic and transport industry for about five years. After completing a two-year graduate program with the Department of Transport and Main Roads,
I travelled for a year and then came back to work for Traffic & Transport Plus, where I have been for about three years.
What is your current role and what does this involve?
My job role is traffic engineer. I predominantly evaluate the traffic related information of development applications – this includes traffic impact assessments and sometimes pavement impact assessments for quarries and concrete batching plants. I recently have had the chance to undertake/prepare a couple of traffic impact assessments myself, rather than just review/assess them.
What do you enjoy about your role?
Every project is different, which means every assessment is different. It is not just ticking boxes. I also enjoy that my role requires me to remain impartial, giving fair opinions regarding the proposed developments and their traffic impacts.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
Coffee, lists, snacks, and my calendar. I also prioritise exercise early in the morning, this allows me to be productive throughout the day and then if things come up last minute, I have the afternoon to complete them.
I also organise social things in advance so that I know what time is allocated to meeting with friends, etc. That way, I also have events to look forward to outside of work.
It also really helps working for a company that is flexible and trusting, allows decentralisation and promotes mental health and wellness. I work a nine-day fortnight (with an RDO) and have the option to work from home which means I can get some life admin and appointments done during the week and I can enjoy my weekend a bit more.
With the knowledge you have now, what advice would you give yourself in your first week in the industry?
I would tell myself to read the relevant Standards and Guidelines properly and in depth, and to ask lots of questions.
Can you share a challenging moment and how you worked through it?
When I first started at Traffic & Transport Plus, I felt I was lacking knowledge and understanding of some important principles to successfully contribute to the company. I needed to learn and teach myself this information…fast!
I decided to go back to university part time and do my master’s in traffic and transport engineering. While I’ve learned a great deal from my colleagues, by doing my master’s I had a better understanding, which allowed me to pick up concepts faster and hold meaningful conversations with other professionals.
Do you have any regrets?
Since going back to university as a “mature” student and knowing how to manage my time better, I’ve realised how much more I learn by engaging properly. I wish I listened more and engaged more with people and activities at university the first time.
What advice would you give to women who may have never thought about the extractive industry?
The extractive industry is a great place to work as a woman. While there are perceived stereotypes about male-dominant industries, I have never experienced anything but support and respect. The industry offers a competitive and fulfilling career in terms of salary, networking, learning, experience, and leadership. I would highly recommend.
This feature first appeared in the July issue of Quarry.