We caught up with Jurie to discuss his years in construction and how he feels about his recent promotion with Keller

Keller's Design and Estimating Manager - Jurie Engelbrecht

When did you start with Keller?
Well after South Africa, I started here in November 2019.

What lead you to construction?
I was always attracted to construction and particularly civil engineering with early interest in major structures and bridges. I find geotechnics interesting and thrilling for its uncertainty and enjoy having a job where I still get to play in the sand.
What projects stand out from memory in your years in South Africa?
We had the big train rapid rail project prior to the world cup in 2010 which was a significant milestone project. I was working as a contracts engineer, which is similar to a project engineer role. We did everything from lateral support to piling and ground improvement to support the rail, viaducts, stations and bridges.

Then we moved onto a big coal-fed power station where I was project manager working remotely for three years. That was just a foundation project and included franki piles, CFA piles, bored piles and some lateral support as well.

We also did a deep basement excavation retention project which was the deepest retention basement in Africa which was 34m deep for the discovery head office. That’s when I transitioned from practical site-based role to technical. I was project designer for that project.

How did you come to work for Keller Australia?
I was interested to come to Australia and saw a position advertised on the website. I applied for the position and a year later here I am. I had an interview with Keller in WA at the time and then I was offered a position in Queensland. 

What do you look forward to most in your new role?
I am really enjoying the opportunity to manage the team and having a direct influence on the work that is coming in, being more involved with decisions, targeting projects and engaging the team. I also enjoy working closely with Tony and Nigel and the management team. 

We have a great team, very young and dynamic team that are driven and eager to jump in and tackle anything.

What are you responsible for and does a typical day look like for you?

I am responsible for looking after the incoming workflow, assigning it to the team. Responding to projects we are interested to take on and evaluating for viability. 

What are your hobbies and what do you like to do as a family?
I do a bit of everything. Cycling, running, triathlon, golf, hockey but at the moment its mostly triathlon type training. My wife and I alternate days to train and we just completed the Brissie to Bay together which was 100kms cycling event and we are doing the Gold Coast half marathon as well in early July. 

What are you considering for your professional development and career?
Definitely interested to do more study then perhaps pursue my masters in soil mechanics and possibly an MBA if I have some energy left. 

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