30 years of engineering panel: then and now - ANU Virtual Open Week

2020 marks 30 years of engineering at The Australian National University (ANU)

Hear how engineering has changed throughout the years, from the perspective of recent and established ANU alumni.

Our panel will discuss career paths, the challenges they have overcome, and their advice to future students.

Note: the event date and time listed are in AEST (local time in Canberra, Australia).

Download event flyer: 30 years of engineering panel (PDF)


Meet the panellists

Don McCallum

Dr Donald McCallum

Development and Engagement Manager, NSW Smart Sensing Network
BEng 1996

Don graduated from ANU Engineering in 1996. In early 1997, he and some friends from engineering headed out to Kalgoorlie to work on the West Australian mines. Skills from ANU were readily adapted to the design, manufacture and sales of advanced materials (ceramics and hardened metals) required in different mines and refineries. The inevitable backpacking trip around South-East Asia and Europe followed, getting stuck in the high-tech cluster of Science Parks around Cambridge England, where he received a PhD in 3D Printing in 2007. From 2010 to 2016, Don was a Logistician and Project Manager in Africa and the Middle-East in project coordination, strategy and technology in extreme environments and emergencies for non-government organisation Medecines Sans Frontiers. Other engineering work included designing facilities for the animals at Taronga Zoo, lugging cement on London building sites, time in an English start-up working out of an old brewery, and mastering fluid dynamics at Mooseheads.  Don has worked in over 20 countries and visited a further 50. ANU systems engineering has enabled him to adapt to all sorts of mechanical, electrical, software, materials, process, system, process, design and management problems. Don is now a consultant engineer to research, industry and government, with current projects in sensing water pipes, screening for COVID-19 and recycling. 

Tamara Perry

Tamara Perry

Sonar Upgrade Project Manager, Thales Australia
BEng/BSc 2010

Tamara Perry is a Project Manager with Thales Australia, working on the Sonar Capability upgrade contract for the RAN Collins Class submarines. She started in the graduate programme at Thales in 2010 and has since worked as a systems engineer, a mechanical engineer, and an acoustics engineer in the underwater systems department where she was involved in the design, manufacture and testing of sonar sensors. Tamara has a Bachelor of Engineering with first class Honours (Mechanical and Manufacturing majors) and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), graduating in 2010. During her time at ANU, Tamara spent six months in Switzerland working for ABB as a Research & Development Intern, where the research she conducted was used for her engineering Honours thesis. She also served as the Social Officer for the ANU Engineering Student Association, and President of the Basketball Club.

Ed Muthiah

Ed Muthiah

Systems Engineer, BAE Systems Australia
BEng(R&D) 2017

Ed Muthiah is a Systems Engineer in the Future Technology Group at BAE Systems Australia. He received his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (R&D) from the ANU in 2017. While at ANU, he was a founding member of the ANU Solar Car team and completed internships with the Defence Science & Technology Group, Thales, and QinetiQ. After establishing the Australian Youth Aerospace Association Canberra committee, he chaired the Aerospace Futures conference. In his graduate program at BAE Systems, Ed was awarded Graduate of the Year Awards in 2018 and 2019, and presented a Chairman’s Award in 2020. The program offered four versatile rotations in the aerospace, mergers and acquisition, technology strategy and radar domains before he exited into a sensor fusion algorithm development role.  In parallel, Ed’s recent passions have brought him back to the ANU to undertake postgraduate study in robotics and machine learning.

Briana Jones

Briana Jones

Current ANU BEng (Hons) student

Bri is a final year biomedical engineering student at the ANU with a keen interest in humanitarian engineering.  Around campus she's held various roles, including social officer and gen rep for the ANU Biology Society. Through Engineers Without Borders Bri is currently the Schools Outreach coordinator, an Influencer Fellow of 2020, WASH Technical Program Contributor, and AgriLab Realtime Support Volunteer. This year, her team was accepted into the Clinton Global University Initiative Program in 2020 for their plastics recycling project as processing partner for Lids4Kids. The project was further developed by students through coursework of ENGN4221 where she served as a client.  In addition to this Bri is the first ANU, and second Australian, Engineering for Change Research Fellow (ASME), with a specific focus on researching water treatment solutions for global challenges.



Moderated by Professor Kylie Catchpole, Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering (RSEEME), College of Engineering and Computer Science


Plan your Virtual Open Week

Experience The Australian National University (ANU) during Virtual Open Week, from 22-28 August 2020. Discover how you can make a real impact with engineering, computing, and technology. Meet our students, academic conveners, and program advisers.

We'll present a full program of activities, so plan your week to ensure you don't miss out.

Learn more: ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science at Virtual Open Week


Date & time

5–6pm 28 Aug 2020


Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing