People, program & culture | 01 September 2023

Empowering success: Kerollos Rofael’s path to leading innovation in engineering design

With the land development industry forever evolving and changing, it’s important to have dedicated leaders who stay on top of developments, and guide their team enthusiastically. Kerollos is one such leader – helping to shape not only the engineers but all staff at Millar Merrigan.

Kerollos started at Millar Merrigan in 2016, originally working in the Town Planning department. His driven nature led him to quickly move into the engineering department.

In his current position as Acting Manager | Engineering Design, Kerollos mentors and guides our Design Engineering team, and checks plans as a registered engineer. He also works within the Major Projects team, which endeavours to deliver infrastructures such as pump station designs, wetlands, floating wetlands, sewers and external water mains to service upcoming subdivisions. This ensures that there are adequate services in place to allow for new development to handle the incoming influx.

Professional Training Program: Inspire through Excellence

Kerollos has taken the initiative to start the newest program at Millar Merrigan – the MM Engineering Design Professional Training Program.

These regular training sessions ensure that all team members are up to date with the latest industry practices, and are largely based around principles of knowledge sharing. The training sessions are not just in-house either, as external key individuals within the industry are invited to provide insight on current technical industry updates.

Each month has an overarching theme that binds individual weeks’ topics together. Generally, each theme will fill a month, involving several Engineering Design-related topics, followed by a final Construction Engineering-related week.

Themes that have come and gone thus far are Hydrology & Drainage, WSUD, and Road Design. The Road Design theme was broken down week-by-week into topics of ‘Road Design Overview’, ‘Electrical Considerations’, ‘Structural Considerations’, ‘Landscape Fundamentals ’, followed by a construction topic that binds everything together.

This new initiative’s benefits are far-reaching beyond the engineering team, with the multi-disciplinary consideration ensuring successful and compliant projects. Not only do all members of our engineering team take part in this Professional Training Program, but other departments also have the chance to be involved. For example, some staff from our Landscape Architecture team attended the ‘Landscape’ topic within the Road Design theme.

An example of a slide from the Road Designs fundamentals session. 

A successful project is one that has all components considered.

A Multi-Disciplinary Approach: Encourage, Engage, and Empower Each Other

This whole-team, multi-disciplinary approach is something Kerollos views as important for working, and for a project’s success.

His career at Millar Merrigan has been quite multi-disciplinary thus far, starting as a draftsperson for the Town Planning team, moving to work within the infill side of engineering before moving onto Greenfield (major) projects. He has found that one of the best things about Millar Merrigan has been the opportunity to “grow and create your own pathway, and not restrict yourself to one section within your career”.

Kerollos was given the opportunity to project manage his own work while within Town Planning, and this trust that was placed in him by the company early has allowed him to think and challenge himself. “It’s important for any company to give opportunities to newer team members, and help them grow. You’re literally securing the future of your company if you put your trust in your team and provide them with guidance”.

To Kerollos, you can’t just focus on engineering – you have to have a team approach.

In 30 years’ time, I might have forgotten about a project, but someone’s going to be living in it. So I believe it’s important to upskill yourself and be in the forefront of change, to ensure the projects that we deliver are sustainable for our clients.

From this experience he’s had, and knowing how valuable it was, he can help his team learn and grow, giving them opportunities such as dealing with clients directly, with Kerollos right behind them as a mentor and guide whenever they may need.

A Creative Vision: Inspire Better Living

With so many ideas and initiatives in the works, Kerollos holds a creative mind. He loved being creative from a young age, and knew he wanted to pursue engineering or architecture.

The maths and the logic, to him, aren’t the appeal of engineering – it’s the creative side, and the skill of being able to design within the constraints of a project and work on problem-solving.

What I love most is being able to come up with a solution that obviously satisfies the outcome, but it’s something that you’ve designed. It’s satisfying to see your work come to fruition.

Effective Leadership: A Team With Integrity Creates Loyalty

Kerollos believes in principles of transparency, communication, and trust within his leadership position. Transparency helps to ensure his team is updated with what’s happening and what is going to happen in the near future. Trust, not only between members, but from his trust in them to focus on their own growth and development, are also at the core of his approach.

Initiatives such as his new MM Engineering Design Professional Training Program ensure that his team continues to grow and learn, and are lifted together.

I think as long as you’re growing as a team, that’s the right approach. The way I see it, you’re only as strong as your weakest team member. It’s important to lift up the whole team, not just certain individuals from it.

He also believes that in progressing your career, being a mentor to others around you is vital. He takes the time to mentor members of his team, and finds that both the mentor and mentee get rewards from this situation. “I don’t think being a mentor is just giving feedback, it’s also learning from the graduates. I learn a lot from them; they’ve got a different perspective, different point of view, and I think that’s valuable, to have someone get a fresh look at a plan, as it doesn’t come with potential over analysation, for example.”

Lessons for Success

Kerollos started at Millar Merrigan after finishing his Bachelor’s degree, and has come so far in the past seven years. From his experience, Kerollos has some advice for engineers looking to advance and develop their careers, and newly graduated Engineers.

“Don’t stop learning; always keep asking questions. That’s the only way you’ll be able to progress anywhere, not just in your professional life, but in your personal life too,” Kerollos believes.

Kerollos also emphasises the importance of networking to help build your career;

It’s important to attend networking events, not just as a requirement you may have to fill for professional development for your job, but for your own benefit and learning. You get to see different perspectives from different departments and cohorts.

Finally, Kerollos emphasises the importance of attending industry professional events. These events discuss and preview new applications, products, and programs that come to the market, so they’re integral to ensuring you and your practice stay on top of industry changes. It’s events like these, as well as our staff’s enthusiasm and proactive nature, that help to ensure we continue to be at the forefront of change within our industry at Millar Merrigan.

Kerollos embodies our values at Millar Merrigan, as displayed through his work and initiatives, and his receiving of the 2022 Inspire Better Living Award. Connect with Kerollos via LinkedIn to tap into his wealth of insights, and stay updated on industry advancements.

If you want your next job to be in the hands of a team with the most up-to-date industry knowledge and a multi-disciplinary approach, we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with you. Get in contact with our staff today.

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