Sehon joined the team in June 2021, bringing 18 years of experience in the engineering sector combined with a deep passion for fostering inclusion in the workplace. As the General Manager of Operations, he is responsible for overseeing operations while managing a large and diverse team across both our office sites (Croydon and Gippsland).
A strong advocate for sustainability and nurturing talent among the next generation of engineers, Sehon has actively been involved across the industry for a long time. He is currently the President of ALDE (Association of Land Development Engineers) and regularly participates in university initiatives to support and mentor the next generation of engineers.
Sehon, you have an impressive resume with 18 years of experience in the engineering sector. What attracted you to join Millar Merrigan as the new General Manager of Operations?
Millar Merrigan has been a successful consultancy for many years but has also been growing quite rapidly. Having worked with different sized teams throughout my career, I enjoy the challenge that comes with adapting to the different phases of growth. I was also attracted to the opportunity of having an impact throughout the company as a whole and helping shape its future strategy. I believe Millar Merrigan is in a unique position to deliver and implement some exciting sustainability strategies across their many projects for their different clients and communities.
What would you say are the highlights of your career so far? What are you most proud of?
I’ve enjoyed making professional connections that have enabled me to explore or develop my areas of interest, and most recently, I’m grateful to have been appointed as the President of ALDE. I have also really enjoyed being involved with Monash & Swinburne University through industry activities and mentoring. I am proud of creating programs and frameworks that allow people to thrive, and empower them to grow and work to their full potential. For instance, I created a graduate program, not just because I didn’t have this at the beginning of my career and thought it would help, but also because working with people of different ages is sometimes where you can get refreshing ideas, ways of thinking, and unique perspectives for looking at problems. The more we can collaborate as a team, the more we learn from each other.
I enjoy the challenge that comes with adapting to the different phases of growth. I am attracted to the opportunity of having an impact on the company as a whole and helping shape its future strategy.
Over the last 18 years, how do you think the engineering sector has changed and how do you think Millar Merrigan can adapt and leverage the changes in the sector to look at the future?
With the current surge in demand for affordable properties, as consultants, we are expected to deliver a finished product quicker than we were in the past. The pressure to deliver while maintaining quality is ever-present. Our projects are large in scale, usually involving many moving parts as well as a number of regulatory stages for approval. We understand the realities of our clients, whether they are small investors or larger developers, and their needs for keeping projects moving.
To continue to do this, and do it well, a growing focus will be attracting, nurturing, and upskilling our employees. It is something that is always important and is especially so now, with a shortage of professionals in many technical areas. I’m a big believer that while our skills and work are complex, many of us are the best advocates for our industries. Millar Merrigan will be focussing on expanding the professional development of our team across the board to handle this challenge.
As the President of ALDE, what are Melbourne’s biggest opportunities when it comes to Land Development?
The continued decentralisation from our major cities has opened regional areas to significant development opportunities. The State Government’s push to net zero emissions by 2030 will also see us looking at subdivisions through a different lens.
How will this impact Millar Merrigan?
Lockdowns and working from home changed our priorities on what is important to people in their local area. The idea of the walkable neighbourhood where you have all the amenities you need within a 15-20 min walk has never been more sought after. This is a concept that Millar Merrigan will look at through future subdivisions and projects.
What is the value delivered through increased sustainability practices within engineering, and how can Millar Merrigan embrace this?
Engineers play a key role in ensuring that we create the least amount of environmental harm throughout the development phases. Also, the choices that we make can have wider and long-term ramifications for the environment, but they can also enhance the liveability of these developments greatly.
A focus on sustainable engineering practices is not new, but the difference is that in the current climate, the appetite for sustainably forward options has increased. With greater awareness, the end-users want to know and keep people accountable to ensure adherence to them. Providing clients with more sustainable options is something we will be looking at further at Millar Merrigan. A sustainably conscious development should not only be accessible at the top-end but should be available at different levels of the residential property buying market.
We know you are actively involved in supporting young generations of engineers by partnering with universities and attending panel discussions. Why do you think this is important?
Engaging with young engineers gives them exposure to the types of skills or attributes that are sought after within the industry, they can gain insights into what their future work environment might entail and the type of work that they can get involved within the early part of their careers. Also, the more we assist new and emerging graduates and skill them along, the quicker they will develop technically and remain interested in their careers.