Challenge, change guide Dinindu’s career path

Griffith engineering graduate Dinindu Yatawarage
Griffith engineering graduate Dinindu Yatawarage has begun his professional career with leading Australian company SMEC

Griffith University School of Engineering graduate Dinindu Yatawarage has grown accustomed to personal challenge and the unpredictable nature of change.

In the past four years, Dinindu has gone from working as an air-conditioning technician with his father in Sri Lanka to relocating to South-East Queensland, supporting himself as a restaurant kitchenhand and line cook, and maintaining impressive standards as an international student.

Now the 24-year-old has launched a civil engineering career with SMEC, one of the world’s leading professional services companies.

Better yet, he didn’t even have to apply. So impressed was the firm with Dinindu’s aptitude and attitude as he completed a work placement as part of Griffith’s Industry Affiliates Program, SMEC offered him a job straight out of university.

“I’m working as an Undergraduate Engineer, based mostly in Brisbane, and while it has been a sometimes difficult journey since leaving Sri Lanka in 2011, I believe I am on a career path offering many exciting opportunities,” says Dinindu, who graduates this week with a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Civil Engineering.

“Studying at Griffith and being involved in initiatives and programs such as Griffith Mates and the Griffith Honours College have been instrumental in making that happen, by creating a sense of belonging, broadening my horizons, offering wonderful support and preparing me for life and work after university.”

The Industry Affiliates Program is a Work-Integrated Learning initiative designed to integrate final year undergraduate and postgraduate students into the workplace.

For his placement at SMEC, an Australian firm providing high quality consultancy services on major infrastructure projects nationally and throughout the world, Dinindu created a project financial tracking system standardised purely for the company.

The system helps forecast project completions and informs procedures such as pricing and invoicing. SMEC has already implemented it for transport projects and Dinindu continues to be involved with operational tracking and testing.

“So much has happened in four years,” he says. “I finished high school in Sri Lanka with good grades, but the university options were limited and so I was working with my father as an air-conditioning technician.

“It was always my father’s dream that I should further my studies and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to do so. Engineering was an ideal choice and the Griffith experience has been thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.

“As I look forward, I am excited by where my career might lead. Engineering is such a broad and fascinating field.”

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