Mojtaba Karami is a Senior Geotechnical Engineer based in Melbourne working with the ATC Williams’ new Hobart office. It’s a long way from Tehran to Tasmania, and Moji is making the most of the opportunity. Since completing a PhD at Federation University, he has worked on the Batter Stability Project at Yallourn open-cut mine and various tailings projects before joining ATC Williams. Below, Moji talks to us about his experiences of being part of our Tassie crew.
Hi Mojtaba, how do you like working in Tasmania?
Working in Tasmania is great, especially onsite, as the weather is enjoyable for most of the year. I’ve worked in WA and NSW on sites that have high temperatures and uncomfortable conditions. At the site I’m currently working at on the West Coast, it’s an 8 am Monday to 2.30 pm Friday roster. It’s a nice change from working in other states where the roster was two weeks on, one week off.
When did you join ATC Williams?
I’ve worked at ATC Williams since January. Those nine months have passed quickly, and I feel settled in already. I enjoy that the whole team is very supportive and knowledgeable. I am impressed that my project manager is always available to take a phone call to answer questions when I’m onsite. So, I never feel stressed or alone onsite. The team culture here really works for me.
You must be excited that the Hobart office is growing?
Yes, absolutely. From talking to clients and colleagues in Tassie, I know that clients prefer to engage locally-based engineers. Beyond wanting to save on travel costs, they want someone who understands the site conditions and geology of the area and is committed to the long-term journey. Clients want engineers they can trust to have specific experience in this region. The Universities are also looking for local knowledge to support their research projects.
What role does Tassie’s beautiful environment play in engineering and design?
Environmental protection is essential. The bush is very close and bordering to most sites, and there are specific environmental guidelines in place. Our team in the Melbourne office have been involved with Tassie projects for fifteen years, and they gave me all the required data I needed from the beginning, which had me up to speed from the start. Clients are also proactive in sharing their experiences with new engineers. It’s all about working together to benefit the site and the project. Tassie’s drive for 100% electricity from renewable energy is also exciting and creating a lot of future work and indicates how important the environment is for the state.
What are you doing with your weekends?
I drive to Hobart to stay with friends or to Devonport or Launceston to catch a flight back to Melbourne for the weekend. Often my wife will fly in on Friday, and we’ll head off to explore the hikes and tourist spots. There are many small, historic, and beautiful towns in Tassie, plus there is plenty to do and explore on the West Coast. Hiking Cradle Mountain is less than an hour’s drive away from where I work. We’re spoilt for choice with beautiful hikes on the West Coast. (You will find Moji’s favourite hikes and tips in this article.)
How would you like your career to grow from here?
Looking ahead, I would enjoy working on international projects in places like South America. At ATC Williams, we are fortunate to be involved in large scale tailings dam projects around the world. There are opportunities to be mentored here by Principals in specialised areas that interest me such as slurry transport engineering, and numerical analysis for geotechnical designs. Right now, I am realistic that I have a lot I want to learn first, and Tasmania is an idyllic place for me to be working at this stage in my career.