Ashburner Francis appointments symbolise long-awaited industry evolution

by Helena Morgan
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Champion of Environmental Sustainability Design (ESD), Ashburner Francis, has promoted two of its valued employees to co-lead the Brisbane office and channel a culture of inclusion and sustainability in engineering. 

Appointed to the role of senior associate at Ashburner Francis are electrical engineering manager Toby Murdoch and mechanical engineer and ESD manager Lara Bailey. 

Diversity in profession mirrors wider attitudinal change

Tallying more than a decade’s experience at Ashburner Francis, Bailey is elated to have witnessed the arrival of more women to the profession of engineering. She is committed to encouraging women and young girls to not feel immobilised by the archaic assumption that engineering is a ‘boys’ club’, and instead embrace the chance of being the sole female on-site. 

“My advice is never to be fearful of being the only woman in the office, or on-site, because that is changing and there is now a lot more support available for female engineers,” says Bailey. 

Toby Murdoch and Lara Bailey.

Murdoch is also inspired by the increased diversity in the profession. “Buildings are populated by broad demographics, so it makes sense that building services are to be designed by teams made up of talented professionals of diverse genders,” he says. 

Bailey proudly manages Ashburner Francis’ Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) work and excels in finding innovative ways to increase energy efficiencies in building modelling and projects aspiring towards Green-Star ratings. 

Purposeful and thoughtful design solutions 

An industry start as an apprentice electrician gave Murdoch a foundation in project management and troubleshooting. 

He also attributes trade and on-site experience as instrumental in overcoming obstacles during the documentation phase. “I constantly look for areas where improvements and efficiencies can be made,” says Murdoch.

The pair vow to deliver purposeful and thoughtful design solutions by combining their complementary specialities. “Our leadership will provide strong cohesion across the disciplines of both electrical and mechanical services,” says Bailey. 

Ashburner Francis poised for excellence in a new era 

In addition to celebrating the appointments of Bailey and Murdoch, Ashburner Francis farewells Brisbane director Darren Cardy – who boasts a commendable career in the building services – after 17 years at the firm. 

Ashburner Francis managing director Brian Kenny underscores Cardy’s hand in the success and prosperity of the firm – most recently the implementation of an in-house hydraulics division. 

“We have long valued his professional insights, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Kenny. 

Cardy has great faith in the expertise of Bailey and Murdoch and anticipates the ongoing delivery of “outstanding service” to Ashburner Francis’ clients.

Photography by Leoni Bolt. 

IStructE president Tanya de Hoog wants engineering to function as a vessel for change.

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