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Win win for Kevin and Docklands

02 Jul 2009

Win win for Kevin and Docklands Image

There would be very few people who could look out over Docklands and feel more connection than Kevin Winward.

Yarra’s Edge resident Kevin is the consultant structural engineer responsible for more than half of the precinct.

From his penthouse patio he can point to and reel off dozens of projects with different developers in nearly all precincts.

They range from Yarra’s Edge towers to the foundations for the Southern Star Observation Wheel to the ANZ building to the new South Wharf footbridge.

Kevin has also helped shaped Melbourne on Docklands’ edges too – with perhaps his finest achievement being the wave structure of the Southern Cross railway station roof.

The kid from Preston Tech has no regrets about not following a career in architecture.

As an engineer he has been able to combine the artistic nature he inherited from his mother with the practicalities he had passed on by his builder father.

“I’ve always had a different slant on things than my peers,” he said.  “20 years ago I coined the phrase ‘the art of engineering’. And that’s really what it’s about.”

“It’s not a science. You use science.  But as a creative person you can make more of it.”

“We like to be more creative than other practices but, at the same time, we are into making the pure engineering factor work.”

Kevin did a diploma in civil engineering after leaving school and followed up with a post-graduate qualification in management.  He started as a site engineer and followed up exploring design work in Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore before joining with the late Matt Bonacci to form Bonacci Winward in 1981.

In 2000 he branched out on his own in what was to have been a boutique consulting engineering firm, Winward Structures.

“But the jobs kept coming,” Kevin said.  “Big jobs, better jobs.  It just took off.”

Winward structures now employs 45 staff and works in Australia, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Flinders Wharf was the embryonic Winward Structures’ 13th job and its first in Docklands.  With 1500 jobs or proposals now under its belt, the growth of Winward Structures can be mapped directly against the growth of Docklands.

Perhaps 40 per cent of the firm’s work has been in Docklands, and certainly some of the biggest projects have been here.

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