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Moving ahead with a career in rail track

For recent graduate Jessica Fallico, a new qualification in rail track engineering turned an interest into a career specialisation.

The Diploma of Engineering Infrastructure (Rail) is transforming the rail industry by providing an accessible, holistic qualification for engineers and technicians.

Over several years, leaders in the NSW rail industry identified a skills gap in foundational rail track engineering. Although longer-term employees had developed skills over time, there was no formal industry-specific qualification. This meant that engineers were not able to expand their expertise or validate their existing skills.

The Diploma was created to fill this gap. With a strong foundation of skills, graduates can now learn the 'big picture' of rail track infrastructure.

For recent graduate Jessica Fallico, this meant turning a career interest into a specialisation – and a promotion. Here’s what Jessica found to be most beneficial for her career.

Understanding how theory translates to track

As a civil engineer working for Sydney Trains, Jessica recognised that she needed to know more about rail track engineering. Over the course of the Diploma, this all changed as Jessica learned the foundations of track structure interactions.

 Jessica says: “The Diploma gave me a great overview of track components, train and track interactions, design and construction, defects, maintenance and operations.”

It felt good when something I’d studied would happen on track in the ‘real world’. I could understand and resolve it competently, applying my deeper knowledge.

Building confidence for career advancement

Sometimes, a little extra knowledge is what you need to gain an edge and move ahead to senior roles

Even though I was a qualified civil engineer, I wanted to understand how track structure interacts in the rail environment. I strongly believe that the knowledge and skills I’ve learnt have made me more capable and confident to perform my role.

After completing the Diploma, Jessica was promoted to a Senior Track Engineer role with Sydney Trains. The move was smoother because of her wider understanding of all aspects of track assets and infrastructure. Today, Jessica applies her learnings daily in maintenance and defect management. 

Learning straight from industry experts

Jessica recalls that the Diploma featured industry veterans who brought their knowledge to life.

 “I was amazed with the wealth of experience and extensive knowledge provided through the Diploma. Teachers shared their experiences and reviewed tough incidents that they had dealt with over the length of their careers.”

“Because of this, assignments involved practical exercises like creating train timetables, planning construction projects, prioritising defects or managing and identifying repairs.”

Flexible study

The Diploma’s structure allows for study to fit around full-time roles, with flexible content and assignments. There’s time for conversation and clarification during the workshops, and live webinars happen in lunch hours. This meant that Jessica didn’t miss any content, even when she couldn't be there in person. 

“All course contents and assignments were easily accessible online, allowing people to work at their own pace. We were also able to contact the course lecturers online if we had any issues or questions.”

Jessica encourages any track engineering team members to study the Diploma.

"Anyone who is enthusiastic about extending their career in rail track should study the Diploma. It develops an unparalleled understanding of how the whole track structure interacts with all its moving parts.”

“You can study this qualification without a major impact on your work commitments. Learning while working helps you apply new knowledge and put it to work immediately.”

The Diploma of Engineering Infrastructure (Rail) is now open for enrolments in 2021. Backed by Engineering Education Australia and Transport for NSW, the nationally-accredited qualification is delivered by the University of Tasmania. Learn more

Article Credit: Engineering Education Australia