Umow Lai’s Jessica Holz wins Young Mechanical Engineer of the Year Award
03 May 2013
The 2013 Young Mechanical Engineer of the Year Award was presented to Jessica Holz. She is the treasurer for Engineers Australia's Women in Engineering Queensland Group, holds a Queensland committee position with AIRAH and is an employee of Umow Lai. The award is presented for the achievement or contribution of a young mechanical engineer, technologist or associate in the profession of mechanical engineering and were announced in Melbourne on 28 April.
01 Apr 2013
We have pleasure in introducing some of our newest team members -
Draftsperson - Troy Wright (VIC)
Having spent four years working in Brisbane, then London and Cardiff, Troy recently arrived in the city he says he’s always wanted to live in - Melbourne. Joining Umow Lai’s drafting team, he will draw on his experience working on a large airport project in Jordan, a hospital in Cardiff (drafted and co-ordinated in Revit), plus four years of commercial, residential and mixed used developments in Brisbane. Troy has completed training courses in IES Virtual Environment, Revit MEP, air-conditioning and a partial engineering degree. At other times, he enjoys music and travel.
Fire Protection Engineer, Sherif Badran (VIC)
Sherif’s experience incorporates technical design and documentation of the complete range of hydraulic and fire protection services as well as construction administration and client liaison. Moving from Egypt to New Zealand, he gained a Mechanical Engineer’s degree from the University of Canterbury and worked there, then Australia, on commercial, educational, retail and green star projects and now on 35 Spring Street, Melbourne, Port Phillip Prison and Southern Cross Aged Care. Sherif enjoys playing guitar and drums, soccer, table tennis, swimming and photography.
Electrical Engineer Rajith Jayasekera (NSW)
Raj’s specialist knowledge of the building services industry extends design in power, lighting, fire detection and communications, all with energy efficiency principles. He is involved with projects ranging from Legion House, St George Hospital, to retail and commercial developments and is well versed in Green Star design requirements. Raj has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Sydney, a Diploma of Lighting Principles and enjoys watching sport and spending time with family and friends.
Senior Hydraulic Consultant, Chris Mason (VIC)
Having operated his own plumbing business for more than a decade and keen to extend his skill base, Chris went back to school to learn more about hydraulics and building services, completing a Certificate IV in Hydraulics Services Design at Holmesglen TAFE and a Diploma of Building Construction at RMIT. He’s applied his knowledge to a range of commercial, hospital and educational projects, including Monash University’s New Horizons Centre. A keen sailor, Chris is engaged on 35 Spring Street, University of Melbourne MCM, MSO Southbank and Charlton Hospital
Senior Electrical Engineer (NSW) Peter Reedy
Over the past 20 years, Peter has garnered wealth of experience in the building services industry and sectors including healthcare, residential, commercial and education, devising power and lighting strategies, created building management, security and fire protection systems. Projects include hospitals; clubs and fit outs for the ANZ Martin Place, AMP Parramatta and George Patterson Bates. He’s a member of Engineers Australia, has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from the University of Wollongong, Contractors Management Certificate and an Electrical Writing Certificate. Peter enjoys 4WD driving trips and spending time with his family.
Design Drafter, Hydraulics - Michael Reidy (NSW)
Since his days at school, Michael has been interested in technical drawing and design technology so it is no surprise that he went on to study drafting and hydraulics services design. He is currently completing a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Management) degree. Michael enjoys applying his practical skills to help resolve complex mechanical issues associated with drafting hydraulic designs for medium to large scale industrial, commercial and educational sectors projects. A keen sportsman, he surfs and plays tennis and golf.
ESD Consultant Richard Stokes (VIC)
Welsh-born Richard holds a Masters in Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Design from the University of Nottingham. He worked for a leading UK building services engineering firm involved in developing energy and waste strategies for several mixed use Master Plans for major power stations and was involved in residential and office projects across the UK and the UAE. He’s working on the University of Melbourne’s new School of Architecture and assisting with the final stages of Pixel’s BREEAM submission. Yet to discover the delights of Australian Rules Football, Richard follows his hometown soccer club.
Using new projector technology gives Umow Lai’s clients a clever, quick and value-added service
Umow Lai’s willingness to embrace and adapt technology is proving effective in overcoming one of the industry’s perennial dilemmas: how to clarify and then communicate to a client any changes that arise during the design process – This technology also provides an invaluable tool for the coordination of architectural and services designs particularly when they are in a remote location.
“We know that often a client finds it difficult to be part of the design process and may even feel left out and so sought out the best way to overcome this dilemma,” said Mal Barnes, Umow Lai’s ICT Consultant.
“One way to overcome this is to make the process of communication clearer and quicker,” Mal explained.”I felt that drawings projected onto the table top, would provide an effective solution, after investigation of available technology options, we decided to invest in the interactive, ultra short throw projector.
“It is a clever, collaborative, clear and a quick solution. What marks the point of difference in our competitive industry is how we are using this technology.
“We use it to do real time, inter-office editing of documents and drawings. We can send them to team members, project them onto the table top and then through a link via Cisco’s Webex video system, mark them up and present them to our client’s clients ‘live’ right off the desk top. We can even extend the facility to their iPad, iPhone or Blackberry - regardless of their location.
“As well as keeping the client up to speed with any changes being made during the design phrase, the technology eliminates a part of the design process that is often a source of frustration for all parties: scratchy, hard-to-decipher mark-ups typically sent back and forth between the client, architect, engineer and CAD departments. These types of sketches are eliminated, saving time and money for all concerned.
“We have made an investment in this technology and offer it to our clients as a value-added service,” Mal Barnes said.
Umow Lai in NSW is using an Epson table top projector as part of their work for the Kempsey Hospital project. “It is really beneficial in this instance,” Mal explained. “Kempsey is far from our office we have found that it effectively and efficiently improves the collaborative process.”
The New MFB Training Centre, Craigieburn
Umow Lai has been engaged as the Engineering Services and Sustainability Consultants for the new, $109 million landmark project for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) in Craigieburn Victoria Umow Lai is providing mechanical, electrical, fire, communications, security, audio visual, LPG reticulation and vertical transportation services.
The projects managed by Major Projects Victoria and designed by Woods Bagot Architects, has advanced to Design Development Phase. Umow Lai is now working with Leighton Constructor to complete the design and the construction phase.
The MFB’s new specialized firefighting and training facility is located on 18 hectares of greenfield site in Cragieburn near Melbourne.
It has been designed by Woods Bagot to replicate Melbourne’s urban landscape and includes a series of purpose built training props set within a streetscape environment that will enable the fire fighters to train in realistic scenarios. Training props will include full-scale city and suburban buildings, a dock area with a ship, road, rail and tramway facilities and industrial buildings.
At the start of the project, Umow Lai engineers (along with other consultants) visited training facilities in Scotland and Amsterdam where they visited the factory and testing/research facility of Haagen, the appointed Fire Training Specialist Organisation. Subsequent visits were also made to Victorian CFA facilities at Fiskville and Langholme.
The consultant team took part in extensive briefings with MFB representatives and developed a Functional and Technical Brief that forms the basis of the design of the Craigieburn facility.
“What is exciting for us is that this project presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate our expertise and design capability,” said Ken Loh, a director of Umow Lai, who is leading the firm’s project team. “The scope is varied with administrative offices, classrooms and purpose built training props and related infrastructure.
“We have employed innovative engineering principles based on functionality, sustainability and flexibility to ensure that this highly specialised facility will meet the challenges faced by fire fighters well into the future,” Ken added.
Celebrating women in building
12 June 2012
Around 50 people came together to celebrate women in the building industry at Umow Lai’s Melbourne office on 29 March and were captivated by special guest speaker Marita Cheng, the 2012 Young Australian of the Year. Marita, who is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Melbourne, spoke about her journey and why she started the Robogals movement: to encourage more young women to consider engineering as a profession.
Photo shows from left: Silvia Misuraca, Umow Lai Senior Associate and fire specialist; Elizabeth Coe, Umow Lai Director, guest speaker Marita Cheng, Young Australian of the Year and founder of Robogals and Boiminh Ho, Umow Lai Associate and electrical engineer.
12 June 2012
Umow Lai has been successful on several projects. These include the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Charlton Hospital in the Wimmera, Southern Cross Care aged care home in Dandenong and The Landing Resort in WA’s Pilbara region.
New Appointments announced at Umow Lai 2012
17 January 2012
The Directors of Umow Lai are pleased to announce the following staff promotions, effective from 1st January 2012.
Eben Simmons - Associate Director
Since arriving in Australia from England to in 2004, Eben has become a pivotal member of Umow Lai’s ESD department and Melbourne office. He has established a reputation for designing sustainable buildings for government and the private sector, including 171 Collins Street and Fujitsu Australia and is frequently invited to speak at sustainability conferences and seminars throughout Australia. As well as being a Bachelor of Building Services and Environmental Engineering, Eben is a NABERS Certified Assessor and a Green Star Accredited Professional.
Lynette Williams - Senior Associate
Lynette, MIEAust CPEng, specialises in laboratory and hospital projects. Lynette joined Umow Lai’s Victorian office in 2003 and in 2011, she transferred to the Umow Lai Sydney office as the NSW laboratory specialist; to strengthen their work in the hospitals and laboratories sectors. She is currently engaged on the St George Hospital and Charles Sturt University National Life Sciences Hub projects.
Andrew Koukounaras – Associate
A Senior Fire Protection Engineer and a Registered Building Practitioner, Andrew compliments his expertise in the field of fire protection services design with a practical approach to complex projects in both the public and private sector projects. They include Deakin University’s Burwood Highway Frontage building development, and premium commercial and residential developments including 171 Collins Street and the Upper Westside Apartments.
Amir Girgis - Associate, Sustainable Environment
Amir joined Umow Lai in 2004 as a mechanical engineer, with a strong focus on sustainability in existing buildings. Over the years, Amir has been dedicated to working with large house hold property groups, providing advice on building upgrades and performance based assessments. In recognition of clients’ services needs and expectations for existing building portfolios, Amir has been part of creating Sustainable Environment – a Umow Lai developed and owned business dedicated to environmental management of existing buildings, building improvements reporting and Independent commissioning agent services. Amir will be heading up the NSW division of Sustainable Environment.
Drew Kowalski - Senior Electrical Engineer
Drew joined Umow Lai in 2008 and has recently completed an IES lighting design course. He has been involved in two landmark Umow Lai projects at the Paris end of Collins Street - No 150 and 171 Collins Street. In his spare time, he is a nationally contracted Australian Football League (AFL) umpire involved with regular AFL games.
Gwen Welshman – National Business Manager
Gwen has been promoted to the position of National Business Manager. She was the very first person employed by Umow Lai founding Directors George Umow and Dominic Lai when they formed the company in 1991. Having been involved in administration, business, finance, management and recruitment, Gwen currently oversees the business management for our offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Umow Lai is a multi disciplinary building services engineering and sustainability consultancy with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with more than 140 employees. The firm also has associate offices in Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
Dominic Lai was interviewed by Fantech 'Tech Talk' Newsletter
17 January 2012
Umow Lai consulting engineers 20 year milestone- interview with Dominic Lai. Fantech ‘Tech Talk’ Newsletter, December 2011.
New Appointments announced at Umow Lai
16 August 2011
The Directors of building consultancy and sustainability experts Umow Lai are delighted to announce the following staff appointments, effective 1 August 2011.
As Umow Lai Managing Director Dominic Lai notes: “These senior appointments strengthen our management team. They also reflect the company’s continued growth and commitment to providing the highest level of value to our clients through our innovative, high quality, sustainable and cost effective design solutions that go beyond traditional boundaries.”
Mark Greig – Director (Melbourne)
Mark brings to the team over 25 years extensive experience in project leadership of multi discipline services engineering design teams on complex projects, including major scientific facilities, healthcare, mission critical, public safety sector, education facilities, commercial and retail.
Mark has an understanding of broad aspect of design principles across all building services disciplines and their interdependencies.
Tony Lenko – Senior Associate (Melbourne)
Tony has been involved in building services design and construction for over 10 years with experience in Mechanical, Hydraulic and Fire Protection Services.
In addition to his fire and hydraulics design skills, Tony has a thorough understanding of the interaction with other engineering services elements and the innovation and cost-effective design solutions which can flow from careful interconnection of systems.
Tony’s role has recently expanded to Team Leader within the company’s new structure. His current projects include Fire Hydrant Testing of 200 schools for the Department of Education, 171 Collins Street and Melbourne Airport.
Andrew Foley – Associate (Melbourne)
Andrew has over 15 years experience as an electrical engineer in Australia and overseas.
He has worked in a wide range of building facilities including, institutional buildings, commercial buildings, defence projects, telecommunications projects and infrastructure development, specialising in electrical distribution systems, critical power supplies, lighting energy management systems, fire detection, voice and data systems and vertical transportation.
Recent projects include Andrew Monash University New Horizons, 80 Derrimut Road Site Optimisation Project and several Telstra Telephone Exchange projects.
Paul Jacobsen – Senior Associate (Sydney)
Paul Jacobsen is a Senior Associate and hydraulic consultant with over ten years experience in the building services industry. He has had extensive experience in the design of hydraulic services across major market sectors including defence, health, residential, data, transport, retail and commercial market sectors.
Paul’s experience in project delivery ranges from development of feasibility and water balance studies, to full design and documentation, supervision of construction activities. Additionally, he has successfully managed multi-disciplinary design teams for building engineering projects.
Loi Mach – Associate (Melbourne)
Loi joins Umow Lai with 10 years experience in industrial engineering associated with manufacturing of automotive components, semiconductor devices, mining, and building services.
A passionate and motivated engineer, he is responsible for the design, documentation and construction phases for electrical services associated with a diverse range of projects. Loi was recently appointed Telstra Client Relationship Manager and will utilise his experience and expertise in the building infrastructure planning and designs for complex telephone exchanges.
Umow Lai is a multi disciplinary building services engineering and sustainability consultancy with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The firm also has associate offices in Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
Institution of Engineers, Malaysia
16 August 2011
Im Chua, a Umow Lai Associate and Vice President, International Business, spoke about “Green Building – The Australia Pixel Experience” at The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia’s Environmental Engineering Technical Division on 4 August, 2011. She is a member of the Green Building Council Australia and the Institute of Engineers Australia and Malaysia.
2 August 2011
Umow Lai is providing a range of services for the $630 million new hospital. The Victorian Government announced in July it was committing an additional $102 million for its expansion. When completed, it will be the largest regional hospital development in Victoria and one of the largest in Australia.
Bendigo Art Gallery
2 August 2011
Engaged by architects Fender Kostalidis Australia to provide a range of services, including ESD, Umow Lai will work to ensure the expansion meets the objectives of the City of Greater Bendigo Carbon Management Plan 2009-2012. These include reducing green house emissions, generating clean energy onsite with solar photovoltaics, harvesting rainwater and satisfying the highest agreed international standards for displaying delicate art works.
2 August 2011
The refurbishment of this heritage building in Sydney’s CBD is slated to become a carbon neutral building and to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Office V3, As-Built and NABERS 5 Star Energy and Water rating. Umow Lai is working with developer Grocon and the GPT Group.