David Lowe was welcomed into the team at Turnbull Engineering earlier this year as a Project Executive and brings with him more than 35 years of international experience. His contribution to traffic and transport management has helped to shape some of Australia’s most complex built infrastructure and construction activity.
We know there is a lot to learn about David, so we thought we’d kick things off with a little Q&A.
What is transport planning?
Transport planning is concerned with identifying and planning for the accessibility needs of people and freight within liveable and sustainable communities. Transport planning therefore considers the desirable social, environmental, and economic outcomes, while developing strategies to achieve those outcomes within planning frameworks.
Where have you worked in the past?
I held senior positions in the field of traffic engineering and management with NSW Roads and Maritime Services culminating in the position of the inaugural Manager, Transport Operations at the NSW Transport Management Centre (TMC) where I was responsible for the real-time management of the State Road Network in NSW for a period of six years including the Olympics.
Since becoming a consultant, I have participated in many strategic route selection projects, using my road network operations experience to inform the decision-making process. I also consult during the design delivery and construction phases of projects on traffic engineering and road safety aspects.
What does the future of transport planning look like?
Traditional transport models are becoming less accurate in forecasting future transport demand. Smart devices and intelligent vehicles will need a smarter network. Transport services in the future will require an extensive and increasingly sophisticated technology enabled network. This will be particularly important for city-shaping corridors, including motorways, where ‘smart’ technology will be built into the network.
Indeed, much has been written about the government’s role in the future of mobility and how they might deal with the changing social and technological trends that are driving the new mobility ecosystem. There is general agreement that the public sector has a major role to play in making the new mobility ecosystem work for everyone. Public sector leaders at all levels – national, regional, and local are working out how to navigate the future of mobility. While governments should embrace and test new mobility initiatives (there are countless examples of this occurring), it is more critical than ever that they define the role(s) they will play and help to shape the future of mobility in ways that achieve broader transport system goals.
Outside of work, who is David Lowe?
These days when I’m not working I enjoy exploring new places. I’m an avid spectator of sports and a loyal (some would say suffering) member of the NSW Waratahs. I’m most proud of my children and the lives that they have embarked upon as young adults. These days I also have two gorgeous granddaughters who are an absolute joy to be with. In recent years, my wife and I have undertaken a couple of epic trips to India and Africa which were fantastic, but we have come to realise that it is pretty difficult to beat Australia. There is so much of the continent that we have not yet visited so that’s going to be the focus in the future. Many who know me will know that I have a longstanding aspiration to sail around Australia at a leisurely pace. I’m not sure when or if that ambition will be achieved but I’d like to think so.