We trust engineers to design the structures that run our world. For one of the best engineers in our country, his profession is all about building a career that empowered others.
IML ANZ is tremendously proud that one of our members, Errol Milevskiy CMgr FIML, has been named one of the 100 great leaders in Australian engineering history. Milevskiy joins other notable names in the profession in Engineers Australia’s 2019 centenary book, Anything is possible – 100 Australian Engineering Leaders. These 100 leaders were nominated by their peers and include the most highly respected engineers in history.
Notably, Errol is one of the only 32 living engineering leaders in this centenary book, as well as the only marine engineer, marine surveyor or engineering technologist to be recognised among the 100 individuals.
Milevskiy’s life wasn’t always about being recognised for greatness. He has faced challenges too. As a baby he received the last rites and as a teenager lost both his parents. As if not tested enough, the North Queensland country local has suffered from the chronic pain condition Trigeminal Neuralgia, an illness with no cure, for the past 18 years.
His working life began as a labourer at the local sugar mill, which soon evolved into an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner. Yet Milevskiy has not merely endured. He has thrived, becoming one of the leading worldwide marine engineers and surveyors, and preventing serious casualties and disasters through his focus on the details critical to marine surveying.
A career anchored on leadership development
Milevskiy’s potential was recognised by BHP, who offered him a cadetship as a marine engineer. After that, he attended some of the most prestigious universities, including Harvard and MIT.
In the late 1990s he produced his prize-winning thesis, ‘Building a Foundation for a Marine Engineer’. Milevskiy wrote it as a guiding tool for cadet engineers to build practical knowledge and techniques, not generally covered in textbooks.
Joining DNV GL, an international classification society, as a marine surveyor and station manager in Newcastle rounded out his skill base. This included surveying different types of ships, certifying numerous machinery parts and systems and being the attending surveyor for the topside construction of ESSO oil platforms.
Later, he commenced auditing to certify vessels and companies to the International Safety Management code from the International Maritime Organisation. He soon became dockyard manager at the largest commercial dockyard in the southern hemisphere. By this time, he was already regarded as one of the world’s most highly qualified surveyors.
Milevskiy continued critical, sometimes dangerous surveying work, notably identifying significant safety and structural issues on an Australian crude oil tanker in 2003. Thus averting potential loss of the vessel, human life, and catastrophic environmental damage. In recognition of his expertise, he was appointed as a member of the elite group of only 20 worldwide surveyors in 2009, named the ‘Flying Squad’, tasked with handling demanding situations on vessels internationally.
The quiet achiever is pleased to have contributed to the improvement of the engineering profession – and leadership in our country.