Trevor Smith: About Solving Problems and Ultra-Marathons

Trevor Smith: About Solving Problems and Ultra-Marathons

You might well ask yourself what do ultra-marathons have to do with T+T problem solving? 

But when you meet senior engineering geologist, Trevor Smith, you soon find out that tenacity is, in fact, the common denominator.

You see, Trevor is among those individuals who will go – or literally run – the extra mile to reach a goal or solve a problem. “Can’t be done” is a phrase that doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary.

While his role now regularly sees him lead geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations for major infrastructure projects, he originally started out as a bright-eyed exploration geologist who proved his mettle in remote camps across Australia and Papua New Guinea.

After gaining a geotechnical engineering qualification, his dual discipline focus soon added weight and value to his career. It eventually led to high-profile projects such as the Melbourne Metro Rail Project or Brisbane's Northern Access Road which required a unique approach to deal with the project area’s immensely diverse geology.

Trevor’s expertise has become sought after for diverse problems. He recalls being asked to urgently join an expert panel; before he knew it, he was being driven along the Great Ocean Road with a full police escort so he could advise VicRoads on an active landslide at Wye River. There’s also his strength in helping resolve problems by way of providing expert witness testimony which he is very skilled at and is frequently asked to do.

As you’d expect, his project portfolio continues to grow, however, some things remain unchanged - like his people-centric approach and a focus on providing value. He takes great care to consider client needs and does not rest until he has found the best possible solution. That’s where the aforementioned tenacious streak comes to the fore.

It was also front and center when he started coaching his son’s soccer team and, much to his dismay, found that he was terribly unfit. Not doing things by halves, he immediately started work on transforming himself … from being a couch potato to running 5km within 9 weeks. He then completed a fun run and, before long, his first marathon. And when you hear that he’s about to participate in a 90km ultra-marathon (billed as “The Ultimate Human Race”), you get a good sense that he can solve any problem if he says he will.