On Tuesday 20 October 2020, Dr Quoc Do was formally recognised as a Fellow of Engineers Australia at a ceremony held at Frazer-Nash's Adelaide office. Quoc’s early story is both challenging and deeply personal.
Quoc shared his journey to Fellowship with Jonathan Armstrong, Director – Australian Business. Here you can read his story:
Quoc’s early story is both challenging and deeply personal. A refugee from Vietnam, he arrived in Australia aged 12, having missed most of his primary years schooling and with little English. Australia welcomed Quoc with open arms and he embraced the opportunities it offered.
At school he was part of a group of friends excited by the opportunity offered by technology and software engineering. He was inspired to study electronics engineering at university and excelled academically. He went on to complete a two-year Masters degree in a single year and a PhD in autonomous systems followed. Quoc then spent nearly eight years as a lecturer and researcher, increasingly providing consultancy services to defence projects on model-based systems engineering.
He joined Frazer-Nash in 2013 and has brought the highest levels of systems engineering rigour to some of Australia’s most complex projects. Today, he plays a key role as the Systems Engineering Governance Manager in the largest and most complex defence acquisition in Australia’s history, the Attack Class submarine project. When I caught up with him, he was applying systems engineering to navigate the differing requirements of the naval capability and naval engineering functions. The former deals with acquisition, the latter with sustainment and coherency will be vital to successful delivery.
Quoc told me that “every opportunity to learn I jumped at”. With that focus on the importance of learning it’s maybe little surprise that he has also taken a very active role in professional development, progressing to the roles of President of the Australian Chapter of INCOSE and the Systems Engineering Society of Australia, Associate Director Technical Review of INCOSE and Co-Founder of the Model-Based Systems Engineering Working Group.
Whilst these roles have consumed much of Quoc’s personal time, he observes that “the more you give, the more you receive”. He has benefited from the professional networks, mentoring and international perspective that these roles bring. For society’s most complex projects, systems engineering allows both a common language across the international communities needed to progress such projects and an international network that allows rare specialist skills to be accessed.
Quoc is also very active in his community, developing aged care facilities for elderly Vietnamese, so that care can be complemented with the familiarity of language and culture in their later years.
The word “refugee” can have negative connotations in both Australia and the UK. Whatever first comes to mind when we think of this word, we should make sure it’s followed by a recognition of Quoc’s journey to Fellowship.