Marten gained his Bachelor of Engineering qualification at UNSW in 1993 and joined Taylor Thomson Whitting as a structural engineer in the same year. After a stint in TTW’s Jakarta office he became office manager for TTW Indonesia in 1999, taking on leadership of all projects. Promoted to Director in 2006, Marten leads the Indonesian office, driving commercial success through open and collaborative relationships with clients and colleagues. He is responsible for expanding the company’s portfolio through both public and private projects, nurturing a dedicated team and maintaining the tradition of engineering excellence at TTW.
His strength is underlain by a passion for understanding the engineering background to why things work (and why they don’t), and his firm belief that cost effective design does not require compromise on the other technical and non-technical requirements of a project. With substantial experience in earthquake engineering which is essential in Indonesia, his broad portfolio of projects, large and small, is testament to his depth of knowledge and experience. It is this, and Marten’s attention to detail, willingness to innovate and collaborative disposition, that have enabled him to develop long-term relationships with key clients and colleagues both in Australia and Indonesia.
How do you find the Indonesian construction landscape different to the Australian market?
Indonesian design is driven by cost control, which is achieved differently in other places in the region. Contractors have different strengths and weaknesses. design for high seismic risk is much more involved than design for wind and seismic in less severe regions.
How do you approach your work as an engineer; balancing the needs of the design team?
The priority is to achieve solutions which meet the diverse needs of the client and design team, and the need for safe code compliant structures. Collaboration is important. Each party’s requirements are different and often conflicting but have the same desired outcome – a successful project.
What inspires you as a leader and engineer?
To do all the parts well: produce economical and good / designs; meet the needs of clients, other technical disciplines and other project stakeholders; meeting the needs of staff and of the company. Balancing all of these is complex but constantly challenging and rewarding – I wouldn’t swap.