From intern to project engineer

When Gustavo Henrique Junqueira Penitente first came on an exchange to The University of Queensland from Brazil, his goal was to improve his English language skills and gain some international workplace experience— but he got much more. Thanks to an eight-week Workplace Preparation & Professional Internship Program at ICTE-UQ, Gustavo gained an internship with Delta Group engineers, working on a $670 million refurbishment project. 

Gustavo has recently moved back to Brisbane from his hometown of Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo, to join Delta Group as a project engineer, the same construction and demolition company he undertook an internship with while on exchange in 2014.

Gustavo on site of an 18-metre deep excavation

“Improving my communication skills at UQ and then working with Delta Group really gave me an advantage getting a job in Australia once I graduated,” he said.

“I now work a lot with relationship management and coordinating various subcontractors involved on a big construction site, so good communication is crucial.”

“At the moment I’m working on a really interesting project, excavating a six-levels basement in South Brisbane, working 18 metres below street level.”

Gustavo was one of 39 Brazilian Government Science Without Borders scholarship recipients who came to UQ for the inaugural workplace program and a two-semester Study Abroad program, where he took civil engineering courses and researched public transport in Brisbane.

During his internship in 2014, Gustavo was part of a team of Delta Group engineers working on a $670 million refurbishment project.

Gustavo on site

The eight-week Workplace Preparation & Professional Internship Program was organised by Extension Studies International at ICTE-UQ.

Even after graduating from one of South America’s best universities, I felt that studying at UQ provided me with the differential to pursue a position as an engineer here in Australia, due to its highly-regarded reputation down under.” 

“I believe my whole experience at UQ, as well as everything that I have been exposed to during that study abroad experience, broadened my view of the world and gave me new ways of looking at challenges.”

The excavation site

Since January 2016, Gustavo has been involved in multiple large projects, including the construction of the new Ikea at North Lakes, and is also working as pa roject engineer on the Casino Towers project for Brookfield Multiplex and Lucid Project for Mirvac.

Article originally published on the School of Civil Engineering.

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Last updated:
16 June 2021