JETSETTER: Joe Sammut's Bachelor of Engineering has taken him all over the world. He's currently working 14 storeys underground on East Side Access, a $10.2 billion (US) project in New York City.
JETSETTER: Joe Sammut's Bachelor of Engineering has taken him all over the world. He's currently working 14 storeys underground on East Side Access, a $10.2 billion (US) project in New York City.

Mackay engineer now works 14 storeys underground in Big Apple

AMERICA, Sweden, China, Thailand and Vietnam - Joe Sammut's CQUniversity credentials have enabled him to explore some exciting parts of the world.

Thanks to a Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op) majoring in Mechanical Engineering, the 33-year-old now works 14 storeys below ground as a Superintendent (for Tutor Perini Corporation) on East Side Access - a $10.2billion (US) project undertaken by the Metropolitan Transport Authority in New York City.

This project, which is on track to begin services in December 2022, is designed to bring the Long Island Rail Road into a new East Side station that will be incorporated into Grand Central Terminal.

When complete, the terminal will feature four platforms, eight tracks and a new 350,000-square-foot retail and dining concourse.

Joe has been involved in this incredible project for the past two years.

"Initially I worked as a senior engineer overseeing the installation of $300million worth of structural concrete and associated mechanical, electrical and plumbing items for the newly bored tunnels and underground caverns," he said.

"This involved providing engineering, project management, procurement and commercial support to the superintendents and crews on site."

Joe's current $660million contract is focused on completing the new underground train station platforms and the installation of all tracks.

As one of the superintendents, he is responsible for around 20-40 of the tradespeople and subcontractors involved in his areas of responsibility.

Joe described working 14 storeys below some of the busiest real estate in the world on this multi-billion dollar project as "incredibly fulfilling".

"Working in this type of environment is more than just a job," he said.

"I can't provide the necessary skills and leadership to my team without being passionate about meticulous planning and health and safety.

"I enjoy bringing the cutting-edge knowledge and experiences I gained in Australia - starting at CQUniversity - to the other side of the world."

While he may be revelling in a dynamic career far from home right now, Joe still reflects fondly upon his career back in Oz.

Prior to travelling to America, he worked on two coal terminal construction projects in Australia for the John Holland Group.

"These projects were based in Newcastle and Gladstone, however, I did get to spend some time - just a few weeks - in Thailand and Vietnam where I oversaw the fabrication of some key components in those countries that we then shipped to and installed back home," he said.

Interestingly, Joe's also worked for Australia, while travelling outside of Australia.

"For three years, I worked at (what was then) an Australian-owned Gold Mining project in Guizhou province, China.

"The mine and process plant had just been built when I arrived in China, and I managed a team of engineers and contractors to complete capital projects for the process plant to increase gold production."

It's CQUniversity, however, that Joe credits with initially infecting him with the travel bug - Joe undertook his second university co-op placement in Sweden.

"This was a particularly exciting experience for me, as it was the first time I had ever left the country," he recalled.

"I worked for Parker Hannifin in Borås, Sweden, at a factory that made hydraulic control components for trucks and other machines; I also completed part of my thesis project while working there.

"Engineering is an exciting field of study and work that has the capacity to take you - just as it has me - all over the globe.

"I highly recommend it to anyone considering a CQUni Bachelor of Engineering - you won't be disappointed."

For more information on CQUni, its courses and all it has to offer, visit

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