The Perfect Mix of Expertise

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

Across Australia, there are a number of highly respected engineering firms, yet few possess the advanced educational background, experience, and sheer wealth of knowledge of Perfect Engineering Pty Ltd. Under the leadership of founder and Managing Director Dr George N Melhem, the firm boasts three senior staff, of which two possess PhDs, Dr Melhem and Professor Chris Sorrell. Mr John Louth has over 35 years in senior engineering, management including Compliance and OH&S. In operation since Oct 2003, Perfect Engineering remains unique in the construction industry, and has earned the business of a number of highly respected government agencies and blue chip clients, such as the New South Wales Department of Public Works, Roads and traffic Authority, Qantas Airways, Sydney Water, Westfield, Thiess John Holland and Leighton, to name a few.

“Having the two PhDs gives us a different perspective about the scale and the scope of the research and development and the different materials and processes, which really sets the company apart from your average construction company,” says Dr Sorrell.

With a background in Metallurgical Engineering, and his PhD primarily focussed on design in aeroplanes and buildings, Dr Melhem possesses over 21 years of experience in engineering and management. Prior to creating Perfect Engineering almost a decade ago, he held positions with established engineering and manufacturing companies, including Australian National Industries Limited, BTR Engineering Monroe Springs, Sandvik, and Yeomans Engineering, and worked in defence research, automotive engineering, petroleum, advanced stainless materials, air and ground transport, and nuclear engineering.

Dr Sorrell is a Professor of Ceramic Engineering at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales. With experience spanning back to the mid-Seventies, Dr Sorrell’s considerable knowledge in ceramics processing, glass, structural clay products, phase equilibria, the microwave heating of ceramics, and conservation – to name a few areas – has greatly benefitted clients.

“From the point of view of compliance and OHS within Perfect Engineering, which is an important integral component of all Government projects, John Louth’s invaluable Engineering qualifications and past experience as National Operations Director with Westinghouse has served Perfect Engineering well. John led many notable major projects and one of the major projects under his direction that was successfully completed was the manufacture of sets and main propulsion motors for the Collins Class Submarines where he had over 250 engineers reporting directly to him. This was for a multi-million dollar project requiring extreme attention to engineering excellence and absolute compliance with defence department requirements. John’s responsibility at Perfect Engineering is to ensure that every aspect of compliance is attended to and achieved with no less detail than in his prior projects,” says Dr Melhem.

At Perfect Engineering, the combined experience between Mr John Louth and Drs Sorrell and Melhem complements all projects. In addition to this, Perfect Engineering benefits from the experience of many other highly trained and qualified staff. Combined with other skilled staff at Perfect Engineering, the company is able to offer engineering services, capabilities, experience, and a substantial network of large, established and highly-respected organisations that remains second to none.

Range of Services

Throughout the nation, private firms and government clients alike know they can rely on the motivated team at Perfect Engineering to provide superior quality work with timely, professional delivery. The company’s range of services and solutions has earned Perfect Engineering a good deal of new and repeat business from industry leaders such as Qantas, Leighton, Transfield services and Abigroup Limited, along with government agencies like the Road and Traffic Authority and Sydney Water, The Department of Public Works, and many others.

“We work with a number of large companies,” says Dr Melhem, “and provide technical background to them, technical support, and the crews to do the work. We can go from design to construct.” The Perfect Engineering staff consists of a number of experienced Project Managers who work with various subcontractors on projects, and the company is pre-qualified with many clients because of its background and reputation for quality.

“Perfect Engineering tenders tend to stand out,” comments Dr Sorrell. “When the client sees the standard of the company’s work, they actually extend the contract to other areas.” Backed by its unique expertise in materials and R&D, Perfect Engineering is frequently one of a small handful of select tenderers. Quality, for the company, starts during the tendering process, which must follow a specific timeline and include all financials, a third-party quality system, and third-party Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) certification.

Once a tender is awarded, the team at Perfect Engineering can offer clients a diverse range of engineering consulting and project management services. With a permanent team of highly skilled engineers, the company regularly takes on projects of all sizes, and is able to contract additional staff when needed. Accredited to ISO 9001-2008 and adhering to the New South Wales Government’s OH&S System Guidelines, the firm’s services include design, engineering drawings, research and development, fabrication, structural fabrication and erection, road, bridge, median and other concrete work, steel formwork for bridges, wharves and other infrastructure, project management, consultancy, building (structural), shopfloor drawings, and more. The company is also in the process of achieving Roads and Bridge pre-qualification with the RTA.

Able to offer its services nationally, Perfect Engineering takes on the bulk of its projects in New South Wales. With its recent considerable expansion into R&D, the company is open to future growth, and is looking at offering services and products for challenging international projects.

Attention to Detail

At Perfect Engineering, Dr Melhem and his team pay the same precise attention to detail on all projects. Preferring to work with clients as partners, the company often exceeds expectations through its workmanship and contract compliance, which has earned Perfect Engineering preferred and pre-qualified contractor status and long-term relationships with many government organisations, the Department of Commerce, Boeing Australia, RTA, Westfield, Abigroup, Sears Group, and many others.

No matter the size of the project, the company maintains its promise throughout of providing engineering services that are competitively priced and adhere to client specifications. It is this commitment to quality from inception to completion that has earned Perfect Engineering a sterling reputation in the industry.

For almost 9 years, the company has successfully completed numerous contracts, including a series of civil, building and structural steel projects for government bodies. Appointed the contractor for TAFE Colleges on behalf of the Department of Public Works, Perfect Engineering employed hundreds of subcontractors in various disciplines while working on projects for the Commonwealth Government’s recent Building the Education Revolution (BER) initiatives, which saw almost $14.7 billion committed over three years to construct and refurbish Australian schools. As part of bringing the schools into the 21st century, Perfect Engineering worked closely with partners to address existing civil or structural issues.

With capacities in a number of areas – including steel fabrication and erection, aeroplane parts and accessories, building and civil works – Perfect Engineering has applied its services to the delivery of numerous successful outcomes. One key project includes the fabrication of steelwork for Chullora TAFE.

As the principal contractor to the Department of Public Works for the Chullora TAFE project, Perfect Engineering was responsible for design and construction. Engineers at the company devised innovative alternative civil methods of construction to the existing design, working with CFA piering, suspended slab, sandpit, design and construct alternative stormwater, electricals, concreting, re-design/shop detail, surveying, structural steelwork, fabrication, and construction. During the project, asbestos was uncovered, and Perfect Engineering worked with Workcover, the Department of Public Works, and all other stakeholders to deal with the issue, along with relevant OH&S issues found on site.

“The main element was R&D, because it was on a landfill which had asbestos, and we had to deal with environmental issues,” says Dr Melhem of the project, which presented other logistical challenges. A massive sandpit was created measuring four metres in depth by 10 metres in width and 15 metres in length, with 63 piers down to depths of 12 metres and a large suspended slab. In addition to the sheer scope, the project presented issues with the water table, water chemistry, and soil chemistry and the effect it would have on concrete and reinforcement, specifically salts and chloride. A structural steel building had to be detailed by Perfect Engineering via shop drawings, followed by fabrication and erection on the suspended slab. “Fortunately, the material science is well in hand for us,” comments Dr Melhem of the project, which required reports to the Government regarding preferred options and related statutory requirements.

Experience and Mentoring

In addition to providing his substantial building and civil experience to government authorities and private clients in diverse sectors, Dr Melhem has taught, informed, and coached hundreds of clients, employees, and subcontractors about effective materials and methods of construction, with a particular focus on affordable, optimal performance, and rapid progress methods. As Perfect Engineering is in formal Partnership with Engineers Australia (Engineering Enterprise Partnership), assisting with professional development and helping engineers achieve chartered status, he has also remained active in the publication of his research on aluminium alloys and ceramics, and has lectured at many prominent institutions. It is, he says, part of his belief that there is nothing too difficult in Engineering, and maintaining Perfect Engineering’s credo of “Progress, Vision, and Excellence,” which is embraced by all staff.

“We like to create a sense of loyalty with the engineers who work with us,” he says. “It is also our job to mentor our clients and their subcontractors, who don’t always have the answers. At Perfect Engineering, it is our job to conduct research and find as much information as possible, which creates a win-win situation with all our clients.”

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 27, 2021, 2:29 PM AEST