Traffic/transport engineer travels road to success
With more than two decades in traffic engineering and transport planning, Keith Midson (BE(Civil) 1995, MTraffic 2004, MTransport 2006) has tackled projects across Australia, both large and small. In recent years, he has served as Director of Midson Traffic, a specialised traffic consultancy in Hobart. There he manages company operations and oversees its transport studies, traffic management plans, traffic impact assessments, road safety audits and traffic modelling.
In 2016, Keith was named Tasmanian Professional Engineer of the Year by Engineers Australia. This honour stemmed in part from Keith’s role as Chair of the Hobart Traffic Congestion Task Force. Not only did he resolve the immediate issue of extreme peak-hour bottlenecks caused by roadworks, he made a series of recommendations to ensure the network’s stability in the future.
His two master’s degrees have stood Keith in good stead, both personally and professionally. “My Monash education has played a huge role in my success as an engineer. It gave me a thirst for knowledge, but also taught me how to seek and find it,” he shares. “No two projects are the same and being able to thoroughly research a topic is so important in our industry.”
Keith points to in-vehicle video technology as a major development in his profession. “Often we need to review safety features over long lengths of road. In high-speed traffic, we have few opportunities to safely pull over and inspect them,” he explains. “Modern in-vehicle video capture allows us to review a network from the safety of a computer, with high resolution imagery and precise GPS coordinates.”
As an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Tasmania, Keith teaches undergraduates transport engineering and each year supervises several honours student research projects. “For me, the greatest reward of mentoring is learning from others’ experiences – over time the mentor becomes the mentee,” he says. Career advice? “Trust your instincts, but never assume you have the correct answer until you have tested your results.”
In his spare time, Keith plays underwater hockey, where a team aims to push, with a small stick, a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into the opposing team's goal. He used to play for Australia, as well as the Monash underwater hockey club. Sounds like a great way to take a deep breath and de-stress.