For the past seven years, Matthew Gallaugher has played a key role in growing our digital capability from a small team offering software development services, to the formidable force of over 100 local experts and many more globally that it is today.
He’s not stopping here though. In alignment with WSP’s Global Strategic Action Plan, Matthew has some big ambitions for the Digital Team.
In a competitive market, Matthew recognises that continuing to build a strong, trusted, and collaborative team is key to delivering the best for our people and customers in the long term. He is focused on bringing out the best Future ReadyTM thinking in his people, and solving complex problems for our clients that they would struggle to complete.
He says, “We want to be known for solving those wicked and difficult, but important challenges. We have great runs on the board for doing the hard stuff.”
“Our Digital Team is uniquely placed to support our clients’ challenges. We have experts in software engineering, location intelligence (geospatial), visualisation, data science, platform engineering, and digital engineering. And, we have access to a vast global network of 65,000 professionals outside the digital realm.”
A self-confessed ‘recovering software engineer’
Matthew has seven years of tenure at WSP, and more than 14 years’ experience in finding solutions to complex digital projects that span the globe. Prior to WSP, Matthew drew on his degrees in computer science and engineering to build, design, and implement digital solutions from scratch.
His background in computer vision-based products has given him a strong ability to take the uncertainty of a technical problem and deliver a commercially valuable solution.
“I deployed about a third of the point to point speed recognition cameras in New South Wales,” he says. “That included coding the software, bolting and aligning the cameras on the road, and testing road side under traffic control. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this experience was very important grounding for getting to where I am today.”
Matthew began his career at WSP as the Delivery Lead Manager in our Digital Team - originally consisting of just 14 people and now counting 100+. He progressed to the Director of Strategic Projects – Digital as the Team grew to include visualisation and geospatial expertise.
In his most recent appointment as Director of Digital, Matthew sees great opportunities for our clients to get a better handle of all things digital.
Powering collaboration and a Future Ready mindset
Matthew says his team are motivated by different reasons. For some, like Matthew, it’s the thrill of finding an elegant solution to a challenging problem, and for many it’s also about the positive impacts they can make through their work.
“People don’t always think about digital being a sustainability initiative, but if you look at some of the things we’ve done, they really have made a difference.” Adds Matthew. “For example, we have helped deliver the energy rating star stickers people have on appliances like fridges and washing machines. This gives consumers a clear vision of how much energy their devices are consuming, and plays a vital role in reducing embodied carbon emissions. This tool has considerable impact in helping the nation reduce carbon emissions, simply by making people aware of how to make energy-conscious decisions.
Another impactful project that the team has recently delivered is Land iQ, a strategic land use Digital Twin that assists government agencies in making faster and smarter decisions about the use of land. It has already been proven extremely useful in planning for and managing flood risks.
Building digital literacy with WSP’s Digital Twin Guide
Matthew and his team recently launched a Digital Twin Guide to help clients better understand and take full advantage of digital twins and their many use cases.
He says, “In response to enquiries from clients about digital twins, we built a multidimensional analysis tool to demonstrate what digital twin is. The tool allows users to enter information to gain an understanding of how a digital twin could be applied to benefit a given project or asset (such as infrastructure), or a group of projects or assets.”
A digital twin is a virtual replica of an asset that incorporates associated real-time data during operation of that asset. It provides an immersive and integrated visualisation of previously siloed information and enables use of modern digital analysis techniques, such as condition-based monitoring and predictive analysis, to plan for the continued functioning of infrastructure.
Matthew says, “In simple terms, a digital twin is a ‘digital transformation project’ that digitises and stimulates assets and operations in the built and natural environment.
“A digital twin is an intersection of all the skills we have in our team.
“Whether for an entire city, a bridge, a highway, a building, a precinct, or an airport, a digital twin provides for well-informed decision-making process throughout an asset’s lifecycle.
“The Digital Twin Guide is raising considerable awareness around how digital twins develop and change over time and is starting conversations with clients about digital opportunities in the future.
“Our Digital Team aims to bring a deep digital competence to all of our services. We have the subject matter expertise to help organisations work with digital twins to do what they have always done, just better. We are really excited about expanding our projects and moving the country towards a more sustainable and Future Ready position.”
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