Civil engineering student rounds off USQ journey with state award

Mark Tomarchio's thesis project on industry consideration for truck stability at roundabouts has earned him a major engineering award.

USQ student Mark Tomarchio has taken out the ‘Futures Challenge’ award at this year’s Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland’s (IPWEAQ) Excellence Award.

The Challenge offers final year civil engineering students an opportunity to present their thesis to delegates at the IPWEAQ annual conference in Brisbane.

Nominated by USQ’s Careers and Employability team, Mr Tomarchio, who lives in Townsville, impressed the judges with his presentation on industry consideration for truck stability at roundabouts.

“It’s a common perception in the road design and trucking industries that heavy vehicles don’t like roundabouts and while working on my thesis, I found the current road design standards of roundabouts are heavily geared towards cars,” he said.

“The purpose of my thesis was to identify what improvements can be made when designing new roundabouts specifically for heavy vehicles to prevent truck rollovers on roundabouts.”

Mr Tomarchio’s award made it back-to-back wins for USQ with last year’s Futures Challenge winner, Madison Stahlhut, on hand to present him with the trophy.

Mr Tomarchio said the award was a fantastic recognition of his hard work.

“I wanted my topic to be something relevant and useful for the transport industry, and I’m glad people could see the value in what I had done,” he said.

Mr Tomarchio has been involved in the road design industry for 17 years, and has spent the past decade working as a Lead Design Technician in GHD’s transport team.

He graduated with an Associate Degree in Civil Engineering in 2011 and later returned to USQ where he recently completed his Bachelor’s degree.

“Studying part-time and online while working full-time was the best kind of challenge, and studying at USQ made it achievable,” he said.

“Being able to access my lectures and tutorials online gave me the flexibility to study around my day to day life, while having access to the course lecturers really helped.”

USQ’s Engineering programs are ranked number one in Australia for graduates in full-time employment and graduate starting salary, according to the 2020 Good Universities Guide.

To learn more about studying at USQ, visit Study


Man holding trophy
Mark Tomarchio was awarded the ‘Futures Challenge’ trophy.