A couple of times a month, we like to get to know members of the KJR Collective a little better. Today we catch up with Chris Hunter.
Years in the industry: 13
Years at KJR: Over 4
Based in: Brisbane
Currently working with: The Department of Transport and Main Roads on performance testing projects
What Chris loves most about his job…
Human interaction is a big part of being a consultant – For Chris, working closely with clients and collaborating with fellow members of the Collective is a big part of why he enjoys his work. Chris loves the “feeling of satisfaction that comes with applying your skills and experience to add value as a consultant”. A lot of customers Chris has worked with seem “more excited by things that are mundane or routine” to him, which is something he’s still getting used to. Sharing his expertise with organisations who may not have the depth of knowledge that we do at KJR reminds Chris that he can offer value on projects big and small, and ultimately impact the end-user experience of technologies.
How Chris got into this industry…
Chris graduated from the University of Queensland with a PhD in Computer Science – so it was no surprise when he took that knowledge with him to his first position at Westinghouse Rail (now owned by Siemens) – which happens to be one of KJR’s very first clients. “It was a natural move”, and Chris found himself working on the verification of safety-related and safety-critical software. Working closely with KJR, he bumped paths with Steve Butler, KJR’s very first employee.
Working with members of the KJR Collective gave Chris a firsthand understanding of the culture here. “I liked the idea of going to different clients and not getting stuck in the same place… it almost seemed like a different life”. That, coupled with the “good people and employees with higher expertise” made KJR the natural choice for Chris when moving on.
What Chris thinks about the future of tech…
While technology has overwhelmingly improved our quality of life, it has also hindered the sanctity of the environment. Chris recognises that the future of tech will “increasingly focus on sustainability and tackling the issue from every possible angle”. Being passionate about climate change and the environment himself, Chris makes efforts to be technologically sustainable – he uses his mobile phone for as long as possible before upgrading it to prevent wasting resources, and ensuring he is up-to-date and aware of environmental sustainability. “I recently came back from North America, where the wastefulness of the consumer culture is much more enhanced than it is here”.
Chris has overcome challenges that play a small part in the sustainability narrative for different clients, such as ensuring the accuracy of digital information to help increase patronage of public transport, or reducing waste in freight transportation by helping improve the scheduling of trains. He hopes his roles with future clients will allow him to continue playing a part in this mission.
“Current technology got us into this mess, so future technology has to get us out of it.”
He also does other things…
On a trip to Europe, Chris developed a strong interest in landscape and nature photography. This is something he’s tried to put extra time into ever since, despite being “expensive and time-consuming”. His curious mind helps him to see the art in his surroundings, allowing him to identify unique photo opportunities.
Chris also enjoys hiking in the rainforests around Brisbane with his partner and taking his dogs to the beach. And let’s not forget his quest to find the best vegetarian dumplings in Brisbane.
Chris’ final word of advice…
“Everything that you’ve ever done, no matter how successful, can be done better. Finding time to reflect on yourself and your tasks is always worthwhile.”