15Dec
2020

“Taking DWW Engineering further…” – An Interview with Tony Whittred

“What inspired you to buy DWW?”

Tony WhittredSince acquiring DWW in 2016, we couldn’t be happier with how the business and team has taken shape. My family have always been business owners, it’s in my blood. I have always had a personal ambition to one day be in the driving seat as it were, and DWW is certainly living up to my expectations.

After graduating from QUT as a Mechanical Engineer and cutting my teeth in fabrication shops across Brisbane, I moved to Mackay to join the mining Industry, managing trades, maintenance programs, annual shutdowns and capital projects. By the Mid 2000’s with a wealth of working knowledge ‘tucked under my belt’, I decided to embark on my very first partnership, investing in a fabrication business in Clermont.

Looking back, It is fair to say that early investment certainly came with its own unique set of challenges. Sadly, despite the interim successes I achieved, the partnership did not work out and so I dissolved the arrangement and moved on. But, after a period of time and reflection, I set off with a new willingness to achieve my ambition back in Brisbane.

When DWW came up for sale I was ready; I had a few more years’ experience and I had really done my homework this time! [laughing]. The business had great tenure but I was very aware it had been through some hard times and that previous owners had considered shutting the doors; there was no denying, DWW had potential! Finally, I found a business where I didn’t totally have to start from scratch again. With great foundations, a solid team, and a strong client base,  DWW ticked all the boxes.

Looking back to my first few months at DWW though I have to smile! There is no denying I was a little naïve [laughing]… I quickly learnt that despite my background and engineering expertise, I was not quite prepared for the enormity of the learning curve ahead of me. It has been an immense personal challenge but I’m now stronger and smarter because of it!

I have a clear vison for DWW and we are working extremely hard to strengthen our position. Our success truly stems from a great team with the right job skills and experience; Short-term we are focused on improvements for our working facilities, strengthening our systems, process, and quality output. Longer-term, we are truly invested in strengthening our culture and developing the engineering side of the business, bringing a full service offering to our customers across design, drafting, fabrication and installation.

 

Who are your clients?

With tenure, the business has built an extraordinarily strong client base, it is now the responsibility of myself and my team to ‘carry the mantel’, and continue improving and maintaining those established relationships, whilst always looking for new opportunities.

As a Brisbane based operation, we naturally deliver a significant amount of work in Queensland but, as specialist fabricators for clients in the Power, Water and Civil/Construction sectors, we regularly deal with clients in Melbourne, Sydney and even send work cross-country to WA and the Northern Territories; we pretty much deal Australia-wide, with the exception of Tasmania, to date! Our client base is still pretty varied though, catering to the needs of small builders and then scaling-up to turn around big projects for mid-tier, and large, Tier 1, Tier 2 organisations, and contractors.

 

What’s unique about DWW in your eyes?

Firstly, the age of the company, DWW has been going for 60 years this year, a huge milestone – I’m immensely proud to be the third owner. But, as I mentioned earlier, our client base is first-rate and DWW has truly been built on decades of great relations and by doing great business; we have the right assets at our disposal and a highly skilled team to deliver the work.

When walking the shop floor, I never get tired of that ‘engineer inside me’ who still gets excited about the type of work we do and indeed what we are capable of, especially the work we do for the Power industry across high voltage, power transmission sub-stations.

DWW has a great history in this sector and companies do approach us, to seek our opinion and expertise for their projects.

 

Speaking to your younger self, what advice would you give him – in hindsight?

Have a go! For me, my only regret is that I didn’t start earlier in business as an owner, I had a few opportunities and I let them slide, with such little risk if they’d failed, it still would have been a great learning curve! That aside, you can’t buy knowledge especially the technical side of engineering, it took me 20 years to amass that knowledge when building my career, so be prepared to work hard, I did.

I take great pride in being a business owner, seeing us grow and develop to achieve our goals, making those incremented steps to improve each and every day is so important;  seeing great client projects go out the doors and then receiving the positive feedback from clients on our work – really is very rewarding for everyone.

 

12May
2016

Lock it in!

Navlock Gate Model 2 Navlock Gate Model

DWW are please to announce that we have been awarded the contract to fabricate a new Navigational Lock Gates for a private housing development on the Gold Coast. We are looking forward to this project and the challenges it will bring.

10May
2016

Bridging Brassall

IMG_0032 IMG_0042 IMG_20160516_115719

 

DWW completes the 1st of 3 Bridges for the New Brassall Cycleway at Ipswich. A 25Mtr x 2.5 wide bolted steel truss bridge.

11Mar
2016

You spin me right round…..

A new spinning basket to be used for galvanising centrifuge dipping. The interesting part of this project is the low carbon welding wire used to prevent corrosion of the welds during the gavanising process to increase service life.

 

       IMG_4352       IMG_4354        IMG_4353

02Mar
2016

A UFO Sighted

IMG_4240 IMG_4291IMG_4241

 

It may not be a UFO but this 9mtr diameter tank certainly would have raised some eyebrows of people passing the workshop.

A 190,000Ltr Lime Saturator tank to be shipped in 2 halves to the painters then installed at Landers Shute water treatment plant on the Sunshine coast

11Dec
2015

Landsborough Has Landed

Another bridge installed ready for Christmas, but not to be the last! This is an 18Mtr cycle bridge installed into a park at Landsborough. Perfect timing for all those kids that Santa is bringing new bikes for!

 

IMG_20151209_094724IMG_20151209_113248 IMG_20151209_113227 

23Oct
2015

Another Week……. Another Bridge

At the end of another week we have completed our next bridge. This bridge is a Pedestrian/Cycle bridge destined for a retirement Village down on the Gold Coast. At just under 26mtrs long it certainly makes good use of our main workshop! 

 

This will now go away for painting before we can get our hands back on it to install the timber decking and can get it craned it into position. Check out the projects area in a few weeks for the Completed project and installation pictures

P1040228 P1040229 P1040227
12Oct
2015

Another bridge ready to go

A new 25×2.5 cycle bridge in trial assembly and ready for painting. A standard Warren truss type will look great once painted with its timber decking!

P1040196 P1040199 

21Sep
2015

DWW’s New Website Goes Live

Dww are pleased to announce the launch of our new website. Fresh, modern and up to date were excited by the new representation of our company on the World Wide Web, and hoping that this will generate new business as well as providing more information to our clients. A big thanks to Excite Media

 New Web Site 1 New Web Site 2