Project overview


What is one technical innovation that we can introduce to our industry that will help us achieve RA policy objectives and open up opportunities for new streams of talent in our workforce.


The group project’s aim is to give Fellows the opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and to produce outputs to take our policy agenda and industry forward. It is also an opportunity to take on the challenge of developing a pitch with a broad scope and presenting to a group of senior leaders across government and industry. In doing so, you will work on influencing upward through concise information collation and excellent communication and presentation skills. 

Earlier this year, the RA Board heard presentations from all the transport agencies around Australia about the key priorities for each state/territory for the year ahead. Some of the key areas common to each jurisdiction included the capacity constraints within the industry to be able to meet the future pipeline and capability needs. One of the objectives discussed was the need to collaborate to look at transferring skills across industries to enable talent migration and attract new talent into the transport industry. Another focus of the presentations was on technological advancements and innovation within the industry.  

With this in mind, the group project topic this year aims to focus on technological innovations within the industry that can assist in attracting talent into the workforce in these areas.


Australian transport systems are responding to changes in transport technology, travel patterns, environmental influences, spatial development and customer and community demands. Drivers of innovation within the transport sector include technology, social and environmental influences, demand, changing travel behaviours, cost of living pressures and resource constraints. The concepts around transition to net-zero, user safety, introduction of CAVs, new modes of transport, greater use of mass data, interconnectedness to drive more efficient use of existing infrastructure present great challenges in the future of the transport industry.  

The industry needs to collaborate and harness new technologies and innovations to ensure that we are adapting to change. Economic conditions mean that transport agencies are all seeking to do more with less, and historically innovation has led to productivity improvements. Capacity constraints mean that we need to look at areas outside traditional engineering to attract new talent into the industry, including new occupations and new technologies. 

Some questions to consider:  

  • What areas are close to our industry – but not at the forefront – that could attract new talent into the industry, and also address the technical innovation developments that will take our industry into the future?
  • Where are the roles and occupations – where are they engaged now and what opportunity exists to bring them into the transport industry?
  • What does the vehicle of the future look like? What does the transport network of the future look like? How will these developments change our workforce?
  • How do we expand mobility services?
  • What advancements in ITS are possible, and what new skill sets will we need to enable these advancements?
  • What changes are required to enable automated freight, and what skills will be required to drive this change?

Roadblocks can be factual and/or emotional – simply telling someone it is the right thing to do is not good enough. What is the best process for overcoming the roadblock/s identified? How do you appeal to different cohorts of people? Communications and engagement will need to be considered carefully – language counts. 

RA policy goals:

  1. Optimise the use of our roads for environmental, social, economic and cultural outcomes.
  2. Decarbonisation of the economy through integrated transport and the efficient use of energy and resources.
  3. Improve the stewardship of our roads for the workers on them and the people who use them.


  • The research paper should select one innovation that will open up opportunities for new streams of talent within our industry, consider the barriers to the identified technical innovation being introduced, discuss how these barriers could be overcome and provide a roadmap to implementation. 
  • Select a business from your sector (easiest to pick one of the companies from your group) and work within that business in identifying how the identified technological innovation would be implemented and the roadmap. 

Key deliverables

Project commencement11 May 2023
Scoping paper
– outline the proposed topic, company/companies to work with
– overview of research areas and outcomes
– outline of how to achieve a roadmap to implementation of your proposal
5 page limit (excluding references)
16 June 2023
Feedback on scoping paper14 July 2023
Project due
30 page limit (excluding cover pages and references)
6 October 2023
End of year presentation1 November 2023