Engineering and sport make great teammates

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Article supplied by Malcolm Boyd, Executive Officer, Civil Engineering Foundation

Not since John Langford (BE Civil, Honours, 1991) has there been a University of Sydney engineer representing the Wallabies, but Tom Kingston might soon change that.

A second-year engineering and commerce student, Tom Kingston is a member of the successful Sydney University rugby union team, has played for the Waratahs and represented Australia at the Under-20 World Cup in Italy this year. Meanwhile, John Langford is now a successful project manager with Leighton Contractors and currently manages the complex Kingsgrove to Revesby railway quadruplication project in south-western Sydney. He is enjoying his post-rugby career (although he still finds time to put the boots on occasionally for Sydney University Fourth Grade), and says he can’t think of anything else he would rather be doing since retiring from professional rugby.

Tom is maintaining his academic career alongside his sporting life, including participating in the Advanced Engineering program for the past two years. Increasingly this balance is harder to achieve with the growing demands of professional sport, but in this season of the Rugby World Cup it is exciting to find that it is still possible to match elite-level sport with engineering studies.

The University of Sydney has a pre-eminent elite sports program run by Sydney University Sport & Fitness. Within the program are many national- and Olympic-level athletes who are supported and encouraged to continue their university education through scholarships and talented athlete programs. Sydney University Football Club is part of this scheme, and provides scholarships, mentoring and other assistance to Tom and many other players.

The faculty also recognises that pursuing academic and sporting goals simultaneously can be challenging, and facilitates pathways compatible with the particular demands of its courses.

We wish Tom well with his endeavours, and who knows – maybe there will be another University of Sydney engineer representing the Wallabies in the not-too-distant future.