Aurecon appoints new client director for infrastructure in Asia

Lili Tao has been appointed as Aurecon’s client director for Infrastructure in Asia. She replaces Scott Smith, who is returning to Australia after 10 years in the region to take on the client director for transport – Victoria and South Australia.

Based in the Singapore office, Ms Tao will work with Hong Kong-based client director Keith Chong, the global client leadership team and the Asia leadership team to build on project successes such as the MRTA Purple Line in Thailand, Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and the recent awarding of the contract to design three of the first five stations on Singapore’s Jurong Regional Line (JRL) as well as major structures for the rail line.

Since the start of her career in engineering, Ms Tao has acted as a bridge, bringing multiple disciplines together, initially for small projects then moving onto mega infrastructure like Crossrail in the UK, the Hong Kong International Airport expansion and the Offshore Marine Centre in Singapore.

She now has a different type of bridge challenge, bringing Aurecon’s solid reputation for innovation, safety, quality and exceptional client delivery and growing this in its major growth market, Asia.

“Being a Bridge is not new to me. My journey brought me a long way from originally growing up in Beijing, working in the UK, to returning to Asia, initially being based in Hong Kong to now settling in Singapore – an international gateway,” said Ms Tao.

“What this has taught me is in our global business world, when you can bridge cultures and transfer knowledge from one sector to another and continuously build on this, you can achieve really innovative outcomes and find solutions to complex problems for clients.”

Ms Tao has a diverse Infrastructure background, having managed major infrastructure projects across the UK, Hong Kong, mainland China and in Singapore. As someone who grew up in an engineering family with her father a telecommunications engineer and living near project sites, it was no surprise that Ms Tao was drawn to the profession. 

“While I was working in the UK, I was an apprentice to the first female president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Jean Venables CBE, which gave me invaluable insight into how senior female figures operate in the industry. It stressed to me the importance of having female role models who are changing the industries they work in for the better for young aspiring engineers,” said Ms Tao.

It is something Ms Tao is passionate about and is keen to increase the diversity of people and ideas to reflect those of Aurecon’s clients and its clients’ customers so that infrastructure is designed with the user at the centre.

In recent years, Ms Tao has held several roles at Aurecon, including lead project manager and technical director, and project services lead for Singapore.

Ben Stapleton, Aurecon’s managing director for infrastructure commented, “Lili has demonstrated a unique ability to tackle complex technical challenges with good business acumen. It’s this passion that allows her to make the complex simple for our clients.”

Watch this video to find out more about Ms Tao’s passion for engineering.