Now into its 5th year, Umow Lai’s Future Leaders program focusses on building relationships with people who are and will continue to make an impact in the industry. Our second Melbourne event for 2019 is coming up in August and will highlight the benefits of smart buildings through a discussion with Umow Lai ICT Principal Sean Wooster and members of our ICT Group.

Throughout the years, Umow Lai and the industry’s Future Leaders have benefitted from learning about a range of subjects which impact the building and construction industry, most recently the WELL certification, developing your personal brand and the changes to section J building industry standards.

Umow Lai’s objective is to offer attendees valuable insight into the topic and access to specialists in the matter. Often the feedback received is that the most engaging part of the evening is during the Q&A with the speaker, or the networking with peers, hotly debating best practice, examples and ways of implementing the learnings.

In the lead up to the event, we caught up with Umow Lai Future Leader Victorian event organisers, Wilson Ly and Richard Han to discuss the benefits and opportunities they have gained through the program.

When did you first get involved with Future Leaders?

Wilson: Back in 2016, I presented at a Umow Lai Future Leaders event on Fire Protection and Hydraulics. I like to remember it as a stand-up comedy routine where the audience accidentally learnt something. I have been involved with MC’ing and organising the event ever since.

Richard: Earlier this year [2019] I presented on the benefits of Fire Safety Engineering and since then have gotten involved in the event organisation. I am looking forward to hosting my first event with Wilson and the Umow Lai Future Leaders.

What is your favourite part of the program?

Wilson: The best part of the program is how it can bring likeminded people together; people who are passionate about learning and finding better ways in construction, communication, business process and everything in between.

Richard: I’ve enjoyed that Future Leaders allows us to share knowledge amongst our peers and allows us to create connections and improve collaboration and communication beyond the event itself.

How have Future Leaders helped you be a better Engineer?

Wilson: The program has provided a fun and relaxed atmosphere where Future Leaders from a range of organisations in the building and construction industry can have a meaningful conversation about the challenges they are facing and learn from each other’s experiences. Understanding the difficulties and pressures that others are facing and forming strong relationships has assisted in making the construction process on my projects smoother.

Richard: Consulting can be a tough gig as it requires you to understand the rest of the project teams needs and timelines and work together to enable everyone to achieve their required deadlines. The Future Leaders program enabled me to understand better how to collaborate with clients and the design team to reach the project goals. It also helped me to appreciate the role that other consultants play and how the project can benefit from everyone’s input.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Wilson: Ideally, I’d be someone the industry knows as an exceptional engineer, consultant and person in general.

Richard: I would like to become the ‘go-to-guy’ who can provide practical advice and expertise to my clients.

Our Future Leaders events are open to anyone in the Building and Construction Industry, ranging from graduates up to seven years of experience. If you are interested in attending, get in touch with us at or connect with Wilson or Richard.