Jillian Kilby

Jillian Kilby

Who am I

Jillian Kilby

What gets me going

Starting my own project engineering company was about having a great career as an engineer – no matter where I chose to live. Operating in Outback NSW, I love that my contribution to rural infrastructure directly affects the communities in which I live.

Every project is different, the people are friendly, the challenges are unique and I work harder knowing that the responsibility stops with me.

I have always chased ambitious dreams and followed my heart. That is the key to a satisfying career and fulfilling life.

Why I'm excited to be an engineer

Sydney University provided my first real taste of engineering. The balance of advanced, technical and practical subjects was important. The relationships I formed with my peers and lecturers was a key part of my development as a well-rounded engineer.

I love that you never stop learning as an engineer. There is always another exciting project, another great challenge, a new avenue to explore and you work with people who are passionate and interesting.

Engineers hold the knowledge and technology that forms our built environment and information systems. They are one of the most important and highly regarded professions across the world.

Engineering speaks every language throughout every era of history, and will be of significant importance to our future.

Current employer and position

Director and Civil Engineer of J L Kilby Pty Ltd based between Walgett and Brewarrina in north-west NSW.

How I got there

Coonamble High School; 1996 to 1997

Loreto Normanhurst; Year 9 to 12 – 1998 to 2001

Sydney University; Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons 1) 2002 to 2005

Waterway Constructions as a project manager of maritime construction on Sydney Harbour; 2005 to 2009.

J L Kilby Pty Ltd project Engineering Services; 2009 to Present.

What else do I do

  • Past Chairman of the Civil and Structural Engineering Panel, Sydney Division of Engineers Australia and Member of the Dubbo Group of Engineers Australia; to provide technical seminars for continuing professional development for the Members of Engineers Australia
  • Director of the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation of NSW providing funding initiatives to build vibrant and strong rural and regional communities for youth
  • Deputy Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Youth Group; developing engaging and educational initiatives for young people in rural NSW and at the Sydney Royal Easter Show
  • Participating in the voluntary working group for the development of an Indoor Equine and Rodeo Arena for the benefit of the community in Coonamble
  • Member of the Sydney Division Engineers Australia Steering Committee for the NSW Infrastructure Report Card, released to the State Government in July 2010
  • Playing netball in Brewarrina and Walgett and being involved in the supportive communities where I work and live
  • Renovating our 1880’s homestead on the farm with my boyfriend Jay Murray and running along the banks of the Barwin River with the Labrador Cooper.

What I thought I wanted to do when I was younger

I always wanted an exciting career, something that was different yet applicable across the world – just as much as back home in rural NSW. Growing up on a farm north of Coonamble, I always knew I wanted to one day return to a rural community as a young professional.

After crossing out every degree I did not want to do in the UAC guide, the only one left was Engineering. Within 6 months of study at Sydney University I was incredibly interested in the subjects and excited about the future.



  • Australian Constructors Association
  • Cochlear
  • Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO)
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
  • Leighton Holdings Limited
  • Resmed
  • Thales
  • ARUP
  • KBR