As an engineer who subsequently gained his MC licence, Romesh Rodrigo has achieved much in his 18 years in the road transport industry. His varied roles have given him valuable experience across the European, Japanese and North American truck cultures.
Having started as a graduate engineer with Iveco Trucks Australia in early 2001, Romesh relished the opportunity to learn quickly with an Australian truck manufacturer in a variety of roles, including product planning and engineering, across a broad product range.
“This was a really formative time for me and it helped me decide that this was the career for me,” Romesh explains.
Some three years later he made the move to DaimlerChrysler as engineer for Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles. Before long, Romesh had progressed to the role of test engineer which also included the Sterling and Freightliner brands.
“I spent a lot of time behind the wheel in the various models doing Australian Design Rule testing at the Anglesea Proving Ground,” Romesh recalls. “As a result of all this driving experience, I was one of the people who was called upon to help out with customer and media drive days.”
He went on to gain his MC licence in 2004 which led to on-road testing with B-doubles including Tarcutta change-overs and even a couple of Melbourne-Brisbane runs. These were important tests for evaluating fuel consumption and transmission calibration. Eventually Romesh became Manager of Engineering and Product Planning, a role he held until 2009 when Isuzu Australia came calling.
“I was at the stage where I needed a new challenge and working in product development for Australia’s market leader was an exciting prospect,” Romesh enthuses. “Again, it was a really formative role for me and I spent a lot of productive and enjoyable time working with the Japanese, particularly on the prime mover products, which gave me an entirely new perspective on the industry.”
After seven years with Isuzu, Romesh returned to the Daimler fold in 2016 as Chief Engineer with Fuso Trucks, a role he continues to enjoy, particularly with the current challenge of integrating Daimler’s global powertrain components into the Fuso product line.
“It’s been a privilege to learn about the diversity in cultures by working for companies from all three truck-producing continents or countries,” Romesh says. “I tell a lot of graduates and people looking to come into the industry that the opportunities we have here in the Australian trucking industry are truly unique.”
Made possible by Smedley’s engineers, Industry Icon is a series dedicated to honouring the unsung heroes of the commercial road transport industry.