Friday Five: Michael Houghton

Michael Houghton - Chief Operating Officer

Metro Trains Melbourne


1. What do you do in a nutshell? I run Melbourne's Metropolitan railway which has 220 stations, 380 route km, carries 270m passengers per year and employs 4300 people. We run 180 x 6 car trains and deliver 2200 services each day. My role covers Train service staff, Train Control, Fleet, Infrastructure, Customer Service, Authorised Officers, Asset Management and planning.

2. What inspired you to become an engineer?  My inspiration for engineering came from a visit down a coal mine as a teenager where I was mesmerised when watching coal flowing from conveyor to conveyor to reach the surface over a 1000m above and seeing the engineering that was involved in making  that happen.

3. How do engineers change the world? Engineers change the world by finding ways to improve things every day.

4. What do you wish you would have known as a graduate?  As a graduate I wish I'd have known that there was a whole world of opportunities in Engineering both in terms of geography and breadth of scope- I limited myself to mining in the UK.

5. What is your favourite engineering innovation? My favourite engineering innovation is the canal lock - I went to James Brindley primary school and lived close to the canal.


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