SMEC has its origins in the iconic Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme, recognised as one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world.
The scheme was a multi-purpose project undertaken between 1949 and 1974. The project brought together over 100,000 workers from 30 countries who constructed 16 major dams, seven power stations, one pumping station, 145 km of tunnels, 80 km of aqueducts and 2,000 km of roads.
The innovation, resilience and achievements of these early pioneers form the core of our organisation. Together with our clients and partners, we continue to engineer and design solutions that help to move and connect people, provide access to essential resources and build more sustainable communities around the world.
Construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme commenced on 17 October 1949, with the Governor-General, Sir William McKell, Prime Minister Ben Chifley and William Hudson firing the first blast at Adaminaby. Heralded as Australia’s largest infrastructure project, the A$820 million multi-purpose project involved hydropower, roads and bridges.
In 1960, the department of foreign affairs requested that snowy mountains authority (SMA) provide technical assistance for Australian aid projects in Australia and overseas.
The Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme is one of the most complex integrated water and hydroelectric power schemes in the world. In 1967, The American Society of Civil Engineers rated the scheme as one of the seven civil engineering wonders of the modern world.
SMEC expanded internationally by opening offices in Dhaka, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur alongside new Australian offices in Canberra and Sydney. SMEC Malaysia was incorporated in 1991.
International projects included geological investigations along the Mekong River, road construction in northern Thailand and hydropower developments in Cambodia and Malaysia.
During the 1980s, new projects were undertaken in a further 20 countries including: China, Egypt, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. Offices were opened in Almaty, Delhi, Hong Kong, Lahore and Manila.
SMEC was sold to employees as part of a government asset sale in 1993.
SMEC’s growth continued with a number of acquisitions to complement its existing profile including: Brisbane City Enterprises (2005), EGC Pakistan (2007), Dare Sutton Clark (2008), CEIS Pakistan (2009), Lean and Hayward (2011), GMC Global (2012) and Vela VKE (2012).
As a member of the Surbana Jurong Group we have strengthened our technical functions and service offerings to offer an enhanced lifecycle of services in the urban, industrial and infrastructure space.
Our new partnership provides a talent pool of 13,000 dedicated people working across a network of 110 offices in 40 countries throughout Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
Along with parent company Surbana Jurong, 2016-2022 was a period of significant growth and development for SMEC. Spanning 40+ countries and with the specialist expertise of over 5,000 employees, SMEC is redefining exceptional through the delivery of complex major projects, world-class technical excellence and advanced engineering solutions. With a focus on sustainability we continue to deliver advanced infrastructure, urban and energy solutions as a trusted partner for our clients.
As part of the Surbana Jurong Group, SMEC draws on the capabilities of our parent and sister companies to operate flexibly and effectively in local and global markets. A global network of design and engineering expertise, Surbana Jurong has grown to 16,000 colleagues across 10 multi-disciplinary brands including architects, designers, planners, engineers and other specialists working together to help shape a better future.