Chief Technical Principal – Transport Planning & Advisory

With an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the civil and transportation sectors across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, Derrick Hitchins stands out as an accomplished engineering professional. His international experiences have provided him with the expertise necessary to manage a diverse range of projects in the transport planning sector. Derrick’s specialised knowledge encompasses traffic engineering, transport modelling, transport strategy and policy development, and integrated transport planning.


“In the ever-changing landscape of transportation, adaptability and a contemporary understanding of the issues and challenges facing our transport future are key. A multi-disciplinary project requires teamwork, a common goal, and a clear purpose to achieve the degree of synergy required for a successful outcome,” Derrick notes, reflecting on the dynamic nature of his profession.


Derrick is a Chief Technical Principal for Transport Planning and Advisory at SMEC, located in Melbourne, Australia. He is responsible for investigating, designing, and delivering larger planning studies undertaken by the firm. A key driver of his numerous project successes lies in his ability to organise and manage diverse teams of professional engineers and planners across a range of disciplines, ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget for our clients.

Derrick Hitchins
Success in our field is not just about meeting deadlines; it is about listening to our clients, understanding their needs, and then applying our expertise to create sustainable and impactful solutions.

Derrick played an important early role in securing SMEC’s appointment as the Technical Advisor to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for the transformational Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.  In his current position as the Subject Matter Expert for Traffic and Transport Services, Derrick provides technical advice and guidance to the ARTC on all matters related to traffic in support of the development of the Reference Design and the finalisation of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Inland Rail program.

Derrick has also been instrumental in assisting Queensland Transport and Main Roads with the Strategic Assessment of Service Requirement for the Toowoomba North South Transport Corridor, including a Highfields South connection, to relieve traffic congestion on the New England Highway and protect a suitable long term future road corridor to the west of Toowoomba.

Speaking about these two projects, Derrick states, “Being involved from the early inception and then through the development of a project of this scale is not just professionally rewarding; it’s a personal commitment to shaping the future of Australia’s transportation infrastructure.”

Derrick is dedicated to fostering a legacy of excellence by investing in the development of emerging talents. “The future of our industry lies in the hands of those we mentor today. It’s not just about the projects we deliver now, but the impact we enable in the years to come,” he emphasises, acknowledging the critical role that mentorship plays in shaping the future landscape of the engineering and transport planning profession.