on April 3rd, 2024

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) student ambassador, Jonathan Constable’s journey through the world of engineering is not just a story of professional growth; it’s a testament to resilience and determination in the face of adversity.  

Jonathan is currently completing his 52884WA Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering Technology with EIT.  

Life Through the Lens of Jonathan Constable  

Jonathan Constable
Jonathan Constable

From his early fascination with mechanical systems to his current pursuit of higher education, Jonathan’s journey is marked by a passion for learning and a commitment to overcoming challenges. 

“My interest in engineering started at a young age,” Jonathan recalled. “I was inspired by my grandfather, who had a knack for crafting miniature steam trains and tinkering with machinery in his workshop. He created an electric model of the golf lander, a train, in northern Queensland.  

In his garage, he spent hours crafting various objects using scrap metal and repurposed wheelchair motors. Remarkably, he transformed an old pedal lathe into an electric one, all before acquiring the funds for a new lathe.” 

Jonathan’s exposure to engineering culture extended beyond family ties.  

“Before I could even recall, I became a member of both the Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway and Edinton Miniature Railway clubs. These clubs served as vibrant hubs where individuals from diverse technical backgrounds would gather to tackle engineering challenges. Additionally, I eagerly assisted my father in servicing and repairing our family cars, nurturing my curiosity for all things mechanical and my desire to understand their inner workings,” he explained.  

After high school, Jonathan entered the workforce as a fitter and turner, gaining hands-on experience. He then accelerated his experience across various engineering sectors and roles for the next 10 years. “I worked in maintenance, precision machining, assembly, welding—you name it. I also worked across a broad spectrum of facilities, ranging from FMCG food manufacturers to precision metal and ceramics companies, as well as boat trailers and earthmoving bucket and accessory manufacturers. Additionally, I gained experience in two distinct types of metal casting factories, among other diverse environments,” he said, reflecting on his varied career path. 

However, Jonathan’s journey took an unexpected turn when he experienced vision impairment.  

Miniature steam trains

He explained that his professional life had to pause. He had to detach from his work routine to undergo laser treatments twice a week for six months. He also had to undergo two Vitrectomies surgical procedures.  

“It was a challenging time, as my ability to work in the field I loved was suddenly compromised,” he admits. 

Whilst living in Rochester, Northern Victoria, Jonathan’s daily commute shifted from heading to Melbourne for work to traveling for essential medical care. Despite undergoing surgeries, “my vision didn’t fully recover, making it challenging to continue driving and finding employment,” he said. 

Eventually, Jonathan relocated to Bendigo, where he secured a position at Australian Turntables. The company specializes in manufacturing rotating platforms for various applications, including personal residences, industrial, commercial, and mining trucks, as well as large-scale rotating rooms and restaurants, including the world’s largest at 50 meters in diameter.  

“At Australian Turntables, I contributed as a Technical Assistant, assembling crucial components such as center bearings, electric motor assemblies, and electrical control boxes. Utilizing digital magnification technology, I adapted to my vision impairment, ensuring precision and quality in my work.” 

Jonathan clarified that he still felt happy working in the field whilst being vision impaired but had difficulty convincing other potential companies that he is capable and not a safety risk. He believed it limited him in various ways. He expressed that he also has a young daughter, and a wife who has two chronic illnesses, in addition to his own health challenges. Jonathan decided to go back to studying.  

“I knew I needed to pursue further education to unlock new opportunities,” he clarified. 

Despite his continued passion for hands-on work with cars, Jonathan found it increasingly convenient to transition to computer-based tasks. While he utilizes aids like the IrisVision headset digital magnifiers and prescription safety glasses to facilitate his work, he believes there is a limitation in his qualifications for office-based engineering roles. 

That’s when Jonathan turned to online learning platforms like EIT.  

In 2022, he embarked on his journey by enrolling in the online 52884WA Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering Technology. Jonathan’s next milestone is set for mid-2024 when he anticipates entering the online Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) program at EIT. 

“EIT’s flexible approach and user-friendly interface appealed to me,” he shared. “The instructors’ and lecturers industry experience and interactive teaching methods resonated with my learning style.” 

Jonathan emphasized the significance of EIT’s global reach in providing diverse perspectives. “Connecting with professionals worldwide has broadened my understanding of engineering,” he noted. 

The Road to Fulfillment  

Beyond his personal growth, Jonathan is determined to inspire others with disabilities to pursue their dreams.  

He explained, after reading stories of people with vision impairments achieving incredible feats, like excelling in electrical engineering or setting world records for speed, he was inspired. Jonathan wants to encourage others with disabilities to chase their dreams and prove that they’re capable of more than people think.  

“I want to challenge perceptions and showcase the capabilities of individuals with disabilities,” he asserted.  

“I hope to show that disabilities don’t limit potential; they just present different opportunities.” 

As he continues his educational journey while balancing family responsibilities, Jonathan remains committed to unlocking the potential of individuals with disabilities and paving the way for a more inclusive engineering community. 

“Nothing is impossible if you’re willing to work for it.” 

Engineering Institute of Technology