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40 Under 40

40 Under 40 winner of the day: Nicholas Murphy

40 Under 40

Entrepreneur Nicholas Murphy combines his role as managing director of a civil and structural engineering company with experience as a prior owner of a brewpub in the city.

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Murphy is one of the founding directors of the South Australian engineering firm MLEI Consulting Engineers.

MLEI Consulting Engineers delivers design and engineering services for clients in commercial, residential, public infrastructure, mining and other industrial sectors.

Since its inception in 2008, MLEI Consulting Engineers has grown into a firm of 49 staff.

The business offers cost-competitive services from its headquarters in Adelaide and through satellite offices in Port Lincoln, Mildura and Sydney.

The firm has worked on satellite structures and naval yard projects for the Department of Defence, a $40 million design project for the redevelopment of Rundle Mall Plaza, the sewer treatment plant at Emu Park, and more.

In 2015, Murphy opened the Lady Burra Brewhouse in the Adelaide CBD that serves traditional pub food with a Portuguese lean, which was a business he later sold.

In June, Murphy was named in InDaily’s 40 Under 40, which recognises the best and brightest young business people in South Australia.

What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?

Measure risks and don’t be scared to take them.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

South Australians can be loyal and there are great opportunities to network and collaborate.  The geographical location is a strength and the benefits of this are often overlooked.

It is a safe and inclusive place. It has a world class education system, a history of social innovation, a tradition of research and development and the collective aspiration to be a world leader in the knowledge economy.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

There can be a limited acceptance for change and an incorrect belief we are a backward state. We need to celebrate our history of innovation and learn to embrace change. We need to celebrate our culture. We need to look to South Australia first.

Do you see your future in South Australia? 

Yes – I am proud to be a South Australian and have all intentions of staying here for my future.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

I believe it is important to change people’s perception of South Australia. It has great lifestyle benefits over other capital cities but suffers from the misconception that it is not as vibrant or has the same opportunities of other capital cities.

It is time the voices of our young leaders are heard. It is time young people are meaningfully engaged in our business and community life.

We need to strengthen and promote their connection to the community. If we continue to grow innovative businesses and attract head offices in South Australia we will retain our leaders.

To see the full list of 40 winners go here.

InDaily is profiling each of the winners – go here to read more.

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