Matteo Tirapelle divided his time between gaining local engineering experience and working as a kitchen hand when he arrived in Perth a decade ago from Italy. In 2015 he founded Hera Engineering, bankrolling the business with his personal savings and starting out with one employee. He pitched for jobs, utilised existing networks and let word-of-mouth build brand awareness. Aged 37, Mr Tirapelle has created a niche approach in the local engineering consultancy field, delivering value engineering and innovative design with a focus on eco-conscious materials. Hera now has 13 employees and a handful of high-profile projects in the pipeline including structural façade work for the new WA Museum, a student accommodation project in Northbridge, the state’s first timber high-rise hotel, and a tower project in Brisbane.