Paul Grundy

On 6 January 2013, Paul Grundy (12 May 1935-6 January 2013) died, after a very distinguished life and career. Professor Emeritus with Monash University, Paul was a consultant across many fields of engineering structures, especially his great love, bridges, such as the Westgate Bridge and in many places including in East Asia where he was a leading light on tsunami recovery and disaster preparation. His humanitarian approach to his work owes much to a period in the Newman Society in Melbourne, especially in the 1950s. Here, he experienced a deep spiritual training, and himself made a significant contribution to the life of this lay apostolate community.

What follows is a paper he wrote about that experience, published in the collection Golden Years, Grounds for Hope – Father Golden and the Newman Society 1950-1966 (eds Val Noone, Terry Burke, Mary Doyle, Helen Praetz, 2008). The paper shows how, for Paul, work as an engineer was integrated within a deep spiritual life founded on a love of nature and of the life of Christ and his Incarnation.

Len Puglisi

A new heaven and a new earth

by Paul Grundy

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
Revelation 21:1

My father was a World War I veteran with degrees in arts and engineering, and a devout Catholic. At the time of his death, when I was 14, he held the position of deputy chief engineer in the sewerage department of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works.

My mother was a convert to Catholicism, due, she said, to the example of Cardinal Newman. She brought to the household a Swedish and un-Australian respect for engineering. In spite of my fascination with mathematics, and even a passing interest in English literature when there was time,
I was destined for engineering. There was nothing the Jesuits could do about it.

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