My experience with Aurecon
I’ve wanted to be an engineer since I was in Year 10 when my dad took me to an industry panel presentation. After hearing about the work an engineer does, the industries they can work in and the travel opportunities, I decided to pursue engineering. I studied at the University of Western Australia, completing an undergraduate degree in civil and mechanical engineering, and later obtaining a Master of Professional Engineering.
Being a mechanical engineer in the energy and industrials unit, I specifically work on projects regarding bulk material handling and process systems. In the last year I’ve been able to work on a range of projects within this area, such as the upgrade of a tailings pipeline and the design of the compressed air system and hydraulic lines to be installed in a maintenance workshop.
The range of projects and the chance to work with different departments, means there are many diverse learning opportunities at Aurecon. On one big project that involved doing multiple smaller projects to increase productivity and efficiency, my tasks included modelling and doing calculations of the process water. I then looked at how upgrading the pumps, valves or installing new pipelines would improve the process system. While working on this project I gained experience working with vendors, liaising with site personnel, and working with the contractor to determine the cost and schedule of the project – which developed my soft skills, like communication, to collaborate with future clients.
One of the things I enjoy most about my job is working with my team and the chance to work with people who have a range of experiences and different engineering specialisations. We have quite a varied team within the energy and industrials unit, so there are different career options and projects to work on if you’re interested in specialising in a field or managing projects. I also enjoy that you get the mix of the office and on-site experience where you have the chance to see different project sites. It’s good to get out there and see what you are working on, see the layout of the equipment, talk to site personnel, and see what solution might be best for the project outcome. Aurecon has a strict safety procedure for on-site inspections with our safety and wellbeing the priority. Before going for an on-site visit, you need to be fully inducted and attend training sessions to ensure you can watch out for yourself and others.
Depending on what projects I’m working on at the time, my typical day at Aurecon can vary quite a lot – from meetings with the project team or clients, to doing calculations, modelling, or writing reports. I’m also currently one of the Perth Co-Chairs of the Limelight committee, which is our network of emerging professionals and graduates at Aurecon. Between my normal tasks, I also help organise fun and inspiring events and initiatives for our Perth office such as ‘Coffee Roulette’, where graduates and senior leaders pair up to have a casual chat about their career, experience or advice, or project showcases - a series of presentations from different projects to give graduates an insight into what other teams are working on.
It’s really rewarding being able to run events that can help recent graduates acclimatise to working fulltime and provide them with opportunities to meet senior leaders around the company. Management fully support Limelight, as the feedback sessions with senior leadership have opened their eyes to new ways of thinking, new ideas, and hearing the voice of the future thought leaders of our company and within the wider industry. I think it’s a great way to get involved and I enjoy meeting graduates from other teams who I don’t typically work with.
As well as the development opportunities you can get from Limelight, Aurecon provides other more formal learning and development, too. Aurecon values career development and supports it with the Mentoring for Success Programme and initiatives like Let’s Talk, which allow us to chat about our role expectations with our managers, helping us align our passions to our goals and working on projects that will provide learning experiences. As a graduate this gives us the chance to develop our skills in the areas we want to pursue further down the line, such as developing relationships with clients, learning technical skills and adapting to the changing market. I value these meaningful talks with manager because it means I can continue to set and achieve my goals and progress my career in a supportive space.
My best advice to graduates