What's your job about?
BHP Olympic Dam makes copper, gold, silver and uranium. Currently working in the Smelter, I work at the Anode Furnaces and Casting as a Graduate Production Support Metallurgist. My job is about giving technical advice to production on how to optimise the process and solve any day-to-day production challenges.
Some of my day to day morning tasks include daily morning reporting, furnace inspections and running my plant trials and projects. As soon as I get in at 6 am, I review the performance over the past 24 hours. Based on this review, I go out in the field to find out from the supervisor any other issues they have faced and discuss possible potential solutions. Once a mutual solution has been agreed upon, I spend the rest of the day implementing this change and ensuring that the same problem does not occur again.
What's your background?
Having lived in nearly all Australian capital cities, Singapore and Qatar, home has always been Gold Coast for me! I was born in Sydney however did majority of my schooling in Doha, Qatar. I came back to Australia to study Chemical Engineering at University of Queensland. While at uni, I was involved in a bunch of extra curricular activities such as social netball, volunteering with Engineer’s Without Borders and member of the chemical engineering student society. I was also fortunate to have two vacation jobs with Petrofac Limited and Worley (engineering consulting).
I got my current position at BHP by applying through the graduate program. While applying for jobs, it is important to differentiate yourself to others! Hence, with my work experiences and extracurricular activities, it was possible for me to highlight other skills (team worker, excellent communicator and leadership skills) apart from my great academics.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely! Uni has set me off with a strong foundation. However, there is just so much to learn on the job. I strongly believe that regardless of one’s background, as long as one has the curiosity and interest to learn, anyone can do my job! In saying that, it will not be necessarily easy at the start as some of the concepts are built from fundamentals learnt at uni.
The important skills required for this job are excellent communication skills, having a safety focus and great problem solving skills.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Coolest thing about my job is actually working at the Smelter and seeing molten metal that is around ~1200 degC. There is always such a rush and excitement when working with such massive unit operations and equipment. Working on site comes with its own challenges! However, at the end of the day I always feel a massive sense of accomplishment. Rather than working on a long project which takes years to see any results, my production support role is really fulfilling as I need to solve problems asap. So all the hard work at the end of the day feels super rewarding!
What are the limitations of your job?
A few limitations about my production support metallurgist role is that there is not a lot of flexibility and it is long hours! Due to the nature of the job, it demands for the person to be on site to problem solve. Plus, sometimes it takes a long time to solve the problem so I can’t knock off early! However, BHP is supportive of flexible work and any requirements can be discussed with line leaders.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself: