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Worley New Zealand

  • 50,000 - 100,000 employees

Liam Wech

Get out and enjoy the place you are at instead of wishing you were somewhere else.

What's your job about?

Worley New Plymouth generally works in the energy sector. I’m a Graduate Mechanical Engineer currently working 2 major projects.

  • Inlet Compression Project
  • Internal Knowledge SharePoint
  • My role in the Inlet project has been mechanical support through project FEED (Front End Engineering Design) which has followed on to detailed design. 

So far, I have been involved with purchasing and reviewing technical bids of all major equipment such as suction scrubber vessels, compressor aftercoolers and Nitrogen generation systems. I have also done a lot of pipework stress testing through specific software which meets all relevant codes/standards of practice (similar to SolidWorks all the piping and equipment is modelled then load cases are applied to see if it passes relevant loading such as thermal, pressure, wind, seismic or a combination of the lot). Following on from detailed design I will be going to the site to oversee the construction phase of the project. There I’ll be liaising with the procurement and engineering/piping teams to ensure the project goes as planned and resolve any issues which may come up. 

The second project I’m involved in is the Tanks and Terminals Internal Knowledge SharePoint. The deliverable on this project is an internal website for Worley NZ then eventually Worley Global which will allow any engineer with a Tanks and Terminals project to find relevant information or find the right Worley contact globally to ensure all our tank projects are completed to the regulations and with reduced cost due to the accessibility of the information.

What's your background?

I grew up on a dairy farm in Matakohe (a rural town in Northland), where I attended the local primary school. Throughout my younger years, I helped with jobs on my parents' farm and quickly realised I wasn’t going to be a farmer. I then decided that to get better high school opportunities I’d need to go to Whangarei Boys’ High and therefore Carruth Boarding Hostel which I did for my 5 years of high school.

Throughout my high school years, my school holidays consisted of working long days 7 days a week for my uncle

  • Scaffolding
  • Maintaining kiwifruit orchards
  • Picking up hay
  • Cutting building sites / Building retaining walls
  • Getting yelled at for running tractors out of diesel
  • Trying to keep his vehicles running after years of no maintenance. 

I got my current role based on a scholarship I saw at the career’s office notice board at high school. I decided to apply and sure enough, I got a phone interview. The interview did not go well, until the last question. “So, what do you like to do in your spare time”. Immediately my mind went to Bathtub Racing (Have a google of the Pahi Bathtub Race if you’re lost). The race involves a bathtub with a single pontoon out to the side for stability. A 2-horsepower outboard is then strapped to the back and the tubs are raced on a set course over the Kaipara Harbour. The interview then took a much more enthusiastic turn, with many follow up questions on the bathtubs and design. The mention of 25 horsepower outboards being used in the open class was enough to seal the deal and the scholarship was mine.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Honestly, if the company allowed it I’d say yes. It may take a bit longer to get up to speed but I believe my degree was focused too much on design when the role is much more technical. Back at university, I wish I had taken more papers on materials engineering rather than propulsion and aerodynamics, but that’s the way it goes, and it’s still been manageable without it.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Secondments – Since we are a consultancy business, we can go to various client offices and sites for work experience. My first secondment was to our largest clients Structural and Pipelines Engineering Team. While working with them I went on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) mission with them to inspect the pipelines 30 meters below the sea level. The operator controls the ROV from the boat very similar to an RC car just way more advanced. A live stream from the ROV cameras is then sent back to the boat and the pipe can then be inspected.

During this secondment, I was required to do my BOSIET course (Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training). The course includes first aid, emergency escape training, firefighting, emergency helicopter water landing escape (including capsizing), and sea survival techniques.

Not every day is that exciting but those are my highlights so far.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Take all the opportunities that you can.
  • Get out and enjoy the place you are at instead of wishing you were somewhere else.
  • If you need to work a part-time job at Uni – pick something that requires no thought and is strictly physical.