Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a smaller rural town in Canterbury, New Zealand where I attended Ellesmere College. After high school, I moved over by myself to Australia where I commenced my studies in engineering at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
How did you get to your current job position?
I started with Worley as an undergraduate in December 2018 after my university exchange in South Africa. After working as an undergraduate process engineer with them for three months full time over the summer break, I received an offer for the Worley graduate program. After continuing to work at Worley a few days a week throughout my final year of university, I am now employed as a graduate process engineer.
How did you choose your specialisation?
I went into university thinking that I wanted to do civil engineering as my major, however, after completing the general first year of the engineering degree, I was sold on chemical process engineering due to its variability and wide-ranging opportunities. Process engineers look at an entire process and how it can be improved or designed more efficiently. These skills can be applied to so many different industries, so not know exactly what industry I wanted to go into, this was the perfect degree for me. Later in my degree, I thought I may have preferred mechanical engineering due to the development or a more specific skill set, however, now that I have graduated and working, I am happy I stuck with process engineering as I am experiencing the vast opportunities it presents in my work.
What was your interview process like?
I had a video interview as I was overseas at the time. Questions covered my personal interests, how I would handle difficult situations in university and the workplace, and my skills, weaknesses and ethics.
What does your employer do?
Worley is a leading global provider of professional project and asset services in the energy, chemicals and resources sectors.
What are your areas of responsibility?
Currently, I am working on a project team who is analyzing a gas compression system for a CO2 injection pipeline on an LNG plant. My current responsibilities for the project include interpreting the graphical data produced by Aspen Hysys simulations and updating case reports to indicate the repercussions of different plant failure scenarios to the client. Previously to this project I had been mainly involved in piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) design and markups and hazard and operability study (HAZOP) closeouts, for a range of large mineral processing projects.
Can you describe a typical workday?
Usually, when I first come into work between 7.30-8.00 am, I grab a coffee and check my emails for anything I may need to know for the day/week ahead. On Mondays, I will meet up with the other graduates in the building for a coffee at a nearby café to catch up with what everyone else is up to. Every day is a bit different – it is currently mid-morning on a Tuesday and I have just handed in my first case study report to one of my supervisors for checking. After writing these interview responses I will get started on the next one! Occasionally, I have a meeting with the team or clients throughout the day too. I work a 40 hour week and the company is flexible with hours, so I will usually work until 5.00 pm Monday to Thursday and then have a shorter day on Friday. However, occasionally I will need to stay a bit later if we are under the pump!
What are the career prospects with your job?
Process engineers can go into a change of different industries, to list a few; energy, oil and gas production, food and beverage processing, mineral processing, pharmaceuticals, water treatment and biofuels and green energy.
For me personally, I would like to develop my technical skillset at a company like Worley and the later in life, perhaps start my own boutique gin distillery or work in a winery.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I were to choose a different career path it would be in viticulture and oenology – making wine!
What do you love the most about your job?
I am loving the work I am currently doing in the advanced analysis group. Some tasks as an engineer are not always exciting and can get repetitive however I am finding the work I am currently doing super stimulating and challenging! I am learning heaps and really having to think about the control logic of the operations and basically play detective by working out what triggered certain events to occur!
What’s the biggest limitation of your job?
My biggest limitation at the moment is not having site experience. It is quite difficult to fully understand systems and design plant areas without actually seeing what you are working with in person. There are opportunities for graduates at my company to get on site for short periods and commissioning work, so this year I would love to do exactly that.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?