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Bachelor of Engineering (1st class Hons), Major Mechatronics
Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, 2006
Hatch Associates, Geelong, Victoria
Time in job:
I am an electrical engineer based onsite and my main role is support engineering work for capital and maintenance projects.
My primary location of work is on site at the Alcoa World Alumina Smelter, however from time to time I also support the Hatch business group in Geelong. I work in project offices alongside managers, engineers, safety, scheduling and procurement personnel.
I have done quite a few smaller projects as an embedded engineer at Alcoa, but more recently have been involved in a reliability project to replace electrical panels in an overhead gantry vacuum crane; electrical machine guarding tasks and lighting and associated electrical equipment on a new 20 tonne ship unloader boom replacement. I am currently working on a multi million dollar project to install new over head gantry cranes in the smelter Potrooms.
Best job aspects:
Definitely being on site where I can design, commission and watch my designs in operation. I get to chat with operators, trades personnel and area engineers and tailor my designs to best meet their needs. I also get to see the after effects my designs have on the business, processes and the personnel who work with them. Also I enjoy the variety that comes with consulting engineering and working with a friendly and competent team of people.
Worst job aspects:
Paper work! As an engineer I am constantly designing to standards and regulations, and as a result must document every decision made and why. Then from the design, I must write detailed scopes of work to ensure that no shortcuts are taken during construction and to avoid unforeseen costs that may be incurred due to miscommunications. Also there are a lot of reports and auditing requirements that come with the job.
Communication, team work, project management, engineering knowledge as well as personal organisation and time management skills.
Tips for Graduates:
Ensure that you apply for jobs that will challenge and grow you as a person and as a professional engineer. Try to surround yourself with professionals that you admire and ones that you can gain knowledge from.