Can you please tell us a little about your career, to date?

From 2006-2011, I studied at Melbourne University, graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Economics. During my tertiary studies I did an internship at BAE Systems in the Autonomous Systems group. My first graduate job was in 2011 with a small start-up engineering consultant specialising in biomedical and clean energy where I was involved in the R&D of a next generation medical device. In 2012 I joined AMOG as a project engineer initially in the Safety Engineering group, and in late 2012 moved to the Marine and Infrastructure group, where I am now a Project Engineer.    

How did you get your job at AMOG?

Word of mouth that AMOG was hiring junior engineers and then applied by sending a cover letter and CV after making initial contact with the HR manager.

What are normal day-to-day activities for you?

  • Processing environmental data (wave heights, current and wind speeds) and generate statistical descriptions
  • Conducting hydrodynamic analysis using packages such as ANSYS-AQWA, with the above data collated as input
  • Verifying the above analysis with in-field measurement of vessel motions
  • Delivering reports and weekly updates based on this analysis.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on?

The redesign of a mooring system for a large FPSO (the client name is confidential.) This involved iterating a mooring design over various component lengths and sizes for each mooring leg and then evaluating the new mooring design to meet Class requirements.

What are the three best aspects of your job?

  1. Working in a firm that is an industry leader equates to pushing the boundaries of the analysis, which is very satisfying when a solution is found
  2. The allowance to develop innovative ways to overcome the hurdles found in the analysis
  3. Ongoing professional development in weekly sessions where all technical staff have the chance to present on their expertise or a project they have completed. With staff of various technical backgrounds, this leads to some very interesting lessons.

What, in your opinion, is the most important attribute required for engineers to succeed?

The ability to appreciate an analytical challenge quickly. Often a challenging problem is initially presented by a client or discovered in ongoing analysis and the ability to systematically solve it is invaluable.

What is the most helpful piece of advice you have received, as a graduate?

Ask questions! As a graduate or junior engineer, your aren't expected to know everything and even to have forgotten the basics.  Just make sure that you remember the answer!

What skills/training/experiences have been most helpful to you in your career?

On-site and shop-floor work. While a lot of engineering is done at a desk, working with a design in the development and testing phase will enable you to think about the applications of future design work that you may do. It also enables you to think from the point of view of the build technicians and engineers as well as the end user.

What advice can you give to university students trying to break into the engineering field?

Don't be disheartened applying for jobs. Get in the graduate application early and be sure to leave enough time to develop a high quality CV and an employer specific cover letter. Be sure not to just apply to all the large graduate programs. Many small firms look to employ a couple of graduates each year and they don't always advertise on the university job boards or job-hunting websites.

Lastly, how can university students "stand out from the crowd" and improve their prospects of securing a job?

Interview techniques. Just be yourself and be honest in an interview. Employers want to see the person they are hiring, not someone who can memorise answers. Employers are well aware of the stock answers and giving these answers makes you blend into the crowd, not stand out.