Please tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?

Growing up in a small coastal village in Kerala, India, I never thought of studying and working in a foreign country until the latter half of my Bachelor’s degree. When I realised I wanted to experience foreign education and a new culture, I knew it was going to be a challenge. But I decided to pursue my interests and so far it has been rewarding. There have been many challenges, but I have had some amazing people backing me up.

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What did you study?

I did my Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Western Australia

Tell us about your work

I’m currently going through my second rotation in Sedgman as part of the CIMIC Group Graduate Program. Sedgman is into design, construction and operation of mineral processing plants and has a global presence. This gives graduates like me the perfect platform to gain experience in three distinct aspects of engineering – design, project management and plant operations. I believe this is a rare opportunity for any graduate. Furthermore, when you think about the prospects of international assignments and rotation into other CIMIC Group operating companies, the possibilities are endless for someone starting their career with Sedgman.

Being a part of the materials handling systems design team at Sedgman, I work with experienced engineers and drafters in design, technical calculations, equipment selection, preparing estimates, etc. This is basically an office-based role with occasional site visits during the commissioning phase of a project.

What do you like about the job

A really cool part of working at Sedgman is the opportunity to taste a blend of both office and site-based work. Prior to this role, I had been working with the Maintenance & Reliability team in Sedgman where I gained hands on exposure in the day-to-day operation of coal handling and preparation plants (CHPP). I spent about three months doing FIFO at Foxleigh CHPP in the Bowen Basin, which was initially quite challenging. During this time, I came across some of the most knowledgeable people and advanced condition monitoring technologies which propel our excellence in plant operations.

What I really like about my job is the opportunity to broaden my horizons. During my time at Foxleigh CHPP, I was tasked with managing some rectification works in the plant. This involved actively collaborating with other engineering disciplines, operators, technicians and fabricators. For instance, I briefly worked with our Process Engineering team in preparing a proposal to install a slurry sampler in the plant. All this was possible due to the support and recognition I received from my team. Everyone has time to answer your questions and values your contribution.

How has been your learning experience on the job?

The most amazing part of working with CIMIC Group and Sedgman is the emphasis these companies place on their people and their professional development. As a graduate there are plenty of training events, in the form of webinars and development days. Graduates are required to participate in 12 webinars during the graduate program. These webinars cover both discipline-specific and other topics relevant to professional development. There is also a development day at the end of each eight-month rotation, which is a great opportunity to meet with graduates from the other CIMIC Group operating companies.

Life has taken me to unexpected places and placed me in surprising situations. I believe the key factors are:

  1. Enjoying each experience
  2. Staying motivated
  3. Continuously improving.