What's your job about?
I deliver projects on site at Gorgon, one of Chevron Australia’s two LNG facilities. My work involves being given large problems to solve, that require significant time, resources, and money to complete. I steward these projects through their entire lifecycle, from conceptualisation, to design, procurement, and fabrication, to final execution on site, which I am heavily involved in. As I have many projects, they often sit at various different points in their lifecycle, so my daily work changes a lot. One day I could be reviewing design documentation to ensure that the proposed solution does what we require whilst meeting our strict standards for safety, and the next I could be out in the field answering questions on how specific equipment is to be installed. A really dynamic and changing role. Execution of projects often occurs within Turnarounds, large scale maintenance activities where parts of the facility are shut down to be worked on. My position works in the technical support team to ensure work is completed to scope and is safe to start up.
What's your background?
I grew up in Perth, with my twin brother. I attended UWA, where I completed undergraduate and postgraduate courses. I finished my Bachelor of Science in 2015, where I majored in Engineering Science and French Studies. After graduating, I started working at an explosives company when I was on university break as a postgraduate, working in a R&D and operations engineering role. I finished my honours degree in 2017, where I researched emulsion explosives, as supported by the company I was working for. I finished my masters in 2018, and joined the Chevron graduate program in 2019, as a design process engineer in the brownfields project group, after having interned there in 2017/18.
This FIFO project engineering role that I am doing now is my second placement in Chevron’s five-year Horizons program. I started in mid-2020 and have been loving the challenge!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Suppose someone wants to do the same job as you do, would that be also possible with a different background?
Yes, absolutely. My role is multi-discipline, and as such I am always learning something from outside my core discipline (process engineering). Being a project engineer requires very strong organisational and leadership skills; at the end of the day, you are accountable to delivering the project you have been assigned! Getting people together, making decisions, and directing paths forward are key aspects of my role.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best part of my job is seeing my projects get executed on site. After spending so long stewarding a project through the different stages, seeing something finally installed and giving the benefit that it needed to is very rewarding.
I also love getting down into the details, so learning something about new technology/other engineering disciplines and how that ties into our project design is really interesting.
Being an even time FIFO worker also has its benefits; working hard for a couple of weeks then completely switching off on my off time is really great for my work life balance.
What are the limitations of your job?
Being a project engineer comes with a lot of responsibility. You are accountable solely for the project, and so any issues that arise are often your problem to solve. There are often tight deadlines, a large number of projects, and large amounts of money involved, so I would recommend this type of role if you don’t work well under pressure. Given it is also based on site, there is a physical nature to the job, that may not suit certain preferences.
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