After obtaining his degree BEng(Mech)(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Jeremy Cooper started working at Reliance Hexham in 2015. Servicing mainly for the mining industry, he enjoys working on challenging projects with customers, solving problems in new and innovative ways to take projects from a concept on paper through to a final product ready for service.
Jeremy’s day to day tasks might include 3D CAD mechanical design, stress analysis using FEA and hand calculations, research and testing dynamic systems, project management and liaising with customers.
How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I began volunteering in 2017 after receiving an email looking for new members in the Newcastle Mechanical Committee. I became Chair of the committee in 2019 and was recently re-elected for 2020.
Why did you become a volunteer?
Having local knowledge and connections is something that can’t be taught in university. Making connections both professionally and personally through volunteering in Newcastle has opened up my local network. This is one of the many reasons I joined.
What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I’ve always enjoyed a good site tour and having a sticky beak around facilities. Volunteering in this committee has allowed me to have an influence on what site tours are provided for Newcastle engineers.
What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
Volunteering for Engineers Australia has opened up other avenues for me, one of which was being asked to give a presentation to high school students looking to have a career in Engineering. Being able to inspire and have an impact on the next generation of engineers is awesome!
How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
Being part of the local manufacturing industry in my work life has provided me with local connections to organise site visits for Engineers Australia. However, it does work both ways. Contacts I have made through volunteering for Engineers Australia have been invaluable with some unique jobs that have come up at my work.
How do you balance work and volunteering?
My employer is very understanding of my volunteering duties and allows me the time to do my duties during work hours. As volunteering duties count towards Professional Development hours and required experience for CPEng, it will help me gain charted status which will ultimately benefit my employer.
What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
Do it! Nothing to lose if it doesn’t work out, and plenty to gain!
Image: courtesy of Jeremy Cooper