University of Newcastle
Sam is a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering student in his penultimate year at the University of Newcastle. During his studies, Sam has worked part-time at a mineral and metallurgical testing laboratory as well as completing an Internship at Eraring power station.
How long have you been a member of Engineers Australia?
I have been a member of Engineers Australia since my 2nd year of University. I later became a more active member by taking on a Student Ambassador role at my University and joining the Young Engineers Newcastle Committee.
Why did you pursue a career in engineering?
The foundation of my decision to follow an engineering career stemmed (excuse the pun) from a young age, finding a passion for STEM courses at school. The concept of applying science and maths to solve societal problems and contribute positively to the community has always excited me.
A career that allows me to continuously learn from challenges that come with it, as well as the diverse nature were other aspects that drew me in.
How can Australian communities/people/society benefit from your work now and in the future?
A power station generates electricity, one of the most important gifts that science has blessed humanity with and now it’s a fundamental aspect of modern life. During my internship at Eraring power station, the projects I worked on effectively increased the reliability of the operations.
In the future it is my goal to contribute in creating a sustainable future for our earth. I want to be working on projects to help revert global warming while maintaining a high quality of life.
What is the most challenging or interesting project you’ve ever worked on?
The most challenging and exciting project I have worked on was during my Internship at the power station. It involved designing a dissolved oxygen monitoring system for the cooling water systems on some of Australia’s largest generators. While working on this project I gained a significant appreciation and respect for process safety and its role within the engineering field.
It was my first taste of design work and helped me to gain confidence working outside of my own engineering discipline. The challenges I faced were both technical and non-technical, being mechanical compliance as well as developing a business case to present to senior management.
What do you see as one of the biggest issues facing the engineering profession?
It has already been proven that the engineering profession has the ability to help shape the future and its technological advancements.
What will be critical, is aligning the values of the people and the planet to create a positive and sustainable impact for our generation as well as future generations to come.
For example, engineering decisions and innovation can both positively and negatively influence global warming. The issue is making the right decision that will help the planet and its people being through mitigation, resilience or adaptation.
What excites you about the future of the profession or what opportunities do you see for the future?
There are so many exciting projects to come in the future, whether it be a Mars base, asteroid mining, nanofactories or underground megacities, the opportunities and potential is limitless.
One of the things I find most exciting is the opportunity to be on the frontline of solving global challenges relating to a sustainable future.
Who is your engineering hero?
Since starting my path towards an engineering career, I have acquired two main engineering heroes. There are a couple of interesting similarities between these two people which I believe are the very foundation of being a successful engineer; namely being passionate about learning and what it is your trying to achieve.
My first hero is Dr Simon Iveson, who I was lucky enough to have been lectured by throughout my degree. His passion and enthusiasm for engineering is contagious and his devotion to the future of the engineering industry by teaching is truly admirable.
My second engineering hero is Sean Volkens, a dedicated and hardworking engineer at Eraring Power Station. His commitment to excellence and ethical values such as honestly, empathy and responsibility is inspiring.
Image: courtesy of Sam Crane.