Meet a Graduate Process Engineer
Meet Antonia, Graduate Process Engineer
Your Name: Antonia
Your Job Title: Graduate Process Engineer
University Attended: The University of Queensland
Degree qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) - Major in Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Year of graduation: 2020
What's your job about?
My job is about managing process safety risks at the Karratha Gas Plant, which takes gas from offshore reservoirs and makes Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and domestic gas which are used for generating electricity and power. I coordinate and participate in the KGP Process Safety Risk Assessment (PSRA) program which allows us to continually improve our understanding of risk and the way in which we manage risk at KGP. Where risk refers to the potential for events or circumstances to adversely affect the health and safety of our people, the environment, Woodside’s operations, financial performance, or reputation. This allows us to maintain our licence to operate, and ensure we operate in the safest way possible. To do this, I engage with our leadership team, other engineering disciplines, operators, contractors, data scientists, and so many others to provide fit-for-purpose solutions.
What's your background?
I grew up in Rotorua, New Zealand before moving to Australia in 2005 with my family. I didn’t really show much interest in maths and science until high school, and because no one in my family had been to university I didn’t know what to do with those skills. So, I finished high school in 2014 before starting uni in 2015 studying a Bachelor of Science wanting to go into Medicine. I soon realised science / medicine wasn’t for me – I craved a collaborative environment for problem solving, and engineering was exactly that. In what felt like a blink of an eye I was halfway through my 3rd year of engineering, and it was time to look for summer vacation placements. I was presented with two offers – one with Woodside in the Perth office working on an emissions reduction project, and the other in the process engineering team in another company in Brisbane. I was excited by the prospect of going working in Perth and working on an emissions project, so I accepted the offer and flew to Perth where I would work for the next 3 months. I learned a lot and had a great time during my placement at Woodside – I loved Perth. So, in February the next year when I got the call to offer me a placement in the Woodside Graduate program I jumped at the chance. I’ve now been at Woodside for almost 3 years and have had a blast!
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best part of my job is, once I understand the problem at hand, being able to identify the right people to help me solve it – then getting everyone in a room to brainstorm solutions. Then beyond that – seeing the solution implemented. It sounds simple – but in my experience the best solutions come from the collective rather than the individual.
What are the limitations of your job?
Working in operations is fast paced and there is always lots to do. Personally, my workload is quite varied – I have a list of engineering actions to complete, as well as coordinating the PSRA Program for KGP, I also frequently fly up to Karratha to support the frontline engineers and operators, and field ad hoc queries – so I am always battling with competing priorities. My attention is frequently pulled away from a task to focus on something that is a higher risk / priority and therefore takes precedence, so progress on my tasks can sometimes be slow – which frustrates me.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
Hello younger me, I’m from the future and I need to tell you some things. First, go on that exchange, enough with the excuses – go out and see the world! Second, that subject you failed won’t ruin your life, you’ll be okay – you can’t succeed in everything, and learning from your mistakes so you can improve is a better life skill then being good at things the first time you try them. Lastly, take advantage of all the free services at uni – counselling, health services, flu vaccinations, resume writing, mentoring, financial support – because these things become ridiculously expensive later.