I often get accused of not being a real engineer, even more so given my current role. Which I feel is a bit rough given I graduated 8 years ago with a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mining from UNSW. After four years of maths, rock mechanics, fluids and thermo, ventilation, mine design, excavation engineering etc etc I felt like a pretty real engineer.
After graduation I moved to Mt Isa where I spent the next 4.5 years completing my underground time, working in planning, drill and blast, scheduling and underground supervising as well. In my mind it doesn’t get too much more male dominated than the underground mining industry but life as a graduate mining engineer was pretty sweet. Work was challenging but really satisfying, I was enjoying rural life and I got to meet and work with amazing people and make life long friends like Yvette.
Claire, Yvette and Sarah
From there I moved just up the road and spent 2 years working as a scheduling engineer at a underground sub level caving operation.
About 18 months in to my new role I was pretty tired. Work was hard, and the FIFO lifestyle was taking its toll. What to do next? Quit and travel! 6 months travelling was phenomenal and a much needed break that helped me recentre myself and focus on what I wanted to do next.
Loving life on White Island, an active marine volcano off the coast of New Zealand
I have ended up as a Senior Mining Engineer for a company that sells mining software, and I am involved in consulting, training, support and sales. Everyday is different and I get to travel to mine sites across Europe and West Africa! So while I may not do a whole lot of engineering these days, it’s amazing where an engineering degree can take you!