Why did you choose to undertake postgraduate studies?
While a bachelor's degree provides a sound education platform across many facets of engineering, postgraduate study provided me with an opportunity to focus on specific areas of theory, enhancing the thinking process required to solve problems. The UTS Master of Engineering by Research program offered an opportunity to study the current Australian manufacturing challenges faced by my employer in an academic context. I had also completed my undergraduate degree there, so returning to UTS was an obvious choice.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I'm the General Manager at L&A Pressure Welding Pty Ltd. The company designs and manufactures pressure equipment for the oil and gas industry. My role requires a mixture of soft engineering skills to guide staff and directors on recommended courses of action relating to projects, their risks, monitoring the quality of our health, safety and environment system, and addressing WHS / HR matters. I also need to stay abreast of developments in regulation and technology application, and understand market shifts to ensure the business remains in check with current practices. Most of my time is spent communicating (written and verbal) with employees, directories, clients and government on matters of performance, safety, technical, commercial, markets and trade.
How has postgraduate studies helped you with your career?
My course added depth to how I view problems, the connections between cause and effect, and how I respond. The literature review and argument development process required when preparing a thesis meant I experienced a learning process that is transferable to many businesses and management problems.
What was it like studying at UTS?
My course's structure provided tailored hands-on learning while delivering robust business solutions to a host organisation. For the most part, there was a focus on connecting theories with practical examples through thoughtful assignments, group work and laboratories exercises. The lecturers varied greatly in their industry experience and the style of teaching they bring to the lecture. In general, engineering staff were approachable and offered sound advice and support in regards to student questions, even if the topic is not of relevant to the subject regime they taught.
I think the most valuable thing I learnt while UTS was learning how to learn. At the onset problem can seem too difficult to solve, yet through perseverance and couching, a solution can be realised. Anything can be done if enough effort is applied and the time line is managed.