David is a mechanical engineer in UGL’s manufacturing and maintenance transport team and a member of our 2022 CIMIC Group Graduate Program cohort.
He studied mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of Queensland in St Lucia and graduated in 2021.
Tell us about your typical day
“I am currently with the transport team within the manufacturing and maintenance division. My role involves team management with regards to schedule and resource planning, supporting tender opportunities, as well as driving numerous internal improvement initiative projects identified by the team.
“In my first rotation, I spent nine months on the Rio Tinto Yarwun contract in Gladstone doing shutdowns. In the lead up to the shutdown there was a lot of planning activities and preparation that went into it, like procurement, HSE procedures, resourcing, and getting all the gear mobilised, checked and ready to go. During the shutdown, my role predominantly transitioned to project controls which involved managing variations in costs and schedule. I was liaising with the supervisors for mechanical, scaffolding, rigging, welding and logistics, and assisting schedule, quality, and finance personnel to track changes in the workplan and the overall impact to the project. Being onsite and getting out in the field was great hands-on experience to see the work getting done, there was a lot of variety as no two days were the same.”
At UGL, graduates undertake two 12-month rotations with placements across the various lines of the business. Having the opportunity to rotate between sectors and projects provides a great foundation to build their career.
“In my second mini-rotation I went over the Curtis Island in Gladstone LNG. I was with the brownfields team doing project work and I got some good experience developing two estimates for upcoming projects, as well as closing out two larger projects that were mostly complete. It was really interesting getting to work on a different site and design technical solutions. I was fortunate to be immersed in different aspects of the projects like procurement, safety, quality, finance, as well as actually working out in the field, I got a real cross section of what is involved with those kinds of major works.”
What made you choose the CIMIC Group Graduate Program?
“The CIMIC Group program was really appealing because of the diversity of sectors and projects to work on. UGL specifically because they specialise in end-to-end solutions, meaning that you can experience the complete lifecycle of a project, from inception to handover to the client.”
Within your rotations, was there anything you found particularly enjoyable?
“The hands-on aspect of being onsite was a real stand out. The satisfaction you get from scoping a job and watching it get done - seeing the finished result is pretty special. That’s something that can’t be understated. I like being practical and hands on with my work, so that has been a real highlight for me.”
Do you have any advice for new graduates?
“Ask a lot of questions. Take the opportunity of being a graduate to spend time with experienced people and mentors and soak up as much knowledge as you can. If you adopt a learner mindset from the get-go, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful career and before you know, it you’ll be the expert that people are coming to for answers.”