Rory Sherrard - Graduate Engineer, 2019 CIMIC Group graduate cohort

Rory joined UGL's 2019 graduate cohort of the CIMIC Group graduate program, starting in the mining sector as a project engineer doing capital sustainment for our large mining clients. 

The CIMIC Group graduate program offers three 8-month rotations where graduates can work across projects, sectors and possibly operating companies within the Group in Australia. 

“I got to work all over Australia, flying out to different sites doing shutdown works and fixing up equipment. Even though I enjoy the technical side to engineering, on this rotation, I really enjoyed the broader aspect to engineering where I had the chance to get involved in the finance, commercial and stakeholder management side of things. It was great to see how all these things fit together to deliver a project.

“I then moved over to Sydney, New South Wales for my second rotation to join NSM on their Landing Helicopter Deck (LHD) contract and worked as a mechanical field engineer. This role was focussed on preventative and corrective maintenance of the craft, specifically the
Rory Sherrard on Defence site working on LHDs

light landing craft (LLC), the smaller craft that can be docked within the LHDs themselves. This role provided me a great deal of experience and responsibility which I really enjoyed. 

“My final rotation was within the asset management team where I worked with the reliability engineers, where we were tasked with undertaking reliability engineering analysis across the LHD platform and identifying opportunities for improved maintenance practices.” 

Why did you choose the CIMIC graduate program?

“The CIMIC graduate program had the most diverse range of opportunities. I didn’t know what sector or specialisation I wanted to focus on and found that UGL was able to provide me with opportunities to discover a passion.”

What have you enjoyed most about the rotations we offer?

“There are options to go into engineering design, field engineer roles, mechanical and you also have the project engineering side as well.  I was able to do 3 completely different forms of engineering, within Defence and mining in my 2 years on the graduate program which was invaluable. It’s a great testament to the graduate program to have that range available to us.”

What advice would you give to people looking to join the CIMIC Group graduate program?

“100% apply and apply early! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do, just get onto the CIMIC graduate program, once you’re on you can figure out exactly what it is you want to do. You are given the opportunity to try your hand at many different things in many different industries so it’s great for those who are unsure. On the flip side, if you do know what you want to do then UGL pretty much does it all so pick what you want to do and go for it. If you see some other areas while you’re in the business that you want to try your hand at then pick them for a rotation.”

What have you been up to since the graduate program?

“At the end of my third rotation, I secured a position as a lifecycle cost modeller in our asset management team for one of UGL’s joint ventures, Naval Ship Management (NSM). 

“On this maintenance contract, I am part of the team fixing up the LHD platform - the 2 amphibious assault ships for the Royal Australian Navy. My typical day includes touching base with the reliability engineering team who are monitoring the performance of the LHD platform and working with them to generate and quantify optimised maintenance practices going forward. I constantly engage with internal and external stakeholders to create a better, more reliable LHD platform going forward.”

Rory was awarded the runner-up in the engineering category for UGL as part of the CIMIC Group Graduate of the Year Award for 2020, recognising the exceptional achievements of our graduates, in engineering and other professional disciplines.

UGL Finance team

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