Corey is studying a Master of Professional Engineering while working as a Graduate Mining Engineer with one of the largest gold mining companies in the world. We chatted with Corey to find out about his degree and how a typical day at work looks like for him.
Why did you choose to study Mining Engineering?
With WA having a large recourse sector, combined with a family history of mining that’s taken us around the globe as a child, becoming a mining engineer was a no brainer for me. The mix of disciplines involved in mining engineering means you’ll never be stuck doing the same thing. With mining leading the charge in autonomy, renewable energies and electrification of heavy equipment, it’s an industry we all require on a daily basis, and I will help to do it in the best possible way.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
The knowledge acquired at UWA has allowed me to have a wide range of technical and practical skills required for the workforce, allowing me to work closely with multiple disciplines ranging from geology and processing all the way to autonomous haulage and data analytics. With the supportive nature of UWA staff members, they have encouraged and challenged me every step of the way, leading me to be the best possible engineer I can be.
How did you go about securing your job?
I received vacation work in my first year of study with a top iron ore producer in the Pilbara, this gave me connections with other graduates studying at UWA. By the time I completed my undergraduate degree, these connections led me to join the biggest gold producer in the world and largest gold mine in Australia. The mixture of UWA’s technical and practical skills allowed me to understand the complexities of deep pit mining, autonomy and geotechnics. Being involved with the planning team has expanded my knowledge base beyond mining engineering and into future technologies.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
4:30am Wake up, all you can eat breakfast and pack lunch
5:15am Catch the bus into work
5:30am Office work – varies daily but commonly consists of production reports and reconciliation of past 24 hours
8:30am Production meeting
10:00am Morning drive around mining operations and project development areas
12:30pm Designing and mining planning discussions and activities
4:30pm Release 24-hour plan and return to mining village for gym session
5:00pm Dinner time
5:30pm Recreational time with friends around site
What are the biggest challenges of your role?
Initially being overwhelmed with the size of equipment in the mining industry, but once you get used to the early morning wake up, and onsite connections are made, it seems no challenge is too big, as you’re working with very knowledgeable people that you consider as your friends.
What were your most useful experiences and learnings from your studies?
The mix between theoretical and practical labs combined with site visits has provided me with a solid foundation with all my career opportunities. The Mining Engineering units at UWA have given me critical understanding of key engineering requirements needed in the industry. With connections through UWA AusIMM Student Chapter and UWA events, I now have friends throughout the West Australian mining industry in a variety of engineering disciplines.
What’s your advice to other students thinking about a career in mining engineering?
My advice for anyone going through the recruitment process, is to be yourself. People want to see your true values and your passions, this will allow you to determine if you’re a good fit for them, and if they are a good fit for you. Once you “find a job you enjoy doing, you will never have to work a day in your life”- Mark Twain.
What are your future career plans?
Working full-time in the industry whilst I continue to pursue my studies, my dream career is to be involved in the development in automation around the drilling and blasting sector, increasing efficiencies at every stage. Whilst to continue to trial and help develop future technologies where possible and expand this knowledge to global operations.
Our Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree is available as a five-year combined degree with either the Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Modern Languages or Bachelor of Philosophy, allowing you to broaden your options for an edge in a rapidly changing workforce.