Job title

Specialist Project Geologist

Who do you work for?

Rio Tinto Iron Ore: Technical Assurance Mine Geology – Technical Services

What does your job involve?

Ensuring our site geoscience specialists collect and analyse the best possible data. Project management, geospatial data analysis, site liaison, model reconciliation.

Why did you choose to work in this sector?

I grew up in a mining town, Tom Price, and have been surrounded by mining for most of my life. I have always been analytical in nature, so a career in a field which was scientific in nature interested me. Upon university course selection I actually stumbled across Geophysics in the Curtin University handbook, as that was the first time I had heard of it. After a little research into the field I decided that I really liked the sound of it and put it down as a preference.

Geophysics was a suitable combination of my love of the outdoors through geology, and the challenge of applying mathematical analysis on physical properties through physics. It involves good employment opportunities, good pay, travel opportunities and a variable day to day to keep things interesting.

What is the most rewarding part of your current job?

Variability, knowing that you are adding value in a multibillion profitable organisation which is responsible for employing thousands of personnel all over the world through providing the raw resources required to advance the living standard of all.

What has been one of your recent achievements?

Implementation of productivity improvement initiatives. I successfully delivered a project which resulted in reducing data processing time for a routine task within my team from weeks to less than one day. Collaboration between a few groups was required and thorough analysis of the results completed to ensure managerial approval and acceptance of the new methodologies was accepted. This has allowed for more time to analytically view and dissect the data in a technical manner giving increased understanding and enhanced ore body knowledge.

It also highlighted further areas which could be automated providing further continuous improvement processes to be implemented into the future.

What is the most challenging part of your current job?

Determining where the most value can be added. Sometimes the biggest wins can come from the smallest places, and the big extravagant projects.

What do you hope to do in the future?

See more of the business in operation globally. Lead successful and enriching technical teams to output high quality deliverables.

What are some of the other benefits of your job?

Support from Rio Tinto Iron Ore through additional benefits. A massive support is through Sports Leave, which has allowed me travel Australia and the world to compete in BMX.

What training did you have for this job?

Upper secondary school

Completed the super six Tertiary Entrance Exam (TEE) subjects at the time: physics, chemistry, Applicable Maths, Calculus, English and Geography

After secondary school

Undergrad: BSc Geophysics and Post Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science.

What career advice would you give to school students interested in a similar career?

At the end of the day, your high school certificate and your university qualifications show a potential employer more about your character than your aptitude to learn new skills. A lot of what you will do in your day to day work life will not be things that you have learnt at high school or university. It will be through the practical application of problem solving where you will excel, and through the practical application of the theoretical knowledge. That piece of paper shows that you have the commitment to complete a task.

Sometimes you may find you have a clear picture of where you want your career to head, chase that. Other times you will find that your career will take you to places you never expected, let it! Your life is your journey, no one else’s, live it.

To find out more about how Rio Tinto supports classroom teaching and learning in maths, science and business studies for young people aged 12-16 visit SMART, our free international education portal. Using a combination of interactive whiteboard presentations, printable lesson plans, worksheets and case studies, students can explore how their academic studies relate to real-world operations in a major global business.