Job title

Mechatronics Engineer

Who do you work for?

Rio Tinto Technology and Innovation

What does your job involve?

This year I’m leading the delivery of a Mass Control System into mine sites in the Pilbara. These systems improve train load out performance by estimating the tonnes into rail cars faster, and controlling the desired upper limit of mass. The last two years I was in a development team designing the VK1™ Gravity Gradiometer. This airborne survey instrument is being designed to discover and explore ore bodies at higher resolution.

Why did you choose to work in this sector?

I wanted to receive experience with the design and application of modern technology. This sector has allowed me to become involved with innovation projects that are challenging, and will change how we work in the future.

What is the most rewarding part of your current job?

I feel brilliant when I am given a challenging problem, can understand how to work towards a solution, and take the steps to make it happen. I feel especially great if the solution is going to make a difference for people!

What has been one of your recent achievements?

Re-writing code to predict mass estimates and determine controller behaviour was a recent achievement. I also presented in this year’s Process Control Community of Practice forum.

What is the most challenging part of your current job?

Reporting my results at the right time and giving project updates has been challenging. It is difficult to take a step away from what you have discovered today, and remember the key points of what you did last week!

What do you hope to do in the future?

In the next five years I want to develop my leadership skills, learn more about different commodities, and work in different countries. I also want to share my knowledge with new and upcoming engineers.

What are some of the other benefits of your job?

A good salary, working in the city, smart colleagues, corporate sports, social club, work phone and free public transport.

What training did you have for this job?

Upper secondary school

Subjects that contributed to my secondary school results were: English, Specialist Maths, Physics, Maths Methods, Chemistry and Psychology, in order of contribution. I also studied Philosophy and Studio Arts. My favourite subjects were maths, physics and psychology.

After secondary school

I completed a Mechatronics Engineering and Science degree at Monash University. In the middle of my degree I went on exchange to Purdue University in Indiana, USA and The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

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

If you are interested in Engineering and/or Science, you should go for it! It is a rewarding career full of opportunities and big world problems that you can help us solve. Remember there is a difference between what you find easy, and what you love studying. Motivation is important, so do what you love and you’ll be laughing!

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.