Careers in Mining: Mine the new wave of jobs
Australia’s mining workforce is on track to return to the record-highs experienced early last decade with more than 10,000 jobs forecast to be created.
Wed 5th Feb 2020
Rebecca Marsh says mining is "not all just digging and dirt".
The graduate mechanical engineer at Downer MEI (mining, energy and industrial) is based in an office in Sydney for most of her work
While she does visit mine sites, she spends more time viewing them on a computer than she does in person.
"As a graduate mechanical engineer, what I do daily tends to vary quite a lot," she says.
"Some days I could be doing project work and some days I could be working in the digital engineering sector.
"I came in not really knowing what I would be doing so I suppose it's not what I expected but that's a good thing.
"What I love most would be how varied it is - I could be visiting a site, or I could be in the office where I'm usually based, I could be doing project work on a computer, I could be doing meetings with a client.
"Or, I could be working on our digital technology and expanding into virtual reality."
One of Marsh's projects has been taking drone scans of mines, working with a fixed-wing drone operator to take digital images of a mine site.
From there, a 3-dimensional model is developed, which can be used to create virtual reality, giving an up-to-date view of the mine.
"Technology has changed the way I work quite a lot, because how we would used to do projects, we'd have schematics and drawings of our site and most of the time they would be out of date because they could be decades old we try and fit new equipment in and it just wouldn't fit," she says.
"But now we can take a scan of the site and we'd have a digital twin where we can work directly in the model and put in our design and then we know that straight away that our design's going to work.
"An important skill for my job is the ability to be flexible and pick up on different things quickly and be able to adapt to change."
Marsh studied engineering at university, deciding to specialise in mechanical while studying, and was initially an intern at the mining contractor.
"At school I was interested in maths and science and I was really good at it, so engineering was the natural progression," she says.
"I've stayed here (at Downer after the internship) then I've moved through the different sectors and then I'm working in mining.
"My career so far in Downer has already changed paths a few times and I'm looking into the digital engineering space but later on, who knows where I could end up?"
Brought to you by Minerals Council of Australia