School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

Career opportunities

After completion of your mechanical engineering studies a number of career opportunities are available in a variety of industry sectors.

Potential roles and responsibilities

  1. Asset engineers
  2. Chemical engineers
  3. Materials engineers
  4. Mechanical engineers
  5. Offshore engineers
  6. Petroleum engineers
  7. Process engineers

Asset engineers

Asset engineers are involved in the financial, commercial, quality, safety and environmental aspects of the industry in operating companies, contracting companies and government bodies. This includes the preparation of an asset strategy which links the company strategy to the joint venture partners’ ambitions for the asset. It involves the full-cycle of an asset from acquisition, evaluation, development, production, sale and decommissioning.

Asset engineers in the oil and gas industry may perform the following tasks:

  • apply to the regulatory authorities for permission to explore, drill and produce
  • manage exploration and drilling programs
  • manage design and construction projects.

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Chemical engineers

Chemical engineers use a fundamental knowledge of chemistry to design and operate facilities and process in order to produce commercial quantities of a product.

Typically, chemical engineers are responsible for

  • monitoring and reducing the impact of human activities on the environment,
  • extracting and transporting fossil fuels such as crude oil and natural gas
  • refining and processing crude substances to realize a full repertoire of modern-day materials
  • manufacturing of high value adding chemical and pharmaceutical products and
  • discovering and synthesizing novel materials via cutting edge research to improve our quality of life.

Chemical engineers work in industries including food and beverage, oil and gas processing, mining, petroleum, refining, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

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Materials engineers

Materials engineers investigate relationships between material and properties and find ways in which materials with specific industrial properties can be designed, manufactured and processed.

Materials engineers work in aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronic, manufacturing and resources industries.  In Western  Australia, the manufacturing and minerals industries have been the major employers of materials engineers.

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Mechanical engineers

Mechanical engineers design, develop, construct, install, manage and manufacture all kinds of equipment such as:

  • Electrical power generators, engines and pumps;
  • Process equipment for petroleum, mining and manufacturing industries and
  • Robots and computer-aided systems

Our Mechanical engineering graduates have earned an excellent reputation working in aerospace; aeronautics; marine and automotive design and testing; resource development and energy supply’; building services; manufacturing and transport; and the industries involved in the design and manufacture of medical equipment.

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Mechatronics engineers

Mechatronics engineers design and build the electronic and computer control systems that nearly all machinery relies upon for efficient and reliable operation.  For example they may maintain automatic systems that monitor process plants for leaks and faults and keep the plant operating all year round or they may design and manufacture consumer goods which require embedded computers to control their automatic features.

Our Mechatronics engineering graduates are generally employed by companies in the manufacturing, mining, aerospace, oil and gas and processing industries as well as finance and investment.  Mechatronics graduates have the flexibility to work as mechanical and electrical engineers in many industries, particularly with companies seeking graduates with a broad range of skills.

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Offshore engineers

Offshore engineers are responsible for the design of infrastructure for offshore oil and gas production including the offshore platform, subsea production equipment and pipelines.

They may perform the following tasks:

  • determine the most cost-effective type of facility for the field
  • calculate wind and wave loading on the structure and the structural response
  • determine the method of fixing the structure to the sea bed
  • design structures to support the topsides of the platform and the wind and wave loading
  • select appropriate strength, weight and corrosion-resistant materials
  • plan the fabrication and installation of the structure
  • design flow lines, risers and ancillary equipment to connect subsea wells to the production platform, shuttle tankers and export pipelines to shore
  • design floating production.

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Petroleum engineers

Petroleum engineers are responsible for the safe and economic evaluation, development and production of hydrocarbons.

They may further specialise in the following areas: drilling engineering, well engineering, production engineering, formation evaluation and reservoir engineering.

Petroleum engineers are responsible for the following general functions:

  • determining the location of wells and method of drilling
  • optimising well bore completion design and artificial lifting techniques to maximise hydrocarbon production
  • conducting production testing to determine the composition, temperature, pressures and flow rates of reservoir fluids
  • determining the optimum development scenario for an oil and gas field to maximise recovery and value

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Process engineers

Process engineers are responsible for the design, commissioning and operation of processes and plant for the treatment of hydrocarbon fluids. Such systems comprise complex combinations of: vessels, pumps, valves, heat exchangers, contact towers, compressors, instrumentation and flare systems.

They often work in large multi-disciplinary teams to perform the following tasks:

  • conceptual and detailed design of the process and equipment required to treat and stabilise reservoir fluids
  • develop more cost-effective processes, smaller and lightweight equipment with improved reliability and reduced maintenance
  • ensure safe, efficient and environmentally friendly processing
  • test product quality
  • diagnose faults
  • implement corrective action
  • co-ordinate the work of process plant operators.

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Last updated:
Wednesday, 8 December, 2010 3:26 PM

http://www.mech.uwa.edu.au/321795