Peter Young takes the plunge at Woodside Energy
When training as an engineer at Monash, Peter Young (BE(ECSE)/ BCom 2014) never imagined that his career path would take him to the depths of a swimming pool while strapped inside an upside down mock helicopter. Or, for that matter, to a remote town in the wilds of Western Australia where he held the dubious honor of being the only site-based electrical engineer at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility. But that’s what has happened.
(By the way, the helicopter dunk was an emergency evacuation exercise in case things went wrong commuting to offshore oil and gas platforms. Apparently, it helps to have nose clips.)
Instead of designing and engineering solutions aloft a Melbourne skyscraper, Peter has chosen a job where he can break out of his comfort zone. For four years now, he has worked for Woodside Energy, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company, based in Perth. Although far from family and friends, he’s happily developing personally and professionally while taking part in multi-million dollar projects.
How did he get there? Well, he attributes some of his success to the communication and people skills he gained through the Monash Leadership Program. Working for a large organisation, these assist you in building your networks, and delivering outstanding results, he explains. The things you learn in your degree may not apply completely to the role that you land, but skills from the Leadership Program are ones you will utilise for your entire career. They definitely gave me an edge!
It also helps that tinkering comes as second nature to Peter. When I was young, I received a mini motorised car, which had to be assembled piece by piece, he says. And when that broke, I took out the motor and made my own handheld fan, using cardboard as my base material. While at Woodside’s Pluto LNG in Karratha, he had to get up to speed with many unfamiliar systems in order to diagnose and repair them. More recently, Peter has joined the central engineering response team, where he solves even more complex puzzles.
Looking ahead, Peter talks excitedly about how we might best meet the world’s energy needs: The wells they drill these days do not just go straight down – they can change direction, and even go horizontally! Also check out floating LNG…those ships are an enormous engineering feat. With his strong commitment to his career, we can expect Peter to build on these achievements. With a few more adventures along the way!