Corey Stevens

Corey Stevens

University of Queensland
Supply Graduate (Engineering)
Corey studied Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) - Chemical Engineering at University of Queensland

What's your job about?

I work in the engineering team at the brewery itself to help improve the way we do things so that we use less raw materials (such as water and natural gas) and produce less waste (such as carbon dioxide and wastewater). Alongside this, I’m involved in day-to-day problem solving as well as completing a Diploma in Brewing.

At the moment, one of my projects is to reduce carbon dioxide usage in our filtration processes. This firstly involved identifying where the most CO2 is used, calculating how much each process should be using and working out which processes are using more than they should. I’m now designing solutions to reduce how much we use in each of these processes without adversely affecting any other parameters such as beer quality, water usage and steam usage. This also involves working with external suppliers to size and purchase various pieces of equipment.

This work also ties into a formal graduate program where we get to branch out into other departments and get a feel for what everybody at the brewery does. This is a great way to get the “full picture” and is something that would be difficult to fully understand if you were placed straight into a normal (non-graduate) role.

What's your background?

I grew up in Queensland and remain a proud Queenslander despite moving to Melbourne for the position (sorry Mum!).  I completed a BE(Hons) in Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland which set me up well for a process engineering role. During my studies, I was lucky enough to complete three internships.

The first was at CUB in Yatala just before starting university – this was a great way to set the scene and better understand the roles and responsibilities of an engineer. It also helped me to pick and choose electives that I thought would be most useful down the track, even if they weren’t the most exciting or popular courses out there.

At the end of my second year, I completed a three month internship for Orica’s former Botany ChlorAlkali Plant (now Ixom Chemicals). Here, I got great hands-on experience working at a manufacturing site and also worked with operators and trades who had decades of experience.

My final internship was with Origin Energy working on the APLNG project on coal seam gas fields near Roma, QLD. This was an office-based role with one week per month out on site where I learned about engineering compliance and the need to keep detailed notes on project work.

These experiences helped me to gain a good understanding of what being an engineer actually involves and ultimately helped me get into the CUB graduate program. I moved to Melbourne 10 months ago specifically for the job and have loved it ever since.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

There’s three different “streams” in the CUB graduate program – Brewing, Packaging and Engineering – so there will definitely be a position suitable for any engineering discipline. Typically, chemical engineers aim for Brewing because it requires skills relating to fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and biology; mechanical engineers (or similar) typically aim for Packaging because it involves high-speed machinery and moving parts; Engineering is suited to just about any discipline and requires skills relating to process control and automation, capital project management, complex problem solving and engineering design.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job would be the ability to have a major impact on reducing water, energy and emissions. One of the previous projects I was involved with managed to save 10 million litres of water per month! It’s a good feeling to be able to minimise environmental impact as part of your everyday work.

On top of that, there are daily beer tastings for quality control and formal taste training programs to help you recognise different flavours in beer. Of course, this is always a highlight of the day!

What are the limitations of your job?

We complete a diploma through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in either Brewing or Packaging so there is quite a lot of study involved – something that some people maybe wouldn’t want coming straight out of a long university degree. Some of this ties into day-to-day work but much of it is theoretical.

Work hours are flexible if you’re not on shift, but sometimes weekend work is involved for projects or maintenance (there’s no production over weekends) or some late nights if there has been a breakdown and support is needed to get the lines back up and running.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Hard work pays off so keep at it! The job market when I graduated was very tough (and I’m sure it still is) so it’s worth working hard to ensure you get a job not only in your field, but also one that you enjoy.
  • Don’t forget to have fun! Hard work is great, but you should also take the time to go do something you enjoy. It’s good for both mental and physical health and helps reduce stress.
  • Learn more biology! Learning about yeast genetics, cytology and biochemistry has been very challenging seeing as I didn’t take any biology courses throughout my degree.