Robert Davis

Robert Davis

University of Queensland
Graduate Process Engineer

Who Am I?

I am a Graduate Process Engineer working with ConocoPhillips.  I joined the company in 2015 after graduating from the University of Queensland and completing the ConocoPhillips vacation work program the year before.  My journey started in the Brisbane office, working on the APLNG project as we finished construction and commissioning of the LNG plant.  After almost 18 months in Brisbane, I was able to move to Gladstone Island as a Site Process Engineer and provide more day-to-day support to Operations.  My current rotation is working from the Perth office, supporting our offshore Bayu-Undan facility as we prepare for a major shutdown.

My path so Far:

Did I always want to work in Oil & Gas? 

No.  I think that like a lot of engineering students, I went into the discipline because I liked maths and science and I liked problem solving.  I didn’t have the best understanding of what type of work engineers could do and definitely didn’t know a lot about the Oil & Gas industry.  But as I progressed through my degree and was exposed to more and more industries, the scale of the projects in Oil & Gas, its global nature, and the challenges associated with extracting hydrocarbons from the ground and converting them to something useful really appealed to me.  

What is the best part of my job?

It is truly dynamic in nature.  Looking back on three years with ConocoPhillips, I cannot believe the breadth of experiences I have had. 

Starting out working with the team that commissioned the LNG plant for the $25 billion APLNG project was an unreal experience.  Getting the opportunity to come straight out of university and regularly fly up to this massive project to inspect vessel internals, or assist the loading of catalyst into vessels that may not be opened up for many years, really added to my understanding of what goes into operating a plant. 

The transition to working as a site process engineer when we moved to Operations really kept me engaged.  It was such a high energy job, and each day brought unique issues to troubleshoot and work on different areas of the plant.  It was great to be able to take ownership of problems and plant systems, and have a short turnaround to see an impact from the work I was doing.

My current position in Perth, supporting the Bayu-Undan facility and preparing for its upcoming shutdown, has been a completely different experience again.  The exposure to a different process and the different environment of an offshore facility is a new challenge.

From a personal life perspective, all of these roles meant I was able to spend the first few years of my career travelling a lot.  The opportunity to experience so many parts of Australia and venture away from my home city of Brisbane has been wonderful.  When I was in University, I don’t think I ever could have predicted I would be living in Perth and frequently flying to Darwin or Dili to take a helicopter to an offshore oil platform.  It just demonstrates the world of opportunities that are available, and who knows what the future will hold.