Nathan Porter

Nathan Porter

Griffith University
Graduate Energy Services Engineer
Nathan studied Bachelor of Engineering (Sustainable Energy Systems) at Griffith University

What's your job about?

I am in a solutions team that provides energy analysis, advice and solutions for buildings throughout Queensland.  I am responsible for helping sales, service and project teams create proposals and deliver solutions for particular sites around Brisbane.

Sites I am involved with include the Brisbane Cultural Precinct, Central Plaza, Energex (Newstead) and many of the other office buildings throughout the CBD.  For these sites I have created reports and analysis tools.  I have designed physical solutions for Energy Metering and Analysis and I have created proposals for increasing energy efficiency of these buildings.

What's your background?

I was born in Biloela but grew up right next to the beach in Yeppoon, a small coastal town in Queensland.  After I graduated high school I moved to Canada for a ski season, during which I visited my brothers’ in-laws in South America.  It took me a total of four ‘gap’ years and five jobs after high school to realise I wanted to be an Engineer; it fits my personality perfectly and I loved studying. 

During my studies I gained subject awards and was fortunate enough to be voted graduand of the year.  Due to my hard work I was sponsored to go overseas for my studies on three separate occasions.  Twice for engineering in Germany and once in China.  These overseas experiences were vital in shaping the type of free thinking engineer I am today and it has helped me focus on what is important to me in my career.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, I think everyone would do it differently. I am a Graduate Engineer receiving on the job experience.  I think it helps to have an interest in energy efficiency and/or an interest in improving HVAC Systems.  It is a requirement to have a technical understanding of thermal dynamics and electrical systems.  It is important to keep researching and learning in-between day to day tasks.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Learning about a new site and looking for opportunities for improvement.  I hear people in all industries complain when they find problems or inefficiencies.  But in my position these inefficiencies are seen as an opportunity! 

What are the limitations of your job?

I have responsibility and pressure on me from the work, but I have support and resources to help me.  The work does not allow for much development of new software or technologies.  I am required to find the best suited solution for a requirement/project, not develop software or hardware from scratch as this is more of a Software Engineer role.  This can be seen as a positive or a negative depending on what you would like to be doing.  I enjoy finding interesting technologies and products to fit into a solution bundle, rather than working on the product development. 

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

Work on the assignments that suit your interests the most.  This will help you find a career path.  You are smart enough to get good grades in your subjects, use university as a self-discovery opportunity and direct your attention towards interesting projects.  Also meet for a coffee with the professors that teach your favourite subjects and discuss their industry.