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University of Western Australia
Mechanical Engineering Graduate
Nick graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering majoring in Oil & Gas
My name is Nick Sabbatino and I am a Mechanical Engineering Graduate employed with UGL. I am currently working within the commissioning team on the CCPP (Combined Cycle Power Plant) designed to power the entire Ichthy’s Onshore LNG Facility. The commissioning team is involved in testing plant equipment to verify its accordance with design objectives and specifications. The Ichthy’s LNG project is one of the largest liquefied natural gas projects in the world and is estimated to cost around $34 billion USD once complete.
On-site my work activities include generating permits, site walk-downs, supervision, producing relevant safety and technical documentation and attending regular meetings. Being exposed to such a varietal range of tasks I am able to develop and attain key skills provided by the respective industry professionals in order to further progress my career as an engineer.
I have lived in Perth my whole life and was willing to find a career that would take me to different parts of the world. With a strong mathematics and physics education I decided that engineering would be the career path to take in exploring different parts of the world. UGL is a diverse company with many international projects around New Zealand and Asia therefore providing employees willing to travel with the opportunity to do so.
I graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering majoring in Oil & Gas. In 2014, I was lucky enough to be a part of a UGL undergraduate internship where I experienced 3 months of site experience whilst on uni holidays. The 3 months on-site provided me with skills I use today and will use as an engineer later in my career. Once I had attained my degree, UGL were looking for graduate engineers through their graduate website and I was lucky enough to continue on with a career at UGL.
There is a variety of personnel in our office with different experiences and backgrounds that are more than capable of assisting in my job. Technical ability as well as great communication, inter-personal and written skills are a necessity in becoming a successful engineer. Great communication is the best skill to have in order to achieve success as an engineer. Contractor, client and sub-contractor interaction is vital with regards to ensuring all tasks are completed on time and essential for establishing relationships with fellow employees and employers.
Being able to work in another part of Australia and potentially the world is the most exciting part about my job. Ichthy’s LNG is one of the largest LNG projects in the world and being involved in the start-up of that is also very exciting. My job requires both a mix of office and site work and hence requires me to mobile and on-the-go all the time which provides a great working environment. Exposure to professional interaction is also an exciting part of my job as I learn something new in every conversation and will shape my attitude as a progressing engineer.
Long hours, early mornings and working weekends are the only limitations I face as an engineer working on-site. If you are not interested in working away from home and family then FIFO work is not the field of work for you.
Advice for university students:
- Do not stress about your discipline of study – once you become an engineer with experience, loads of job tasks within different disciplines will arise and you will experience new things.
- Be confident and exploit your communication skills. Communication is the most important skill to have in being a successful engineer.
- Be flexible – explore your boundaries do not be tunneled into one field of expertise, there are plenty of opportunities awaiting you.