A century of achievement 1913 - 2013
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Brad Franklin


Mining Engineering

Graduate Mining Engineer, BHP Billiton

With the mining industry as it currently is, the broad range of experiences I had at university, including achieving my degrees, were critical to securing a job as a mining engineer. In a very competitive environment, it is those that go above and beyond that get jobs. 

While studying at UWA I enjoyed the uni lifestyle and the flexibility that came with it. I took full advantage of the academic and social aspects of university life, working hard but also actively engaging with the various student groups and social events that came with it.

Through my involvement with the AusIMM Mining Student Chapter I was able to attend multiple overseas events, interstate conferences and develop leadership skills that I wouldn’t have otherwise gained just by completing course work.

I secured my graduate position at BHP Billiton Iron Ore through the company’s summer vacation work program where I had completed three months work the summer previously.

Two summers previously, I worked with Barminco as an underground operator assistant, which allowed me the next year to get a summer job with Newmont, which then helped secure a position with BHP Billiton. Your first job gets you your second and so on. The more experience you can get, the better!

I use the skills gained from my degrees in a number of ways. Technical knowledge is the obvious use but other skills including critical thinking and problem solving, as well as communication and presentation skills and report writing are all useful tools in my role. 

Heading into work for the day, I enjoy the flexibility of not being in a 9 to 5 role where I am chained to a desk. I get to drive around the mine site and view the work I implement in the office. For the most part, I enjoy FIFO work. It has its challenges but they are outweighed by the career opportunities, unique lifestyle and monetary benefits that come with it.

My advice to others would be: Industry experience is critical and grades are not the be all and end all. Get involved with your engineering specific student group as early as possible. This is how you learn the ropes from older students for things like applying for vacation work etc. Attend resume writing seminars and start applying for vacation work as a first year, even if you do not know what you want to do yet. Attend industry networking events, meet people, ask lots of questions and get on as many field trips you possibly can, to see firsthand the engineering opportunities that exist in WA; practical experience is key.