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

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Shane Doherty

 
Shane Doherty

Mining Engineering

Principal Project Engineer, BHP Billiton

Studying engineering at UWA was fantastic. Having relatively uniform first year courses for all engineering students allowed me to hone in on the discipline in which my passion lay before committing. 

If not for the first year general resource engineering I would not have had exposure to mining and the opportunities it could deliver. Many of the lecturers and speakers within the Mining Engineering course were veterans of the industry and consistently provided tangible problems / case studies to work through.

There was always a heavy emphasis on final employment and the course was tailored for a vast range of career opportunities; whether it be consulting firms, Contractors, major mining companies or the banking sector.  At no point did I feel that anything I was studying would be irrelevant to my career. This feeling has been fully verified after 5 years in industry

My thesis project was easily the most interesting piece of work I undertook. I was fortunate enough to take on a project for BHP Billiton Iron Ore (my current employer). I was tasked with validating if haul truck waste engine oil could be used in explosives. As you could imagine, the testing phase was very exciting! As the thesis was endorsed by a company external to the university, it allowed me to complete the majority of the work during vacation employment as well as during mid-semester and mid-year site visits. The prospect of becoming a site-expert in a particular field was extremely motivating.

I completed two summer programs at BHP Billiton iron ore, which led to a graduate placement at Mt Whaleback mine site in 2009. For the first 4 years, my career was spent in Short Term Planning (1 day to 3 months) roles; Drill and Blast, Civil earthworks engineering and weekly mine scheduling. This year I completed a secondment as a Load and Haul Supervisor, supervising a team of 12 mining operators. The leadership experience gained from my time as a supervisor lead to my consideration for my current role as principal projects engineer for Eastern Ridge mine site.

My Main focus is to co-ordinate a multi-function team of professional on developing new mining areas within our site. The job is extremely challenging in its scope (up to 7 years) and the diversity of the stakeholders involved. The most fascinating aspect is making strategic decisions for every stage of the mining cycle, from Government approvals and Exploration drilling, to mine scheduling and closure planning.