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Campus News : July 2010
www.uow.edu.au University of Wollongong Campus News July 2010 11 Ben shares his work experiences Ben Withers Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) - Honours 2008 Bachelor of Commerce (Management) 2008 It didn't take Ben Withers long to return to UOW. He was back on campus just over a year after he graduated with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Commerce, majoring in management. But this time Ben was dressed in the uniform of his employer, global mining giant Xstrata, and was on a quest to inform the next wave of UOW students about the opportunities that exist for graduates with his company. Ben was one of Xstrata's representatives at UOW's National Careers Fair in March, where 250 representatives of 70 corporations spoke to students about their graduate programs and career opportunities. Ben's motivation was simple. He is thoroughly enjoying his job as a mechanical engineer at Xstrata's Beltana/Blakefield South coal mining operations in the Hunter Valley, and wanted to pass on his experiences in the company's two-year graduate program to students from his former university. "Speaking with graduates who had already started the company's graduate program played an important role in my decision to join Xstrata when I finished uni," Ben said. "I was considering a few options, but seeing how much they enjoyed their jobs and coupled with the fact they were working on real projects, not just small jobs to keep them occupied, was the final piece of the puzzle as far as I was concerned. I wanted to pass on that experience to others." Ben started with Xstrata in late 2008, spending six months at the Ravensworth open cut mine. He then moved to Beltana/Blakefield South, and after six months was offered a full time position as a mechanical engineer working with the Manager of Mechanical Engineering. He is currently studying and attending training sessions to sit for his competency certificate which will allow him to eventually progress to management. Blakefield South is a new underground mine being prepared to take over from Beltana, which is due to cease operations by the end of the year. "The prospect of working at a brand new mine with a supervisor who wants to train me up and assist me in career development was the best environment to settle in to permanently," Ben said. Ben, from Tumut in southern NSW, originally chose to study Mechanical Engineering as a pathway to a career in motorsport. However, during work experience UN posting Dr Geoffrey Shaw Bachelor of Science (Honours) 1986 UOW Science graduate Dr Geoffrey Shaw was appointed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) representative to the United Nations in February. Dr Shaw, who had been Australia's representative on the IAEA Board of Governors, also took over the role of director of the IAEA office at UN headquarters in New York. Dr Shaw graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree from UOW in 1986, before completing a doctorate in chemistry at the Australian National University in 1990. He worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex in England for two years, before returning to Australia in 1992 to join the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Dr Shaw has represented Australia internationally on a wide range of committees and at conventions relating to disarmament, non-proliferation, nuclear safeguards and nuclear security. Between 2001 and 2004 he was a permanent Australian representative to the Conference for Disarmament in Geneva, and from 2004 to 2007 the Australian Government seconded him to serve as Special Assistant for Policy to IAEA's Director General in Vienna. NH SBS news Ricardo Goncalves Bachelor of Commerce 2001 UOW Commerce graduate Ricardo Goncalves has joined the SBS World News Australia presenter team. SBS News and Current Affairs Paul Cutler announced his appointment in April, saying: "I am very pleased that Ricardo Gonvalves will be adding to our line-up of quality presenters, as a reporter- presenter for World News Australia bulletins." Ricardo's media career started at WIN Television in Wollongong when he graduated from UOW with a Commerce degree. He then moved to National Nine News, before joining Sky News Australia. He was most recently a business news presenter on Sky news Business Channel. NH Flying high Dr Virginia Wheway Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours) 1994 PhD in Statistics 2002 Boeing Australia has appointed Dr Virginia Wheway as its first Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Director, making her the company's first EHS leader appointed outside the United States. Dr Wheway, who studied statistics at UOW and graduated with a Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours) in 1994 and a PhD in 2002, joined Boeing in Australia eight years ago. Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of civilian and military aircraft. Its Australian operation is its largest outside the United States, with 3300 employees working on 28 sites. Boeing announced Dr Wheway's appointment in April, saying she would "lead Boeing's Australian EHS strategy, developing and maintaining environmental stewardship initiatives and ensuring the implementation of environmental regulatory actions and compliance in Australia". Boeing Australia and South Pacific President Ian Thomas said: "This appointment underscores the importance Australia places on environmental governance, and this region's leadership in development of sustainable alternative aviation fuels. Dr Wheway will focus on strengthening our EHS strategy, initiatives and regulatory compliance." Dr Wheway joined the company's research and technology arm in 2002. One of her major projects was developing an algorithm to monitor the engineering health of airborne aircraft, allowing airlines to take action before a fault occurs, leading to more reliable and cost-effective operations. She was awarded a US patent for this work in July 2007. Between 2007 and 2009 Dr Wheway was a Senior Business Analyst with Boeing Australia, a mathematical specialist with Boeing Research & Technology -- Australia and Environment Manager with Boeing Defence Australia. NH Ben Withers opportunities while a student he discovered a passion for heavy industry, and his career goals changed. The management degree also gave him more options. "Doing the double degree has been provided me with a broader range of skills. I find I do more management style work than core engineering APPOINTMENTS Dr Virginia Wheway although working on a broad range of projects I need the basics of everything," he said. Ben will be returning to Wollongong again in September, but this time on personal business - to marry PD/H/PE graduate Jess Ryan who he met while at uni. NH