Graduate engineers have had the opportunity to gain invaluable experience working on the biggest asset renewal program the Riverina region has seen in 50 years.
Since the beginning of the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP), more than twelve graduate engineers have passed through Murray Irrigation’s doors.
Working on Murray Irrigation’s PIIOP program has exposed the graduates to a large-scale project they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to work on straight after university.
One of the graduates, Adam Dare, has been working on PIIOP round two for the past five months, after graduating from La Trobe University in 2016 with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering.
‘‘Working on a $200 million dollar project straight out of university is a huge opportunity,’’ said Mr Dare.
‘‘Since starting with Murray Irrigation in January I’ve noticed my skills have dramatically improved and I’m able to make valuable contributions in meetings.
‘‘PIIOP round two has given me experience in diverse aspects of engineering, including civil, design and construction.
‘‘Learning to reach a common goal with different teams in Murray Irrigation has also been invaluable to my professional development.’’
Murray Irrigation executive manager major engineering projects Warren Jose is pleased the graduate engineers have had the opportunity to work on such a large-scale infrastructure project.
‘‘The project spans across our entire footprint and involves upgrading dated infrastructure with modern outlets and regulators, incorporating new automation and remote-control technology,’’ Mr Jose said.
‘‘This provides our graduates with an opportunity to improve their project management skills and develop a range of technical skills.
‘‘Typically, graduates will assist our project managers to make sure construction remains safe, cost-effective and timely while working to complete the overall PIIOP round two program.
‘‘They receive on the job training and mentoring from experienced engineers within the project team.
‘‘This allows our graduates to refine their analysing skills when surveying reports, maps, aerial photography and other geological data for planning and implementing the project.’’
There is currently one graduate engineer working on PIIOP round two, with more expected to come on board for the PIIOP round three program.
Murray Irrigation’s PIIOP round two project has received approval for funding of $169.2 million from the Australian Government’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) in NSW.