Douglas Black is a graduate of the Engineering Institute of Technology. He recently completed his Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation and was a perfect candidate for online education and training.
Douglas currently works in the iron ore mining industry. His daily responsibilities include controlling one of the world’s largest bulk ore loading facilities — which pertains to control system governance, fault finding and general maintenance, and productivity improvements.
Douglas left school halfway through twelfth grade to start an apprenticeship as an Electrician in the Mining Industry of Western Australia. He said:
“At this time I was living in Kalgoorlie. It’s the heart of the Goldfields in Western Australia. Most boys my age were encouraged to get apprenticeships as at this time the mining industry was booming and there were plenty of jobs.”
After he finished his apprenticeship in Kalgoorlie, he began working on a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) basis on projects in Pilbara, the iron ore mining capital of the world. During this period he grew to love the control system side of the trade: PLCs, motor control, and automation.
After several years of working in iron ore, he began working for world renowned, global mining group Rio Tinto at Argyle Diamond mine.
“This is where I decided I wanted to further my education and move into engineering. My supervisor at the time was completing distance education and strongly recommended I do the same to chase my passion. I began an Advanced Diploma of Automation.”
He then moved to Port Hedland and began working as a technician for BHP. During his time there, he utilized EIT’s novel online education and training system to work towards graduating and acquiring his qualification. On his days off, he would work with the Control Systems Engineering team at BHP Port Hedland - learning more about the industry he found himself in.
After he completed his Advanced Diploma, and with the experience he gained with the Control Systems Engineering team, he applied to be a Control Systems Engineer in the company. He was chosen for the role and has been in that position for the last year. He said:
“I’ve found the Advanced Diploma helped greatly, not only by assisting me get the job I do now, but assisted me in learning in all areas of the controls world, including communications protocols, which until then I had very little exposure to. It has helped me in my day to day activities as well.”
He has since begun his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Automation through EIT and is expanding his skills in his ever-growing career. Douglas’ fascination with automation is not over; he believes it will make a safer and more productive workplace. Douglas concluded:
“I always loved to be challenged. One of my earliest bosses told me, ‘the day you stop learning should be the day you die’. I feel there is no better career to be in that makes that quote stay true. I’ve now got the job that I have been aiming for, but didn’t think it was achievable for another 5 to 10 years. I am in love with my work.”