Marcel Maughan is an Automation and Breakdown Specialist for a company named IMP. The company is a world leader in automating sample preparation and analysis equipment for mining and sample laboratories. His responsibilities include installing, servicing, and repairing the automation equipment at IMP.
A career in automation, however, has been quite the journey for Marcel. He completed high school in 1997, with a dream of becoming an Electrical Engineer. The only snag was his family could not afford to send him to university. Instead he decided to find work. Reflecting on that time in his life, he said:
“Unfortunately my dreams seemed to be out of reach. I applied for many jobs and went for many interviews without success. For three years I was unsuccessful in every application, but I worked day and night as a barman and later as the bar manager. I made just enough money to pay rent and do a semester at college, where I studied Electro Technics and Industrial Electronics.”
His persistence and hard work helped Marcel eventually get his foot into the right door. In March 2000 he found employment with IMP where he was employed as a Junior Technician. During this time he pursued a Certificate of Compliance for Force and Mass Metrology which qualified him as a Metrologist.
Thereafter, but still with IMP, he was recruited onto an automation project. He was hooked and knew he wanted to be in automation for the rest of his career. His hunger for knowledge was realized by IMP; they sent him on various PLC and Robotics courses. He even completed an advanced course in Robot programming.
His next course was a Profibus Installers course which qualified him as a Profibus engineer. These accumulated achievements won Marcel his Senior Automation Technician status.
About the ever-changing automation industry, he said:
“The automation industry is constantly changing. More and more people are turning towards automation for safety and production reasons. The most fascinating part is being involved in the Automation evolution.”
But there was no slowing Marcel down, in 2011 he completed his Electrical trade and became a qualified Electrician.
In 2016, wanting to augment his professional development, Marcel stumbled across the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT). His employer agreed to assist him and he registered for the Advanced Diploma in Remote Engineering, Mechatronics and Robotics. 18 months later he completed his final assignment and received his qualification.
He believes his studies have been enhanced because of his solid and ongoing experience in industry.
It seems that striving for excellence and determination are the key: Marcel is an example of how these qualities can elevate someone and then assist him/her to continue to improve exponentially. He said:
“Success comes from doing it right. The FIRST time! And on time! If you do this in all your tasks you gain a sense of pride in what you do. If that can’t motivate you, then there will be few things that will.”
He has some advice for students and engineers determined to improve as practitioners in the engineering world.
“Experience is probably the most valuable aspect of your career. Second to this is studying and learning while gaining experience. I am determined to continue to learn and gain more experience as I go. In terms of furthering my studies, Electrical Engineering will be my main focus.”