Ronil Shama is a recent Engineering Institute of Technology graduate. He earned his 52708WA - Advanced Diploma in Industrial Automation, adding qualifications to his CV and growing his skill set. He knew he needed to study Industrial Automation because he saw the face of the mining industry - the industry he has spent his entire career in - changing.
He started his career back in 1996 in Fiji where he was studying Electrical & Electronics Engineering at the Fiji Institute of Technology. During that time, with mining being an integral part of the Fijian economy, he was working with Emperor Gold Mining Company at the Vatukoula mine as a shift electrician.
In 2003, he went to work for Highway Electrical Limited in New Zealand where he filled a position as an electrician. In 2007, another career opportunity reared its head, which saw Ronil going to Mount Isa in Australia. There, he worked for Xstrata mine under Downer on a few projects.
He is currently working for Rio Tinto at the Ranger Mine in the Northern Territory. His daily responsibilities include preventative maintenance, preventing breakdowns, power generation and distribution, and project safety. He also works to improve the plant and make it more efficient, while coaching peers and supporting the engineering teams at the plant in general. Where he works, they have been mining Uranium in the middle of the National Kakadu Park for a couple of decades.
Ronil saw how technology began flowing into his workplaces in recent decades, and reckoned that he needed to stay abreast of the technologies flowing into the industry. He said:
“In order to study plants, their capabilities and their technologies, one needs to have a better understanding about systems. Hence, it was a no brainer to pick this course to advance and improve my understanding about such technologies.”
As automation has made its way into the mining sector, Ronil has been surprised by the technology that has come with it. However, he says that the newer and the older technologies work in tandem. Thus, Ronil has to be well acquainted with the old, and figure out how to control the new. He said:
“Our power station is 40 years old and we still have relay logics incorporated with Rockwell PLCs still operating our plant. We have DCs, PLC 5, Modbus, and newer Micrologix 500 systems in place. We have old and new technology combined to get optimum results. Technology has advanced so much in the last twenty years. It is fascinating as well as challenging for me to acquaint myself with new and old technology at the same time. Mastering these together helps me to achieve great output and results.”
Ronil has just signed up to the 52764WA - Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy through the Engineering Institute of Technology. He is setting his sights on being a fully licensed engineer and furthering his career. He said:
“If I manage to complete my graduate certificate in renewable technologies, I can work as an engineer in renewable sectors given my experience in the heavy industrial and power generation field.”