Gerry Downing is a recent Engineering Institute of Technology graduate with over thirty years of experience in the mining industry. He currently works as the Design Lead for WorleyParsons on the Koodaideri Iron Project based in Western Australia. Gerry's story is an inspiring example of how everyone has their own path when navigating a career in engineering.
Gerry completed his high school years in Johannesburg, South Africa. Right out of school, Gerry was conscripted to the army for two years. After leaving the military, he took a six-month draughtsman course. He was soon short-listed to work for a leading engineering firm in the mining sector where he completed his apprenticeship as a Mechanical and Piping Designer.
Getting swept up into work meant Gerry was unable to finish his formal technical training. At this time he had partially completed an NTC4 mechanical engineering certificate. Once he had stacked up considerable work experience, he decided in 2019 that the time was right to obtain a formal qualification to stay abreast of the industry developments.
"After so many years of not completing my studies, I wanted to finally achieve this goal in completing this course to advance my expertise in the design field further," Gerry said.
Therefore, Gerry enrolled for the 52810WA - Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering Technology in April 2019 and recently graduated in September 2020. He was spurred on to enroll due to the fascinating developments he witnessed in the engineering industry and his personal role. The most fascinating, Gerry says, is the development in technology in renewable energy and 3D prototyping and printing. He has been intrigued by the 3D prototyping world since he began his endeavors into the industry.
"In the beginning, I was interested in the 3D aspect of the engineering industry - and drawing, which allowed me to be creative," Gerry explained. "Much later on, I learned to like the construction component. It played a large part of my career development and what influenced me in choosing this path".
His daily responsibilities in his current role include working with the 3D design software. He has to ensure that the 3D intelligent metadata and quality are preserved. He further assists in coordinating data from various other design packages and ensures that it is seamlessly integrated into the SmartPlant current data. When he wasn't at his job, Gerry studied through EIT's online campus, attending virtual lectures and working hard at gaining a higher education qualification.
"This course has given me a far better understanding of my field of expertise," he said. "I now finally comprehend what fellow colleagues mean when describing the many facets of the mechanical engineering field. This course has enhanced my capabilities and given me a much broader knowledge of my field of expertise. My employer has reacted very positively; however, this course was a very personal goal of mine in attaining this qualification".
Gerry says EIT has given him the confidence and the tools necessary to progress in his career confidently. He is immensely satisfied with his current role but notes that he will more than likely study further. We wish him success in his future endeavors and are proud to have him as a member of our alumni.
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