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The industry placement program that offers the world

1 August 2017
Meet the engineering students making a global impact

Each year we send our top students in engineering across the globe to put their skills to the test on real projects as part of the Engineering Sydney Industry Placement Scholarship.

Our Engineering Sydney Industry Placement Scholarship (ESIPS) program provides final year engineering students who meet requirements with placement opportunities with a relevant company aligned to their discipline, enabling them to gain hands-on experience on real projects.

Over 175 students and 20 companies have been part of the program since its inception, providing students with opportunites to travel to such destinations as Saudi Arabia, Samoa, Japan, Papua New Guinea and the United States. for their placements.

We caught up with chemical and biomolecular engineering students Grace Henry and James Zhang to hear about their experiences.

Grace Henry chemical engineering

Grace Henry

Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Company: The Dow Chemical Company
Project: Performance evaluation of new water purification technology
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Chemical and Biomolecular)

Grace's work placement brought her to coast of the Red Sea in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Based at the Dow Middle East Innovation Centre, Grace learned to use industrial data to evaluate the operational performance of the new water purification technology in their water desalination pilot plant.

It is hoped that her results will assist the Dow sales and marketing team in demonstrating the plant's performance to industrial clients and boost sales of the new technology.

"The experience was invaluable for both my professional and personal development," says Grace.

"I really enjoyed having the opportunity to live within a compound that had people from over 100 different nationalities, and learning about their lifestyles back home.

"It has made me realise how incredibly fortunate I am to have grown up in Australia which until now I have always taken for granted."

Grace now approaches the final semester of her studies with confidence.

"As a female gaining experience in Saudi Arabia, I believe I have greatly increased my job prospects for next year and look forward to developing my career further, either in Australia or abroad," says Grace.

James Zhang chemical engineering

James Zhang

Location: Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea
Company: Papuan Oil Search Limited
Project: Hydraulic Modelling and Hydrate Formation of Onshore Multiphase Flow Pipeline Gathering Systems
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Chemical and Biomolecular)

James found himself in the hidden mountain valleys of Papua New Guinea. His ESIPS placement brought him to production facilities owned by Oil Search Limited in the Southern Highlands Province. His project aimed to expand and enhance the understanding of dynamic multiphase flow conditions in the pipeline gathering systems.

"My industry supervisor Andrew Hay was very eager for me to get a comprehensive understanding of the environment and terrains of the project, as these conditions were one of the main causes for the dynamic variations in the process conditions which often lead to various problems," says James.

"He also knew that it would be a great educational experience for me to learn about the daily business operations of the company, as well as the many challenges in ensuring that a safe and optimised production routine is properly maintained."

For James, ESIPS was not just a six-month work experience project; he feels extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be able travel to an unfamiliar territory and interact with a new culture and people.

"I see ESIPS as a journey of academic learning and personal growth that produces benefits to the school, the company and the student," says James.

"I believe that this unique personal experience has greatly enhanced my passion for engineering and innovation, as well as better preparing me to work overseas and for my future career endeavours."

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