Process engineer (mining engineer)

What they do

Process engineers design, develop and operate a range of machinery and equipment that undertake multiple tasks in the mining, manufacturing and utilities infrastructure industries. They undertake research into the manufacture of new products, redesign existing processes, develop and implement new products, and select appropriate equipment or materials for carrying out particular tasks. Process engineers also study the environmental implications of particular industrial processes and work towards ensuring that these processes are as environmentally non-invasive as possible. Process engineers work all over the state, from mine sites in the Pilbara and South West regions to industrial process plants in our cities and large regional centres.

Working conditions

Process engineers often work in the offices and laboratories of mining, manufaturing or processing facilities, research institutes or universities, consulting companies or city and shire councils. They may occasionally be required to work in the field in mining or manufacturing facillities or processing plants. They usually work regular hours, but may be required to work longer hours at times, and may be required to work irregular hours when working in the field. They may travel to attend conferences, or to work or consult on a particular project.

Tools and technologies

Process engineers use computers and computer-aided-design (CAD) software. They also use data managementand process analysis software. They also work with specialist equipment to obtain samples, as well as calculators and measuring devices, and analysis and testing equipment. Whilst carrying out field work they may be required to wear protective clothing such as helmets, goggles, high visibility clothing and work boots.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a process engineer, you usually need to study a degree in engineering, with a major in chemical or metallurgical engineering. You may need to complete further postgraduate study to specialise in chemical or metallurgical engineering.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.