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The core of Aurizon's future

Recently eight of Aurizon’s talented engineers presented peer-reviewed papers across the disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering at the Railway Technical Society of Australasia’s biennial Conference on Railway Excellence (CORE) in Sydney.

Aurizon graduates at the CORE conference

CORE is Australia’s premier technical rail conference, with a reputation for high quality papers covering a wide range of rail engineering, operations, planning and management topics. As part of the program a number of Young Professional Scholarships (YPS) are awarded to graduates employed in the railway sector to give them exposure to the latest industry technology as well as networking opportunities.

This year we are proud that two of our mechanical engineer graduates — Braden Mewing and Sophie Tan — attended the conference as recipients of the Young Professional Scholarship.

Braden started with Aurizon in February 2017 and is on his third rotation in the locomotive engineering team, while Sophie joined Aurizon in February 2018 and is currently on her first rotation in the wheel-rail interface and brakes team. We asked Braden and Sophie if they would share some of their experiences from the conference and what receiving the scholarship meant to them.

What were your key takeaways from the CORE conference?

Braden: During my time at CORE2018, I witnessed presentations on new or emerging technologies from rail professionals working at different types of organisations, including Aurizon, across a broad range of topics. My key takeaway was that Aurizon is actually leading the way with our processes and technology that we often take for granted as BAU processes every day.

Sophie: The biggest key takeaway for me was about how the rail industry is changing and evolving. We’re moving towards more automated, sustainable, safer technologies and processes. As a newcomer to this industry, this is exciting and there is a lot in store for the future of rail. It was also a great opportunity to learn about more than just the technical aspects of the industry.

How did you feel about receiving the scholarship?

Braden: I had heard a lot about previous CORE conferences from former rolling stock graduates so my initial reaction was excitement at the prospect of following in the footsteps of my colleagues. I also felt a sense of personal pride, honour and responsibility to represent Aurizon.

I was very fortunate to have received a Young Professional Scholarship. It gave me such an incredible opportunity to network and learn from other engineers with different backgrounds. It was also great how supportive Aurizon was of this opportunity. The YPS allowed me to not only attend the conference, but also take part in activities and events that allowed for greater participation including a breakfast panel with leading rail industry and change professionals, and exclusive YPS networking events.

What does the scholarship mean for you and your career?

CORE2018 has furthered my ever-growing passion for rail and opened my eyes to the role that rail will play in shaping our nation's future. After attending, I've been instilled with a greater sense of pride for Aurizon and the high quality of work we perform. I want to uphold this standard for the rest of my career and hopefully write a paper to present at a CORE conference in the future.

Sophie: It was a wonderful opportunity to start my career with, as it such a unique networking and learning event. Attending CORE has definitely given me a greater appreciation of the rail industry and the leading professionals in it. Listening and learning from experienced rail experts and gaining new knowledge and understanding about where the industry is going has given me a different perspective on the work we do. The networking sessions were also an invaluable experience that allowed me to meet so many rail professionals from all over Australia.

At Aurizon, we are extremely proud of our talented people, and as a long-term sponsor of the CORE conference, we also value the opportunity to discuss key industry trends and issues with our industry peers.