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Worker on the line: Chris Mathieson

With work progressing at a solid rate on Melbourne Water’s Water for a Growing West Project, The Australian Pipeliner spoke to John Holland Site Engineer Chris Mathieson about his experience on the Water for a Growing West Project and his transition from civil to pipeline engineering.

What is your position title?

I am a site engineer for the John Holland Group, currently working on the St Albans to Werribee Water Pipeline for Melbourne Water’s Water for a Growing West Project.

How long have you been working in the pipeline industry and what industry were you in prior to working in the pipeline industry?

I have been working in the pipeline industry for six months, which I have found to be both challenging and rewarding.

Before this, I was working in the civil infrastructure industry for over four years, working on a range of different projects including structures and roadworks.

What is your favourite aspect of working in the pipeline industry?

It would probably have to be the diversity – such as the different components that make up one pipeline.

From the outset it looks like it is pretty simple, but when you get into the detail you can see it is quite complicated.

Can you outline a typical day in the field?

We usually start the day off with a pre-start toolbox meeting, which is pretty typical of John Holland procedure.

The first couple of hours might be checking productivities from the previous day, chasing up on actions or problems we may have had, speaking with the client, speaking to community and stakeholder manager and quality and safety representatives on the project, planning for future works, chasing up suppliers and getting quotations for materials.

Overall, a whole day of dealing with leading hands and managing works on site.

Who do you look up to in the industry and why?

We have a couple of pretty experienced people in our teams such as Superintendent John Hogan and Site Supervisor Mick King, as well as engineers Colin Toohey and Simon Jaworski.

These guys are really knowledgeable and have plenty of experience which they are willing to share.

They have been a part of previous pipeline projects in Victoria and interstate as well, so their knowledge is broad, and they’ve worked on all sorts of different pipelines, not just water.

Do you have any advice for those just beginning their careers in the pipeline industry?

Be prepared for a challenge.

It’s rewarding.

Be open to new ideas, because it’s quite different to any of the civil projects I’ve been a part of in the past.

As I said before, from the outset it looks pretty simple, but it’s definitely not.

Do you know someone who should be profiled in our “˜Worker on the line’ series? Contact Stuart Scudamore at {encode=”sscudamore@gs-press.com.au” title=”sscudamore@gs-press.com.au”}

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