Worker on the line: Reza Fallah-Zadeh

How long have you been working in the pipeline industry for?

I have been working as a pipeline project engineer for one year but have been involved in pipeline projects for the last three years.

What industry were you working in prior to pipelines, and what led you into the pipelines industry?

I started my career as a civil site engineer, a position I held for five years while I was undertaking a construction diploma. I then completed a postgraduate engineering degree and started working on upstream coal seam gas projects as a planning engineer, looking after pipeline and processing facilities projects. I moved on to the construction department within the same organisation where I worked as a civil construction supervisor. During my project controls and construction supervision role I was involved in a number of pipeline projects, which led to my move to the pipeline industry.

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

I really enjoy my involvement with the project management side of a job. It gives me the opportunity to gain new knowledge in the various technical aspects of pipeline installation, from planning through to execution.

What has been your favourite project to work on and why?

I started my career with Lean Field Developments on the Cook to Merrimelia Oil Pipeline Project. The highlight for me was being introduced to two new areas of technology – the innovative, flexible, composite pipe that Lean Field Developments imported to Australia for this project and the ploughing methodology Lean Field Developments utilised for the pipeline installation. Being involved in such a successful project was a great introduction to the company.

Can you outline a typical day in the field?

I kick off a typical day with a really early pre-start toolbox, where we plan the day’s activities and have a safety meeting. The rest of the day I provide technical and planning support for the construction crew and finish up with reporting.

Who do you look up to in the industry and why? Or, who have you found to be a role model and why?

It is hard to name one particular person since I have been lucky to work with a number of inspiring and determined people. These professionals have years of experience but they never forget the importance of persistence and continual learning.

Do you have any advice for other young pipeliners?

The pipeline industry is a strong, worldwide industry with lots of opportunities for young professionals. If you want to progress your career, spend time out in the field. The practical knowledge you’ll gain is invaluable. You just have to be willing to learn.

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