“We have a team with a broad range of skills so there’s lots of people you can work under for a period of time to learn from. There’s always something different to do and you have a say in the kinds of projects you’d like to get involved in.”

Dylan Vella got his first taste of FIELD Engineers during a work experience placement when he was 14 years old. He proved to be such a disciplined and focused worker that we asked him to return to work with us every school holiday, and even during his semester breaks at university. When it was time to choose where to begin his full-time career, the decision was simple: FIELD, of course! Read on as Dylan shares his story of growth and achievement.

Determined to succeed

Growing up, Dylan Vella knew he wanted to be an Engineer. His uncle was an Engineer, and it seemed like a smart career choice for this high-achieving student. So, when he had the opportunity to do a week’s work experience at FIELD Engineers in Mackay, 14-year-old Dylan grabbed it – even if he did spend his first day cleaning a workshop!

“A job’s a job – I didn’t mind,” Dylan recalls. “Then they let me have a bit of a crack at some of the computer work they do, and this is where I had a chance to show off that I could be a good engineer.”

Dylan was presented with a real-world problem to solve. The office space in Mackay had expanded to accommodate more people, which meant we needed more desks and a different office layout.

“Dave (our General Manager) asked me to use AutoCAD to plan where all the desks would go. I spent a couple of days drafting a plan, and then I was given a bunch of flat-pack desks to assemble and re-create what I’d designed. So, I actually set up the desks and computers using my 2D plan view. It was really interesting to see it from a design process, to talk to Dave and the other Engineers and execute it from start to finish.”

Impressed by Dylan’s talent and work ethic, we invited him to return to work with us each school holiday after that, where he continued to rise to every challenge we presented him. During semester breaks at university, his work with us encouraged him to study even harder, and he completed his engineering degree with a high distinction.

“When I graduated in 2021, I started working at FIELD full-time. They treated me well and had always been accommodating with school and uni. I also did my thesis through FIELD, which made everything so much easier. It made sense to start my career here.”

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Opportunities to step up and grow

As an Engineer with our Brisbane Consulting team, Dylan primarily focuses on lift planning and jacking studies for mining excavators and hydraulic rope shovels. His work ensures mining site personnel can safely operate and maintain these enormous machines.

“We make sure people use their cranes in a safe and efficient way, so they don’t break what they’re lifting or tip over the crane,” Dylan says. “We work with a lot of heavy machinery, and we also do shutdowns on draglines, where we dismantle and reassemble these large mining machines that weigh hundreds or sometimes thousands of tonnes.”

Dylan also conducts design analysis using his detailed knowledge of Australian design standards and provides expertise and assistance for client incident investigations.

Most of Dylan’s work is for mining operations in the Bowen Basin, yet one of his favourite projects was for a shutdown in Weipa on the Cape York Peninsula.

“The project had aspects of design and lift planning, which I’ve had quite a bit of experience in. It also involved finite element analysis engineering, which is an area I’m really interested in and trying to get better at. It was a great learning experience that helped me build my skills.”

Because the range of work at FIELD is so varied, Dylans says there is a lot of opportunity to learn and develop in areas he’s interested in. He’s continued to build upon his skills and recently started an Emerging Engineers Leadership Program.

“We get a lot of knowledge and guidance from the senior engineers. We have a team with a broad range of skills, so there’s lots of people you can work under for a period of time to learn from. There’s always something different to do, and you have a say in the kinds of work you’d like to get involved in.”

Set up for success

Working from our Brisbane office, Dylan values having the autonomy and trust to do his work well.

“We’re never micromanaged. It can be high-intensity, but it’s quite relaxed as well. We have a couple of meetings a week to check on everyone’s work level, and there’s support when we need it. It’s a fun and enjoyable workspace – everyone gets along, and there’s lots of chit-chat.”

Dylan also appreciates the opportunity to travel as part of his role, and has even visited New Caledonia to figure out how to repair some heavy machinery at a nickel mine. It’s another example of the incredible variety of work that’s helping him build his successful engineering career at FIELD.

Are you ready to jump into an engineering career with a team that sets you up for success? Whether you’ve recently graduated or have more experience, Dylan says you’ll get the support, opportunities and flexibility you need at FIELD.

“FIELD took me on when I was 14 and gave me a chance to show what I was worth. I’ve always appreciated that.”

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