Putting theory into practice

3 November 2021

We recently welcomed Electrical Engineering Student, Montana Dawson, to our Stanwell Power Station as she completes a seven-month vacation program at the site with our engineering team.

We caught up with Montana to find out what sparked her passion to explore a career in engineering, and what she has learnt so far from hitting the ground running and learning alongside some of the industry’s best.

Stanwell’s vacation program provides university students with the opportunity to gain hands-on real-world experience. For Montana, she said the opportunity to put her theory-based learning into practice on industry projects was fuelled by a passion for solving problems.

“Throughout high school, I always enjoyed solving problems using mathematics and science, and this is more or less a simplified version of what engineers do,” Montana said.

“I have a particular interest in electricity generation as it is a complex and niche field.

“It is a challenge, and that’s what excites me most about being able to grow my electrical engineering knowledge in an environment like Stanwell.”

For many students, the vacation program is their first taste of working in the energy generation industry. So, what has Montana learnt so far, four months in?

“No time has been wasted since I started the program,” she said.

“I was lucky to watch the team on site complete a planned unit outage which was great exposure to the vast amount of equipment that is used across sites.

“In addition to this, I have also gained a deeper understanding of the process by which electricity is generated at a coal fired power station.

“My time so far has really opened my eyes (and mind) to the contribution power stations, like Stanwell, make to the National Electricity Market.”

One of Montana’s favourite things about the program so far has been the access to industry knowledge and working within a team.

“As a student, the opportunity to work closely with technicians and a highly skilled engineering team is invaluable,” she said.

“The mentor relationships that I have formed are also of great benefit to me as a student trying to navigate such a new environment.”

The generous mentoring spirit held by our people ensures that the positive takeaways from the program are not limited to that of the students that partake in it.

Our teams gain the opportunity to pass on their extensive industry knowledge, safeguarding the industry knowledge of our people today, whilst also guiding the young professional of tomorrow.

We wish Montana all the best as she completes her program with us at Stanwell.

For more information on our university placements, visit careers at stanwell.com