Vacation program ignites Cristina’s passion for the energy industry

4 March 2020

For the past three months, Cristina Rennie joined our Asset Management and Operational Risk team as an Electrical Engineering Vacation Student.

Currently halfway through studying a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Queensland, Cristina has had a natural love for all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) since she was young.

Over her university break, Cristina gained a taste for what it’s like to work at Stanwell, putting her theory into practice on real projects alongside some of the industry’s best.

“I’ve learnt more than I could imagine since joining Stanwell in December,” Cristina said.

“It was fascinating to learn about the energy generation process, especially seeing first-hand the coal being mined at Meandu Mine, the combustion process at Stanwell’s power stations, right through to the work undertaken by the Energy Trading team in the Brisbane office.

“I also really enjoyed my time in the Asset Management and Operational Risk team, as it provided me insight into multiple aspects of engineering, including process engineering.”

Cristina said she gained an appreciation for the energy industry, particularly given the misconceptions on fossil fuel generation.

“I’m really glad I have a better understanding of the security and reliability coal-fired power stations provide and got to see first-hand the significant role they play in Australia’s energy market” she said.

“Another aspect that was exciting to learn about was the new generation and storage technologies that Stanwell is exploring.”

One of Cristina’s favourite experiences was when she visited Stanwell Power Station, where she participated in simulator training with Principal Performance Engineer, Trevor Johnson.

“Learning from Trevor was really eye-opening. He not only explained the systems, but he also took us around site to explain the generation process and the science behind each individual part of the plant,” she said.

“We also spent time in the training simulator, where we had the opportunity to pretend to turn on the station units and ramp them up and down.”

Cristina heads back to university this week, and luckily enough one of her subjects this semester is Power System Analysis. Thanks to the team here at Stanwell, we know she’ll be 10 steps ahead of her peers already!