Errol Hassett

Senior Engineer

Why did you choose a career in engineering?
I decided to aim towards a career in engineering in primary school. I was always investigating how things worked, helping fix things, often pulling things apart to see what's inside and having to figure out how they went back together without instructions. I didn't like anything that broke or failed during what I thought to be ordinary use. I wanted to be a part of designing out the failures rather than be stuck fixing the things I broke all the time.

In high school, I toyed with the idea of being an automotive mechanic and was even offered the chance to be an apprentice but my time as a trade assistant in the local workshop only reminded me of my desire to design out the failures.

Tell us a bit about your career to date
Coming from a blue collar family background, TAFE or Tech as it was referred to at home, was a familiar pathway to a nearly guaranteed career. A way to get a job that would potentially support a family. With that in mind and slight impatience to be a part of the workforce, I started engineering at TAFE after year 12. Soon achieving a traineeship as a Drafter. I progressed to Design Drafter as I completed more study through TAFE and had a few years’ experience within Engineering. It was a great start to my career, but it wasn't fulfilling my desire to design out the failures.

Most of the complicated design work was supplied to us by the Engineers and even when it wasn't I still wanted to understand the principals behind the guidelines and design codes we followed. This is why I chose to start university as a mature age student. After many long years of part-time study while working, I finally got a role as an Engineer.

I leveraged my design background and became a Design Engineer for underground mine safety equipment and ancillary equipment. I became part of an innovation team and researched new technologies and products. That took me into new roles with large iron ore projects leading technology trials. My manufacturing experience lead me to learn about continuous improvement methodologies, coupled with my innovation and technology experience I took a role with a mining technology company, improving reliability with manufacture and servicing of their products. I'm currently back in an iron ore role as a Senior Engineer helping to ensure heavy mobile equipment automation systems deliver what the end users need and that the implementation is safe and thoroughly documented for the life cycle of the system.

What does being an engineer mean to you?
Being an Engineer is about solving problems. Being an Engineer is about honesty and integrity. Being an Engineer is about upholding the moral and ethical standards in order to safely provide outcomes for the users of the products or systems we're implementing.

How did you become involved in PA?
I became involved with Professionals Australia when I was a Drafter - I needed unbiased legal assistance to understand the contractual obligations being asked and to this day I still seek their guidance. It allows me the freedom and peace of mind to be a specialist in my field and let others use their specialist skills on my behalf. I enjoy being part of a group of professionals who have agreed to uphold the same moral and ethical values which are important to me and continue to promote this within the industry nation wide. Engineering is a critical service provided to our community and that sense of obligation and expectation of excellence is not forgotten.