It took Sanduni Gamage a few tries before she landed in her dream graduate gig in WA’s water sector
One of the big reasons Sanduni, a graduate mechanical engineer, chose to study engineering after school was it offered a lot of potential career choices. “That meant I had plenty of options in terms of exactly what I wanted to do in the future,” she says.
That came in handy when, after scoring her first graduate gig with a mining company, she realised the job wasn’t quite the right fit. “I ended up changing jobs a few more times until I found what I wanted to do and ended up getting an opportunity to work at the Water Corporation,” she recalls. “I’ve been here about a year now and it’s been absolutely wonderful.”
The Water Corporation supplies water, wastewater and drainage services throughout Western Australia. Sanduni is employed there as a graduate mechanical engineer on a team that’s responsible for delivering small water infrastructure projects in the Perth metro area. For example, Sanduni was recently involved in installing a flow meter at a pump station.
What made this project so interesting was the sheer amount of planning that had to happen, before the actual site work, in order to ensure the water supply to the customers would not get affected,” she explains.
A big plus of Sanduni’s job is plenty of time away from a desk – she estimates she spends about half her work time on-site.
Sanduni also loves being able to see the impact of her work. “It’s great knowing you’re playing your part in helping look after this precious resource we often take for granted,” she says. “With things such as climate change and population growth, it becomes ever more important to adapt, improve and innovate in how water is sourced and supplied.”
Sanduni highly recommends her path to other engineering grads. “There are lots of opportunities for engineers in the water sector. Whether you study mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical or almost any other type of engineering, there are plenty of things you can do in the water sector.”
RELATED: Want to be a graduate mechanical engineer or work with water? Check out our STEM + Resources & Energy hub!
Sanduni’s study and career path
- Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), Curtin University
- Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Mining Company
- Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Wood
- Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Water Corporation
This profile originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2022.
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.