Kogan Creek Power Station

Graduate profiles – James Hoult and Sean Harding

Graduate engineers James Hoult and Sean Harding joined CS Energy in early 2020, just as COVID-19 arrived in Australia.

The travel restrictions at the time meant the graduates worked from home for the first half of 2020 rather than beginning their site rotations at our power stations.

A year later and James and Sean are now based at Kogan Creek and Callide power stations respectively. We caught up with them to learn about their experiences in our graduate program.

James Hoult 

james hoult - graduate engineer mechatronics

James is currently based at Kogan Creek Power Station near Chinchilla on the Western Downs.

What sort of projects have you worked on so far at Kogan Creek?

I have mainly been working in the control systems team, designing and implementing various performance improvements and modifications. As I am a cross-discipline engineer, I have also worked with the mechanical and electrical teams.

What sort of guidance and coaching do you receive from other engineers at CS Energy?

My onsite supervisor is a wealth of knowledge on the control systems, with additional engineering support provided in other areas by the electrical and mechanical engineers at Kogan Creek. There is always someone nearby who can provide valued insight and advice for a project that you’re working on.

Sean and I also have a weekly meeting with the graduate program supervisor who is the Head of Engineering at CS Energy. At those meetings we discuss what happened “around the traps” last week and what is on the books for the coming week. He will give us some additional tasks or investigations to do which get us out on the plant learning about a new system we might not have worked on before.

Kogan Creek Power Station
Above - Kogan Creek Power Station

What have you most enjoyed working on so far as part of graduate program?

A highlight for me was being involved in the installation of the high pressure (HP) turbine expansion sensors at Kogan Creek. I got to work closely with the electrical maintenance team and really understand how a sensor is installed and routed back into the power station control systems.

It is fascinating to learn how the control system works and improve my ability to read and understand the system’s logic. It almost feels like learning another language 😊

How has it been adjusting to living in a new community?

Initially it took some time for the family to adjust moving out to a country town, but country life has grown on us and we prefer it out here. It’s a funny feeling going to Woolworths and being almost guaranteed to bump into someone from work.

Sean Harding 

sean harding - graduate engineer electrical

Sean Harding is based at Callide Power Station near Biloela in Central Queensland.

How has it been adjusting to living in a new community?

Luckily not much has really changed for me. While the other grads are from Brisbane, I come from Gracemere. There are a lot of similarities between Gracemere and Biloela so I feel really at home here.

What team are you working in and what sort of things are you working on?

I am currently in the plant engineering team but I have spent most of my time as an asset engineer. I have done plenty of plant investigations and rectification work which I have found really interesting.

What has been the most useful on the job learning experience for you so far?

I was involved in the electrical return to service work on units B1, B2, and C3 following the Callide C4 incident. This obviously threw up some technical challenges but it was also a real opportunity for growth. I feel really lucky to have been able to learn so much from the various technical experts at Callide and across the business who worked on this project. After a tough two months I like to think that I have become a far better engineer.

Callide Power Station
Above - Callide Power Station