Ben Ellis

Ben achieves engineering career milestone

Like many professions such as doctors, nurses and architects, engineers have a system that recognises experienced professionals in their field and certifies their ability to carry out more advanced work.

For engineers it is becoming accredited as a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) – a status that CS Energy’s Ben Ellis achieved recently.

Ben works at Callide Power Station as an Asset Mechanical Engineer. His chief focus is cooling water and condensate, which is an essential part of the Rankine steam cycle in thermal power stations.

“At Callide, steam from the turbine is condensed into water via heat transfer in the condenser. This uses cooling water from the cooling tower and the condensate is then returned to the boiler as part of a continuous cycle,” Ben said.

Callide cooling tower
Image: Water vapour rises from the Callide B cooling tower.

Ben has a Bachelor of Engineering from CQUniversity and has previously worked at GHD, Stanwell Corporation and Bellis Australia.

Gaining RPEQ status is important for both Ben as a career milestone and for CS Energy as it adds to the number of RPEQs working in the business. Under the Professional Engineers Act (2002), RPEQs are required to supervise certain types of engineering work to ensure high standards of professional practice.

“RPEQ supervision is required for any kind of complex engineering work and is an important form of quality control,” Ben said.

“It was a pretty rigorous process obtaining my RPEQ status but I’m glad I stuck with it because it opens for the door for me to work on more challenging projects.”

Ben’s current priorities are providing technical support for Unit C3 cooling towers and the Unit B2 overhaul inspections and repairs at Callide Power Station. Later in the year Ben’s focus will shift to supporting the overhaul at Kogan Creek Power Station.

Callide B interior
Image: A deaerator vessel being prepped for maintenance at Callide B Power Station.

Ben is planning a well-earned break later this year when he and his wife will drive their new camper trailer to Cape York, along with their 11-month-old son. Engineering is a family affair for Ben as his wife Angela works at Callide Power Station as an electrical engineer.

“We’re heading to Karumba for the fishing and then we’ll cross over to Atherton and see all of the national parks after the rain. I’m really looking forward to it.”