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EXAMPLE CAREER EPISODE REPORTS

This document contains four Career Episode Reports that have been written by EMS students.
The reports are provided for general guidance only. You must write about your own experiences
and show how you have demonstrated the 16 Elements of Competency outlined in the Engineers
Australia Stage 1 Standard for Professional Engineer.

Company names and supervisor names have been changed.

CAREER EPISODE REPORT EXAMPLE 1


Organisation HX Energy Ltd.
Supervisor Jack Smith
Activity Plant Sensor Data Toolkit
Time Period Nov 2014 – Feb 2015

Competency
Episode Description Element
Claimed
As part of my professional practicum experience for the MPE (Mechanical Introduction
Engineering), I completed HX Energy’s Summer Vacation program in their Data
Science division. This work experience focused on optimising and expanding HX
Energy’s capabilities through multifaceted techniques involving data analytics,
predictive algorithms and cognitive computing. HX Energy operations involve the
monitoring of plant performance and metrics via the use of sensors. Over my
period at HX Energy, my project involved the construction of a program labeled
as a toolkit to improve the process of inspecting sensor data. More specifically,
my task was to improve the capabilities of the HX Energy Data Science team by
deploying a resource that could be readily used to swiftly inspect the behavior,
health status and correlation of a set of sensors for a given time period.

I needed a strong background in data base systems, statistics, time series PE1.2
analysis, Fourier analysis, machine learning and computational programming in Conceptual
order to construct a suitable solution for the task. It was essential that I understanding
understood the architecture of the data systems and the data formatting prior to of math and
the analysis. I used a combination of time series and standard statistical computer
methods for the analysis of the sensor health and behavior. I used Fourier science
analysis and computational programming for the formulation of sensor
correlations and their associated time lags. Lastly, I gained familiarity with
graphical user interfaces in order implement a user friendly and practical
environment for the team to use.

I developed an in-depth technical competence in Fourier analysis and PE1.3


computational programming when constructing the package to determine the In-depth
correlations between the sensors time signals. Due to the large size of the data understanding
sets, it was too computationally expensive to determine the correlations between of specialist
the sensors in the time domain. Instead, the sensor signals were converted from knowledge
the time domain to the frequency domain. This allowed convolution to be
performed between two signals, utilising the computational improvements of
vectorising the code within the program. Recurring methods utilised by the Data
Science team involved the application and tuning of machine learning
approaches such as random forest, neural network, and genetic and gradient
boosting algorithms. It was essential that I learnt the ideologies behind these
methods as well as how and when to implement them for successful predictive
analytics. Good accuracy could be obtained in the prediction of a sensors output
through the use of its neighboring sensors, plant and environmental metrics.
GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 1

Over the course of the vacation program, I was able to successfully design, build PE2.3
and implement the sensor toolkit. I was able to determine that approximately 80% Apply
of the time taken to construct predictive models using the existing process was systematic
spent on data cleansing and inspection. One of the major factors inhibiting the engineering
ability produce accurate predictive models was the presence of duplicates and design and
missing values. My final toolkit was able to import a data set from the data synthesis
storage system, manipulate and cleanse the data, provide statistics and health processes
checks, determine correlations and construct models for predictive analytics. This
demonstrated my clear understanding of the problem and what the design
objectives were. I ensured that my first milestone was implementing algorithms to
cleanse and restructure the data in a meaningful way and present the user with
statistics and health checks so that they could gain confidence before using them
for their models. The performance criterion of the toolkit was measured by the
reduction in the time taken to determine critical metrics of sensor signals. The
toolkit was able to reduce the time for these tasks from days to within an hour.

Following the development of the design concept, I was required to carefully PE2.2
choose the environment in which to construct the program. The software package Fluent use of
MALTAB was selected due to the large sizes of the data sets and the necessity engineering
to perform Fourier analysis. MATLAB has a very efficient Discrete Fourier tools and
Transform and can easily deal with matrix operations. I also needed to use data resources
analytics and mathematics within my toolkit to determine important sensor
metrics, correlations with other sensors and predictive models. A rigorous set of
techniques was used to first determine and improve data quality through the
removal of duplicates and patching of missing values. Test data sets were used
and comparisons were made with their actual values and predicted values. The
toolkit was iteratively improved through the application of a wide range of data
sets. Following my departure I organised a handover with another team member
where we planned the industrialisation of the toolkit using a C environment.

I also investigated innovative ways to improve my toolkit. As functionality could PE3.3


be added incrementally, once I had produced the main features of the toolkit I Creative,
was able to experiment with some additional ones. Wavelet transformation is a innovative and
powerful technique that allows information to be obtained in both the time and proactive
frequency domains. This has benefits over traditional Fourier transformations as demeanour
it maintains the temporal information, which is critical for analysing sensor
behavior. This was able to detect localised behavior such as patterns and
abnormalities, which may indicate failure.

Communicating effectively was the most important factor to the success of the PE3.2
project. As the toolkit was to be used by the team, it was essential that the Effective
product I produced provided what they needed. I organised regular meetings with communication
my supervisor and potential users of my toolkit. Firstly, I gained an understanding skills
of the nature and types of projects that use sensor data and the shortcomings
that were contributing to poor model accuracy and suboptimal allocation of the
team’s resources (time). I asked the team to describe what capabilities they
would like the program to have, before systematically adding functionality to the
program. By the midpoint of my time at HX Energy, the toolkit had transformed
into a robust program with a variety of analysis tools that had been added
following requests from my supervisors and team members. I called meetings
prior to the deployment of the toolkit requesting that any issues, bugs or simply
ideas for improvement with the program be reported to me so that I could
improve the product. This was effective as now an even wider range of data sets
were being used for varying applications, unveiling some areas for improvement
and giving me insights to the performance of the toolkit. At the end of the project I
circulated a document detailing the toolkit and how to use it, as well as an
interactive tutorial teaching the user how to implement it on a set of sensor data.

GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 2



Throughout the vacation program I became aware of the limitations of my 3.5
knowledge in certain areas relevant to my project. As a mechanical engineering Self
student, I had limited experience with mathematical statistics and machine management
learning methods. I undertook online courses in these areas to develop the and
required knowledge and skill set to complete my project to a high standard. When professional
appropriate, I also sought the guidance from my supervisors and team who had conduct
more experience in these areas than myself.

CAREER EPISODE REPORT EXAMPLE 2


Organisation Possum Minerals
Supervisor Mary Alexis
Activity Engineering Standards
Time Period Nov 2014 – Feb 2015

Competency
Episode Description Element
Claimed
In late 2014, I applied for a position at Possum Minerals, an iron ore mining Introduction
company with global operations. After passing the written application process and
a formal interview, I was offered a place on the Possum Minerals Summer
Vacation Program in their Engineering Standards Division. This work experience
focused on ensuring that plant equipment and procedures were aligned with both
the Australian Engineering standards and Possum Minerals Engineering
standards. I spent this work experience completing a Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) roster
and was located at Eastern Ridge mine site in Newman, Western Australia. My
duties involved the inspection of ongoing project plans, operations and
maintenance procedures as well as the management of small to mid scale
projects.

As the engineering work experience was site based, there was a strong emphasis PE3.1
and commitment to the safety of the employees, the local people and the Ethical conduct
environment. During my site induction I completed multiple short courses on how and
to conduct myself to ensure the safety of my co-workers and myself. This involved responsibility
the driving of vehicles, using the radio systems and fatigue management. Over
the three-month period I was able to develop a high level of safety initiative
through being constantly vigilant and critical of my surroundings. A particular
event, which displayed this, was when I was able to identify a potential hazard
involving the spacing of the safety rails on a conveyor belt. Through visual
inspection I determined that there was ample spacing for a limb to be exposed to
the belt rollers if someone was to slip or trip in a particular manner, which could
cause a fatal injury. I compared the measured spacing with both the Australian
and Possum Minerals Engineering standards and found that it reached the
requirements, however still deemed there was considerable risk and hence raised
the issue with my team. We completed a risk assessment and determined that
whilst we would not change the spacing, a notification would be raised across the
mine site to warn employees about the potential hazard.

My project management skills improved drastically over the course of my work PE2.4
experience. The nature of the site work meant that there was always engineering Apply
problems to address. Any employee can make requests and these requests were systematic
delivered to our engineering standards team. Upon my arrival there was a approaches to
spreadsheet containing hundreds of engineering requests needing evaluation project
and/or solutions. Many of these projects required engagement with the requester management
GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 3

and other engineering teams such as maintenance and operation. Due to the
FIFO work and variable swing schedules, I found that often progress on these
projects would be stalled. It was hence more practical to conduct multiple projects
at one time, directing attention to the projects that could currently move forward.
The management of these projects typically involved initial inspection, organising
meetings with the stakeholders, development of solution ideas, requesting quotes
from third party engineering firms, organisation of deliveries and/or pickups and
finally installation. This greatly developed my organisational and management
skills.

As part of my work, I was required to utilise and apply engineering standards and PE1.6
codes for design projects and maintenance documents. A particular example that Understanding
illustrated this was in my design of a conveyer chute inspection door. A conveyer of
chute inspection door is used on mine sights to inspect the contents being contemporary
transferred by a conveyer directly after being dumped through a dust chute. Their engineering
importance stems from the ability to do this without having to cease the operation practice
of the conveyer, thus reducing downtime and improving production. This however
introduces a safety risk as the employee inspecting may be exposed to the
moving parts of the conveyer. For this reason the inspection doors possess either
a barred or mesh section to prevent injury to the inspector. As the lead project
manager on the design of such an inspection door I was responsible for ensuring
that the physical design of the door met both the Australian and Possum Minerals
engineering standards.

I dealt with a wide range of stakeholders in the projects I completed during my PE3.2
work experience. This included standards engineers, maintenance engineers, Effective
operation engineers, third party companies, technicians, financial employees and communication
health and safety officers. Any given project would often involve a handful of skills
these respective parties. When designing a solution to an engineering problem,
these parties would often have varying opinions based on their own experiences
and backgrounds. It was important for me to understand this and use it to my
advantage in the design process. The most effective design often was a product
of smart trade-offs between competitive solutions. I was able to display my
initiative and leadership whilst respecting the opinions of others to deliver
engineering solutions developed from a diverse range of stakeholders.

My ability to manage information and documentation was demonstrated and PE3.4


honed through my utilisation and construction of design proposals, maintenance Professional
and operation manuals, engineering sketches and project reports. At the start of a use and
project’s lifecycle, I would commonly access the documentation system for these management of
resources. As the project progressed I systematically produced and uploaded the information
required documents. Furthermore, following the completion of a project, I followed
business protocols by completing management of change procedures and
producing the required documentation to signify the work done and the associated
changes involved.

GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 4



CAREER EPISODE REPORT EXAMPLE 3
Organisation Staz Solutions
Supervisor Joe Harvey
Activity Performance Monitoring of Cloud Applications
Time Period Jan 2016 – Feb 2016

Competency
Episode Description Element
Claimed
For six weeks in early 2016, I worked for Staz Solutions as a software engineer. Introduction
Staz Solutions is a global company that provides cloud-based enterprise
solutions for small and large businesses. One of my tasks while at Staz
Solutions was monitoring the performance of certain cloud-based applications.
This report describes my activities and responsibilities during this task.

In order to design and maintain a complex distributed environment to perform PE3.4


large-scale performance testing on a cloud application, it was necessary to find Professional
solutions to emerging problems, such as how to redeploy several services and use and
modules in real time without affecting the health of the system so that management of
measurements were not disrupted. To solve this problem, I had to research best information
practice and the capabilities of the technologies at hand. This involved the
search of official documentation, as well as the company’s internal knowledge
repositories compiled by the global engineering team.

When designing my test environment, I was able to successfully break down the PE2.1
problem into the relevant subsections, including data seeding, housing of Apply methods
software under test, and monitoring requirements. I also determined and to solve
requisitioned all of the resources required (in terms of computer architecture). complex
During this process, I made my work more efficient by successfully reusing engineering
several company internal assets. This is a core concept of software engineering problems
design.

My understanding of mathematics, numerical analysis and statistics was key PE1.2


when it came to processing results, and summarising and reporting performance Conceptual
statistics to senior engineers and management. Raw data was obtained in understanding
several different forms. It had to be transformed and correlated so that it was of math and
easy to identify trends and to measure the impact that different changes made computer
and how they affected bottlenecks. This involved processes like correlating science
different variables to changes in output as well as detecting and identifying
statistical anomalies (outliers and changes in trend) in data.

I demonstrated knowledge of contextual factors impacting engineering when PE1.5


designing my performance analysis test suite. After conducting an initial set of Knowledge of
baseline tests that monitored individual pieces of functionality, I refactored the contextual
system such that all test input and monitoring followed the most common factors
customer use patterns as observed from reports from the production impacting
environment. In this way, I ensured that the engineering team had statistics that engineering
were relevant to customer satisfaction and the overall business success of the
application when making decisions.

When designing both the performance testing environment, as well as having PE3.1
input into the design direction of the product at whole, I demonstrated the ability Ethical conduct
to engage in ethical conduct as part of my engineering process. As part of the and
engineering team, I raised concerns about the potential misuse of our product. responsibility
The software could be used for malicious purposes due to the nature of the
GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 5

product and the way it interacts with external systems. Particularly for the task of
scale performance testing, using the test architecture to direct the application at
an external system would effectively constitute a denial of service attack. Steps
were taken to both find alternatives in the testing scenario, as well as building in
safeguards for the publicly available release.

During the performance-monitoring task, I was part of a multidisciplinary team PE3.6


spread between Perth and Raleigh in the United states. Despite the distance, I Effective team
was able to communicate effectively and maintain close working relationships member and
with team members. By ensuring tasks were broken down in such a way that leader
they could be progressed significantly at a local level with results reported at the
end of each day, each party could review the other’s progress during their
respective workdays. Regular meetings were held on a location basis, with
managers also holding meetings after hours to coordinate the two groups.

CAREER EPISODE REPORT EXAMPLE 4


Organisation Hype Australia
Supervisor Samantha Bethany
Activity Optimisation and Development of Multithreaded Applications
Time Period Nov 2015 – Jan 2016

Competency
Episode Description Element
Claimed
As part of my professional practicum experience for the MPE (Software Introduction
Engineering), I completed an internship at Hype Australia, the Australian arm of
a large IT and consulting services company. For part of this internship, I was
placed with the Analytics group, a sub-organisation within Hype that looks at big
data and analytics to improve performance. One of the projects I worked on
while with this group was the optimisation and development of multithreaded
applications.

I demonstrated a strong understanding of the underpinning fundamentals PE1.1


relevant to my discipline when I was tasked with the optimisation of an under- Comprehensive
performing application. Specifically, the understanding of the concepts of understanding
thread/process scheduling on contemporary computer architectures under of engineering
common operating systems and the base methods by which data can be shared, and science
and the consequences these may have on performance. My understanding of fundamentals
these concepts allowed me to appropriately measure and analyse the
application in question to identify areas of improvement and I was eventually
able to deliver changes that made measurable performance increases that met
business needs.

I demonstrated my understanding of the scope, principles, norms and PE1.6


incompatibilities of contemporary engineering practice when working on a task Understanding
related to delivering security improvements for a major release. This involved of
working on and delivering an appropriate security framework, which brought the contemporary
product into compliance with the security requirements that were required by the engineering
customer and also expected professional practice. In addition to ensuring the practice
technical rigour of the solution, the installation procedures needed to be robust
and compatible with the customer’s systems. I used this understanding to work
as part of a team to deliver the required functionality on time.

GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 6



Designing experiments and monitoring for performance optimisation allowed me PE2.2
to demonstrate my knowledge of the relevant tools and processes for a given Fluent use of
task and my ability to apply these tools. I was aware of the use of profiling tools engineering
to monitor different aspects of application performance, such as thread tools and
utilisation, heap use and correlating program counter with stack traces to show resources
specific code time consumption. I was able to use the standard profiling
application for the technology in question and to run the appropriate
performance experiments to facilitate my work.

For the duration of my work with this group, I used a systematic process for all PE2.3
my engineering design and implementation work. Hype Australia used a mature Apply
and controlled implementation of Agile Software Development. When designing systematic
each software module, I referred to documented architectural styles specific to engineering
the project, and all changes were documented and communicated to senior design and
engineering staff. synthesis
processes

Throughout the project, I utilised project management tools that both aligned my PE2.4
specific tasks with the direction of the project and also reported all projects to the Apply
project managers for measurement and planning purposes. My work was systematic
planned and monitored using the suite of tools available in the Rational Team approaches to
Concert product. Using these tools, I could have my tasks scheduled for me, project
report on progress, and communicate with team members and managers to management
ensure my work was managed systematically.

GENG5010 Professional Engineering Portfolio, The University of Western Australia 7