Alumni in Conversation – Kenny Wang

Kenny Wang knew he wanted to be an engineer from his first day at The University of Melbourne. After his Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Management), Kenny moved onto complete a Masters of Engineering (Civil), graduating mid-2014.

We caught up with Kenny a year on, to hear about his time at the University and the work he has been doing since with global energy company, Shell.

Why did you choose to study Engineering?

I was one of the first cohorts to experience the Melbourne Model, enabling me to move from a Bachelor of Commerce to a Masters in Engineering. To me, this was a fantastic opportunity and exactly what I wanted; a broad understanding of business and commerce with a more refined and detailed knowledge of civil engineering. I gained an insight into various aspects of both industries which assisted me in discovering my passions and interests, identifying potential pathways towards a fruitful career.

What did you enjoy most about your time at University of Melbourne?

Establishing the student society CAINZ, my exchanges to McGill University and the Technical University of Delft, and meeting the multitude of people around campus, many of whom have become dear friends.

What is your current job?

As an Offshore Structural Engineer with Shell Australia, I am responsible for collaborating with my team to maintain the topside structure and hull integrity of the floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility. I also work with a front end development team, assisting in structural feasibility assessments of various concepts.

What impact do you feel your work is having on society?

The engineering and problem solving involved in supplying energy is mind boggling and it’s an exceptional feeling to know that you are a part of a team that contributes to delivering the energy demanded by humanity.

My contribution to society resonates through my daily work- collaborating with teams across the world with the sole task of finding safe methods of supplying energy to the growing global demand.

How did you get to your current position?

During my time at University of Melbourne, I was an intern at Shell Australia. I was tasked to research, design and implement a structured communication channel between Shell and their hired carrier supervisors around the country. This resulted in the feedback data being integrated into an operational excellence for national fleet contracts and is now also a risk mitigation tool to monitor health, safety, security and the environment measures. It was a challenging but thoroughly rewarding experience, pushing me beyond my comfort zone to achieve a result that surpassed expectation. It also resulted in me being offered a technical graduate position in the Upstream Business at Shell, where I am today.

What advice would you give students who are preparing for the workforce?

Learn about the industry you are interested in on a granular level. Sift through their marketing to delve deeper into companies that may interest you, in order to evaluate for yourself whether your passion is there. By doing this, you will be intrinsically excited to work for that company and industry and more knowledgeable and prepared for your interviews and beyond.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Continuing to gain technical and commercial experience with Shell, travelling around the world and further nurturing and developing my inner curiosity for how things work.

What do you see as the exciting new developments in your field?

Floating LNG technology is truly mesmerising, but moving forward, I am excited to see what technologies are derived from extracting hydrocarbons that are found in increasingly difficult locations in a safe manner.

Do you have a favourite invention/ piece of engineering?

I am fascinated by all engineering so it is impossible for me to pinpoint one single piece as my favourite (but I do have a true love for cars!)

Thank you Kenny for sharing your experience of the Melbourne School of Engineering and what you have achieved since!