Cameron Chapman

'Power engineering can take you to some of the remotest areas in the world...'

  • Cameron chapman

(Ngā Puhi)

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Master of Engineering in Management

Electrical Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff

Since completing his master's degree Cameron has worked in the Philippines, and is now back in New Zealand working on the Te Mihi Geothermal Power Project near Taupo.

‘In my current project, I was initially involved in the electrical design component of the new power station and am now responsible for ensuring electrical and instrumentation construction meets compliance to specifications, standards and codes. The project is now right in the thick of the commissioning phase, and I am currently coordinating the close-out process in the electrical and instrumentation fields,’ he says.

‘I’m using skill sets from both my undergraduate degree and Master of Engineering in Management (MEM) in my work. The MEM has been especially helpful because it is important to understand from a commercial perspective the motivation behind business decisions, and how this drives the engineering design.’

Previously, as part of the one-year MEM programme, Cameron spent several months in the Philippines at the BacMan geothermal power plant, and he went back to work there after completing his qualification. Recently privatised, the plant was being rehabilitated to bring it back up to full capacity, and Cameron developed the post-rehabilitation operations framework as part of a business improvement plan.

'I helped manage and coordinate the transition from the old owner/operator of the geothermal power plant to the current operator. It involved working on the training needs and programmes for staff and installation of modern systems for maintenance management,' he says.

'This is why I enjoy power engineering. It can take you to some of the remotest areas in the world, and every day brings a new problem that must be solved to ensure that electricity supply to consumers is reliable.’

Cameron was inspired to study a BE(Hons) by his Uncle. ‘He is an electrical engineer involved in the power sector, and I had seen him travel the world with his job.

'My career goal is to become a leading project manager in developing sustainable power generation around the world.'

In order to reach his goal as soon as possible, Cameron chose to spend an extra year at UC studying towards an MEM. ‘My undergraduate degree in power engineering will help me work on building power stations which run on sustainable energy sources, and the MEM gives me the necessary skills to become an effective project manager more quickly.’

Cameron encourages others to consider an Engineering degree at UC. 'I came to UC because it has the best Engineering school in New Zealand and a good student culture. If you really like maths and physics and enjoy solving problems then Engineering is the way to go. However, make sure you understand what each discipline is about before deciding which one to specialise in.'

Driven by his leadership abilities and passion for success, Cameron says it was important to him to get involved in activities outside of study, especially if he could help younger students. He worked closely with the Māori Development Team as a mentor and tutor during his years as a senior Engineering student. He was also an active member of the Gentlemen's Club, one of the UCSA's largest clubs, sitting on the committee for three years including one year as president and one as vice president.

'The clubs at UC offer students a great opportunity to meet new people, which brings an awesome social aspect to student life.'

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