Meet Rob Bancroft, Senior Mechanical and Piping Designer

Rob Bancroft

A multidisciplinary drafter of more than 18 years’ experience, Rob Bancroft is one of Tetra Tech Proteus’ Senior Mechanical and Piping Designers. Based in Perth, Western Australia his focus is developing technical designs and drawings to enhance and bring clients’ projects to life.

What type of projects is your design work being applied to?

It’s definitely a mix of both new and existing development projects. Right now, across Australia there has been a lot of activity in Greenfields projects which Tetra Tech have been involved with. This is being driven predominantly with the expansion of new mines and relating infrastructure projects (such as the Fuels Depot in the Northern Territory).

We are also working with clients on existing sites and infrastructures. With brownfields, you are working within the existing structure which involves a lot of problem solving, trying to come up with something that can work. As a drafter and working alongside my engineer colleagues, we have a great ‘can do ‘approach to projects. Where some may approach a project and say, ‘it can’t be done’, at Tetra Tech we will do everything in our technical capability to find a solution to the problem.

In my field of work, I have the privilege of viewing each stage so that’s kind of cool.

What role is Tetra Tech playing to help clients advance project design?

Technology is really enhancing projects, particularly in modelling to help them with construction and operations.

We are moving forward and incorporating more data into our models so that clients are able to have more information readily available they review their projects, or even plan their future projects.

While technology is obviously critical to cloud success; having a good working relationship is equally important. We work closely with our clients to help them involve the users early and often in the development process to tailor solutions to their individual needs.

What are some of the memorable projects you have worked on?

The most memorable to date is a recent project which involved delivering a lithium processing plant in Western Australia. What made this a standout project was the speed in which the project went from study phase to project delivery, through to construction.

While the technology creates efficiencies in the design process, it came down to the team I was working with and our ability to just ‘gel’. It’s nice when a project team can really come together and just got the job done.

Like any occupation, you do get some challenging jobs that makes you wonder if you want to keep doing it. But overall, it’s nice when the work is challenging, but enjoyable.

What do you most enjoy about your work at Tetra Tech Proteus?

What attracted me to Tetra Tech Proteus was the idea of being in a niche team of specialists with a collaborative approach to delivering projects for clients.  The team have been so welcoming since day one, and it makes for a great work atmosphere. I have worked with quite a few people in the team previously so settling in has been very easy.

Tetra Tech also really understands the need for their people to have a work / life balance. I have been a volunteer firefighter for two and a half years, and during the warmer months, I’m able to support my community and respond to incidents. Last year I became a first-time parent and having the flexibility to work from home allows me to spend more time with my 9-month-old son and support my partner.  Basically, it allows for a good balance of work and lifestyle which can sometimes be hard to achieve in our industry.

How did you start out your career?

Leaving High School, I completed a Diploma of Engineering (CAD) at TAFE, then completed a 2-year traineeship with a Perth based engineering firm. After that I contracted for several years working in both consulting and client side, really building my skills and knowledge of the mining and minerals sector.

What insights can you share with the next generation of Drafters coming through?

Seeing a project from start to finish is exciting, and being a drafter allows you to have a complete view of the full project lifecycle. Being a specialist in the minerals and mining sector, while there are peaks and troughs in the market, it still is a great career for those looking to be technical and creative at the same time.

With Australia continuing to expand in the resources sector (particularly in the rare earths minerals) it is a rewarding career for those considering it.

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