When Paul Mihovilovic enrolled in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Engineering Advanced Trade (Welding) course, he was hoping to enhance his professional skills rather than advance his career. But adding a qualification in welding supervision to his skill-set presented him with more opportunities than he’d anticipated.
At the time he decided to do the course, Paul was a design engineer for CEM International, where he has worked for the past 12 years. The company specialises in the design and manufacture of pressure equipment. “Where I was deficient was on the science of welding and I thought the course would benefit my role and me as an individual. It proved to be quite valuable.” While he was completing the course, CEM’s welding supervisor moved to China and Paul was promoted to Fabrication Manager, putting him in charge of the company’s manufacturing division. His newfound ability to sign off on welding procedures in his division couldn’t have been timed any better. “It helped me fill a hole in the company,” he says.
“The course was really valuable and I would recommend it, not just to a boilermaker who wants to become a welding supervisor, but also to a design draftsman or engineer. When I applied for the course I was a designer and inspector. This course hasn’t just made me more competent in welding – it’s made me a better designer.”
Paul was more interested in learning skills he could use on-the-job than gaining accreditation as a supervisor. “But when I did the course I learned so much I thought I might as well sit the exams,” he recalls. It turned out to be a worthwhile decision. Last May Paul was named the top welding supervisor student in Australia by the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) after achieving the highest marks in welding supervision for pressure equipment. The award was presented at the WTIA Annual Awards Dinner. Paul is also qualified as a welding supervisor for structural steel and the course is structured to ensure both qualifications are recognised internationally.
The 33-year-old says he chose the Melbourne Polytechnic course because it was located near his workplace at Coolaroo. He describes the award as the “icing on the cake” as far as his experience at Melbourne Polytechnic is concerned. “If I could write a wish-list of the things I wanted to learn personally, the course couldn’t have been more suitable for me.”
Courses: Diploma of Engineering Advanced Trade (Welding)