A Career That Rocks!

Joel Blake, Brett Poulsen and Ralph Mongoo.EXPLORATION GEOLOGIST
Exploration & Strategic Projects Group, BHP Billiton Iron Ore

BSc, Hons (Geology & Earth Science) 2004

THE red-soiled landscapes that make up Western Australia's Pilbara region might be renowned for their striking outward beauty, but it is their inner makeup that draws this UQ Science graduate to them.

Joel Blake is an exploration geologist for global resource company BHP Billiton Iron Ore.

As such, he spends his days traversing the area's rocky outcrops, identifying and developing iron ore resources for the company's exploration projects.

Joel says "diversity" is what he likes most about his job.

"From analysing the current and future market for mining iron ore in the Pilbara to accessing and driving best practice technologies within exploration, I enjoy every part of my job," Joel says.

"Plus I get to work in a fantastic location."

Joel, who has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in geology and Earth science, gained his first experience in the mining industry during a holiday work placement at the coal fields in NSW's Hunter Valley.

He was offered a position at BHP Billiton Iron Ore before he completed his Honours year and says he has since encountered many rewarding experiences.

"The highlights of my career to date include developing some exciting technologies within mining and exploration, and being involved in some major prospect evaluations," Joel says.

He says his UQ qualifications have been essential to his career progression.

"The BSc Honours program developed my research and critical analysis skills in a way that has been and still is essential to my career," Joel says.

"Large companies like BHP Billiton are investing heavily in co-operation with Australia's leading universities and if these skills are available, then opportunities are everywhere to get involved."