Liam Brunton

Liam Brunton

First Year Petroleum Engineering

Liam Brunton is a first-year student studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Petroleum)at UNSW. We spoke to Liam about why he chose to study petroleum engineering at UNSW and why it is such an important field in society. 

Why did you choose to study Petroleum Engineering? 

The oil and gas industry is a fast paced and prosperous industry, with a large impact on the global economic climate, hence why I am thrilled to begin an exciting career as a petroleum engineer.  

What do you like about your degree and what are your favourite classes? 

As a first-year engineering student at UNSW, I have been studying a range of core courses covering concepts in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer programming, as well as two elective subjects of my choice. My favourite classes I have studied during my first year would be my elective classes; Fundamentals of Geology and Mineral Resources Engineering. I find it incredibly fascinating and rewarding to study the internal geological workings of the earth, and how these processes can provide us with our valuable mineral and energy resources. Studying these subjects provides me with great anticipation and excitement for my future studies in petroleum engineering at UNSW. 

Do you hold a Scholarship and what has it meant for you to be awarded this Scholarship?  

I currently do not hold a scholarship, however there are plenty of opportunities for students to apply for scholarships offered by MERE, SPE, and various companies in the resources industry. 

What are your favourite things to do in or around UNSW and how can students make the most out of the UNSW experience?  

The University of New South Wales has amazing laboratories, study spaces, and provides plenty of state-of-the-art educational resources to facilitate my degree and hence, I thoroughly enjoy my time studying on campus. I have been able to thoroughly enhance my university experience through my involvement with societies and professional organisations such as the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Minerals and Energy Resources Society (MERESOC), as well as the Sydney Student Chapter for the Australasian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy (AUSIMM). These societies enable me to network with companies to discuss summer internship programs, as well as future career paths in the minerals and energy resources industry.  

What do you think is the relevance of your degree and why is it important that it exists? 

The common saying ‘the world stops without oil’ provides the most effective summary of the relevance and importance of petroleum engineering in society. Petroleum-based products are found everywhere in society, fuelling almost every vehicle, lubricating almost every machine, and are seen almost everywhere in everyday life in the form of plastics, tyres, and clothing. There is a demand in modern industry for an upcoming generation of engineers to solve the problems faced by the oil and gas industry. Whether it be increasing the rate of oil production, developing sustainable methods of oil production, or facilitating transitions to renewable energy resources; a new generation of petroleum engineers will be vital to evolve the resources industry, into one that can sustain itself and thrive in the economies of the future. 

What do you want to do after completing your degree? How do you think your studies at UNSW will help in your career aspirations? 

Upon completing my degree at UNSW, I aspire to start a career, working in some of the most remote and adventurous corners of Australia and the world as a petroleum engineer. UNSW provides students with the opportunity to network and make contacts with minerals and energy resource companies, early in the degree, providing plenty of opportunities for students to engage in work experience. This has enabled me to start developing the foundations of my dream career from my first year of study. 

Can you share something about the resources & energy industry that might interest someone considering studies and a career in this industry? 

I would highly recommend any student to consider a career in the minerals and energy resources industry as this is an incredibly prosperous industry where jobs are high in demand and pay very well. I can assure you that you will thoroughly enjoy your time studying here at UNSW.   

What advice would you give to a new/future student on how to excel at your degree? 

The most important advice I would give to future students studying petroleum engineering is to seize every opportunity you can. Apply for as much work experience as possible and open yourself up to all career possibilities. Students who are passionate and willing to study hard will find petroleum engineering, an exceptionally rewarding degree and will begin to develop a prosperous and exciting career for themselves. 

“A new generation of petroleum engineers will be vital to evolve the resources industry, into one that can sustain itself and thrive in the economies of the future”