Industry Q&A: Senior Radiation Consultant

 

As part of our new Q&A series we interview you, and find out what your job is day to day. In this edition we speak to a senior radiation consultant.

Australian Mining: What are your primary roles and responsibilities in your job? Give us a day in your working

Anthony O'Brien: I manage a small team of highly skilled consultants and technicians. I am also our senior radiation consultant, developing radiation management procedures for clients, planning and conducting site radiation surveys, writing annual radiation reports, conducting training sessions and performing site audits. I am also the contract licensed Radiation Safety Officer for a number of companies in WA..

AM: What training/education did you need for your job?

AO: I have an Honours degree in Physics and have completed a number of formal radiation training certificates. I also spent 12 months under the tutelage of another highly experienced radiation consultant

AM: How did you get to where you are today? Give us a bullet point career path.

AO: Completed Honours degree in Physics 
Taught physics at Curtin University for a year
Spent two years at the Gemini Observatory
Created a company, Hightech Corporation, doing high-end research and development in the medical, mining and petroleum industries.
Created Radiation Professionals in 2007 to fill a large gap in skilled services to industry and have been the managing director since.

AM: What tools and/or software do you use on a daily basis? 

AO: Various radiation monitoring equipment, laboratory analysis equipment for radionuclide measurements, Microsoft Office suite, our own proprietary radiation management and calculation software.

AM: What is the one thing that you are most proud of in your professional life? 

AO: Getting to where I am today in spite of suffering chronic fatigue that almost finished my ability to continue my university degree

AM: Biggest daily challenge? 

AO: Managing my time between carrying out existing work, answering the constant requests for new work, while still managing the over running and direction of the company

AM: Biggest career challenge?

AO: Keeping abreast of the ever-changing regulatory environment which the radiation protection industry exists in

AM: What is your biggest frustration in your job?

AO: When there are various regulatory bodies that need to be dealt with, none of them agree who is responsible for certain aspects of radiation management and they also can disagree on what is required. So I guess you could say simply, lack of regulatory consensus.

AM: What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

AO: Managing work demand while finding suitably qualified people to grow our consultant group. Radiation Expertise is very hard to come by.

AM: Is there anything else about your job you want Australia to know?

AO: Performing my job would not be possible without the people around me. Recognising when you do not have a skill and finding the right people to fulfil that is a very important business lesson.

 

This article is part of Australian Mining's new industry map, where we try to build a picture of the mining industry job by job. 

To be a part of it and take the Q&A yourself click here.
All entries can be anonymous.

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