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Kimberley Workman, Manufacturing Lead (Project Elevate), from Brisbane, Australia

From Cadet to Manufacturing Project Lead: The sky is the limit for this passionate Materials Engineer

Over the past 11 years Kimberly has essentially grown up with Bradken.

Taking us right back, Kimberly attributes her career trajectory to being influenced by her childhood. Growing up as a kid in rural New South Wales, Australia, accompanying her Builder dad to sites and learning the fundamentals of how and why things were built the way they were, sparked an interest in pursuing a career where she could apply practical skills to building things. Cue a career in Manufacturing as an Engineer.

At the University of Wollongong, in her first year of Engineering, Kimberly felt a pull towards Materials Engineering as she madly applied for every scholarship she could get her hands on before picking a major. As if by design, the scholarship Kimberly received happened to be for Materials Engineering and her cadetship with Bradken began one month into her degree, giving her the opportunity every summer to work at different Bradken sites, learn the business and see the practical application of the theories she was learning of how things were built and why. With people who were “thoughtful and loved to have a laugh” including the other cadets in her program – one of whom was the Vice President during her own tenure as President of the University's Metallurgy Society.
Over her four years at University, Kimberly laid the foundations for what has become a thriving career. In her first Bradken role as a Graduate Metallurgist, Kimberly was the only female employee out on the shopfloor. “I spent my first six months learning the trade work, I got my melting license and did the work on the floor with the guys including night shifts.”
Describing it as a “rich, exciting learning process” Kimberly says that starting her career this way helped her build her credibility as a Metallurgist and connect with the people that would be doing the work that she was engineering for.

Opportunity to learn

In the simplest of terms, in a foundry we melt metal to pour into a mould that produces the casting (the product or part of a product). As an engineer Kimberly would be responsible for working with the operators to control and improve the process of produce the castings to a high quality in the most effective way using her knowledge of processes, chemistry and heat treatment.

“I wanted to do the work on the shopfloor as a way of deeply understanding the process so I could have the conversations as an engineer with a depth of practical knowledge of the environment and how the work is done. It was a request I made to my manager, explaining how I felt it would allow me to do my job better and I was fortunate to be supported to do so.”


You’re working with passionate people with a huge amount of experience that they are more than willing to share, if you are willing and interested in learning.

- Kimberly Workman
Kimberly went on take on the roles of Quality Coordinator, Global Continuous Improvement Engineer, and a Production Supervisor taking her from the East to West coast of Australia. Her most recent role as Manufacturing Project Lead has taken her focus to our more global processes and how they work at different global locations. This role sees her serving as a Manufacturing process Subject Matter Expert (SME) amongst other functional SMEs with the mission of implementing a new global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
She described the Bradken work environment as “exciting and full of energy and a dynamic pace of getting work done.” When asked what she loves about working at Bradken, Kimberly responds “Being able to see the tangible outcomes of success through what we are producing is a great motivator. And the people. You’re working with passionate people with a huge amount of experience that they are more than willing to share if you are willing and interested in learning.”
A continuous learning mindset, wanting to understand the bigger picture and the ability to build connections and networks are the key characteristics Kimberly sees as being important levers of success at Bradken “In a global organisation like ours, knowing people, their roles and what they’re working on is so valuable when you’re trying to solve a problem. Chances are that there is already someone who has solved your problem or can help you solve it. Or they might lean on you to help them do the same.”
Telling us what she’s excited about and looking forward to, Kimberly beams as she talks about how transformative the implementation of the new ERP system will be in “serving as a springboard for better innovation and collaboration by putting more information in the hands of the people doing the work so they can modify processes through a continuous improvement lens all while connecting all levels of the business in a smoother experience.”

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