Home / Our Stories / InfraBuild’s James Baker on his role and best career advice

InfraBuild’s James Baker on his role and best career advice

20 February 2024

Senior Mechanical Engineer at our Rooty Hill Rolling Mill, James Baker, says he’d recommend a career in the steel industry to anyone with drive and self-motivation.

And after being at InfraBuild now for 13 years, it seems he has what it takes, which is good considering his typical day is anything but typical. It involves a diverse array of potential tasks.

“My day involves checking on the previous day’s events to ensure any engineering support to the plant is provided promptly. After that my time can be split between mentoring the new members of the engineering and maintenance teams, checking in with my projects team, making decisions on current projects, budgeting, communicating with suppliers for parts, equipment and or services for projects, placing orders, managing the rolling mill capital projects, and checking and approving engineering designs,” he said.

“There can be all of the above or something completely different. I have learnt to be very flexible when it comes to my work schedule as I don’t know who or what will be coming my way on any given day”.

James is also leading some major projects aimed at improving the traceability of products and the reliability of assets.

“I am currently leading the installation of a new $1.5 million, Italian-made, product tagging robot for the rolling mill. We hope to have it installed in the next six months. It will effectively improve the traceability of our products through their production lifecycle and remove the safety issues and errors that can occur with the current manual process. Ultimately making the whole process more efficient,” said James.

After completing a Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering (a combination of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering) at the University of Wollongong, James took up a position at the Rooty Hill mill as a graduate reliability engineer, he then worked his way up through the mechanical maintenance department to Senior Mechanical Leader in 2017. In 2019, the opportunity arose to take over the mechanical engineering team and he has been in this role since.

“The steel industry is not for everyone. It is a lot of hard work and sacrifice, however, the results when they are achieved are incredibly satisfying,” said James.

James concluded by saying “engineering is an incredibly diverse field of study and can generate many pathways through to a successful career. I’d highly recommend it.”

Please contact us for any feedback or media enquiries about this content.