Issue 4 - 7 May 2013 enews home

Engineering student keeps watch on environment

By Patrick Nelson

Shalini Chunatu onboard the dredger Rotterdam in Darwin Harbour

An engineering student continues to play a small but important role in the Territory's largest construction project, the Ichthys LNG Project.

Shalini Chunatu is part-way through her internship with the international dredging contractor Van Oord, where she provides a vital support service.

The internship has allowed Shalini to board some of the world’s most technologically sophisticated dredging vessels, including the Rotterdam and the self-propelled cutter suction dredger Athena.

“Every day is different and educational,” said Shalini, who goes aboard the vessels once or twice a fortnight, depending on demand.

“To be onsite means I can experience practical aspects of the project and get involved in work that is varied,” she said.

“Passionate, committed and cooperative people in this project makes every day work fun and interesting.”

The third-year Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op) undergraduate works in the environmental engineering section where she assists in the environmental aspects of the project during dredging.

“My role involves collecting and analysing results, preparing memos, uploading data on to the server, checking on turbidity monitoring buoys and coordinating transportation of samples,” she said.

But dredging is about to go into recess for the Dry Season.

“It will finish this week, so I will be spending more time in the office with research work,” Shalini said.