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Member Profile  David Lake

Member Profile David Lake

Category: Member Profile

Can you share with us your career history?

After completing a degree in Materials, I worked in “advanced” manufacturing Research and Development + production support, before moving to the Alumina mine and refinery at Gove, NT. My role included NDT / Condition Monitoring / Weld inspection / Metallurgy and Materials engineering / Pressure vessel, Boilers and Crane Inspections. Then to Whyalla and on to Melbourne dealing more with people than materials, in “Change Management” and Operations Management roles, before finding ATTAR, where I could combine my love of things technical with the complexity of people and business, thrown in!

Describe your current employment role?

As the Managing Director of ATTAR I can indulge myself by taking on technical work (i.e. earning $) along with the people and commercial challenges, that come from running a business.

Can you share with us the most interesting aspects of your work thus far?

ATTARians are not only trainers but learners as well. We are continuously challenged by customers (including students) wanting something new, or needing to find a root cause of failure and how to prevent a failure happening again. The non-training side of our business, was described by a couple of our younger team members, as being a cross between “CSI and Myth Busters”, making ATTAR a fun place to work.

What are the challenges you face as a business owner?

My major challenge is to keep our team challenged, and try and satisfy our customer’s wants and needs whilst having fun and making money to pay the salaries!

Where do you see the future of the inspection industry in Australia?

Now we are moving from the massive construction projects into an operations and maintenance phase, both traditional and new skills will be needed by industry. Advanced manufacturing will need to ensure product quality and look “inside” materials and we all have a role in “keeping importers honest”. Our skills and services should also be useful to our neighbouring countries.

How do you see common inspection techniques evolving?

Most common inspection techniques have already progressed, the technology is readily available – we just need to understand its capabilities, learn how to use it properly, then show we can satisfy businesses needs to inspect and test, cost effectively whilst giving the accuracy of results that they need.

Can you share with us a career highlight?

A single career highlight is hard to identify. However, People are far more complex than NDT / CM, so having a career in leading large manufacturing operations, helping people significantly improve their workplace to make the business they work for successful, has given me the greatest satisfaction.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

There is no such thing in business as “can’t do” , hard maybe, but not impossible. Give it your best go.

Do you have any advice for people new to the industry?

Ensure you can do what you say you can and prove your abilities by being 3rd party certified to the ISO standards. Be ethical!

What are the top three things on your “bucket list”?

Ensuring I have ongoing work life balance and continue to learn about myself, people and science, with lots of travel, whilst maintain a good level of fitness. Also to grow our business’s capabilities, thereby offering the team new challenges and a secure and enjoyable working life.