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Member Profile: Michael Magrath

Member Profile: Michael Magrath

Category: Member Profile

How many years have you worked in the NDT industry?

It's been 19 years since I first began in NDT, way back in 1996. Like most in the industry, I have enjoyed the opportunity of working for several different employers, ranging from one of the smallest, to one of the largest companies. Both in the similarities and the uniqueness of each of these companies, they have given me a wealth of experience and the opportunity of working in a wide range of industry sectors. My thanks is extended to these companies.

How were you introduced into NDT?

It was really a step of natural progression and I must say, good fortune. I was working as a boilermaker, fabricating and welding pressure vessels for Swift Engineering in Mackay Queensland. It was during this time I got to know the guys from M-test, who were always dressed in brown shorts and short sleeve shirts, doing the NDT and welding inspections. Now for somebody working in the heat of Nth Qld., wearing full leathers on top of long sleeve shirt and trousers, whilst holding a heating torch to a heavy plate about to be welded; the idea of working a little less physical and in a pair of shorts seemed like it could have quite some merit.

I had the AS1796 Welding Supervisors ticket and was looking to further my career and become a welding inspector. At the time, the only welding inspectors I knew were all NDT technicians, I had just assumed that NDT was part of a duel role for welding inspectors. I enquired about how to get a job with that particular NDT company and was fortunate enough to get a position, starting out at Dysart a short time later.

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

Working in the NDT industry can have its moments, however it can be surprisingly interesting and never lacking for variety.

From working in the middle of the coal fields one moment, to flying into the PNG highlands jungle the next, you never know where the next job may take you. Then there was always that job barely metres from the crystal clear waters and white sands along the beachfront of Noumea- New Caledonia. Oh, and then there was the fresh barramundi caught off the pier whilst at Cape Flattery far Nth Qld... So many great jobs and locations! Travel, the diversity within NDT itself and the variety of work are the most interesting aspects for me.

What are the challenges you face as a business owner?

Apart from keeping a finger on the pulse with all the different aspects of running the business, there's another side that also needs to be carefully maintained. It's maintaining close relationships with clients, and ensuring that the service being provided is still effective and relevant for their needs whilst they steer through change or challenging circumstances. Keeping things real, with the best possible outcomes for all is what it's about.

Can you share with us a career highlight?

My travels throughout China a few years back for another job which was full of adventure. Being immersed in the culture, dealing with lovely people, now that was an amazing experience! It was a very interesting job that encompassed a wide scope of work, wearing different hats so to speak, which involved thinking on your feet. This was something in which I found extremely rewarding, utilising the knowledge from a wide skill set.