Heavy Engineering involves thinking big and heavy, big structures, cranes to lift heavy components, laser cutters to cut thick steel, and heavy benders to fold and roll large plate sheets. If you want to pursue a career in Heavy Engineering then you will be working with a great deal of big equipment.
Dunedin has several heavy engineering companies who provide engneering services for shipping, wind turbines, large access cranes and heavy earth equipment, rail wagons and other heavy equipment. Each company has large open workshops with very large cranes that lift the heavy pieces into position ready to be fixed. They have specialised equipment that can cut, fold and roll heavy guage steel sheets into the shapes needed. Engineers can then fix these structures by welding along the massive joints, making them very strong. All the structures have to be built in parts as they are often too big to transport as a completed structure, so they are assembled and tested in the workshop and then disassembled and freighted to their new location.
As these photos illustrate, the bucket of a large digger takes the efforts of a large truck to transport it to the mine. The Large folding crane is to be shipped overseas and taken to the top of a large Skyscraper where it will lower a cage down the side of the building to carry out external maintenance. Other projects include the production of carriages for Auckland's Passenger Rail services. The cars are manufactured here in Dunedin and railed up to Auckland for service on the Public transport network. While ship building hasn't happened for some time in Dunedin, marine engineering still requires heavy engineering with re-fits and maintenance of vessels.
Heavy Engineering is an exciting and challenging career, with the benefit of a real sense of achievement on the completion of large projects. Newcomers to Heavy Engineering should be very practical and enjoy using big machines. A pre-trade course will introduce you to some of the smaller versions of the equipment and processes but it won't be until you get to work in a large workshop that you can really get a feel for Heavy Engineering.