Brian and Alex, the two diesel mechanics at Mawson keep things moving on station. With a wide range of mechanical experience between them, and a collection of machinery and equipment at their fingertips they can also pretty much fabricate any metal nut or bolt that we need on station. Handy skills, considering that we don’t have a local hardware store nearby!
When it comes to working in Antarctica, they both agree that you should just ‘give it a go!'
The photos depict a typical day in the life of a diesel mechanic at Mawson.
Tell us about your job at Mawson station.
Brian: To maintain and operate all of the vehicles and plant (mechanical equipment) on the station
Alex: My job is to ensure the power house engines are always working and all other plant (mechanical equipment) around station is kept in a serviceable condition.
Why is your job important?
Brian: ‘Diesos’ are the ‘go to people’ when things go wrong!
Alex: My job is just as important as everyone else’s here on station, all the trades work together to ensure the station continues to operate.
What is the best part of your job at Mawson?
Brian: Being in Antarctica! The job is much the same as anywhere else
Alex: The diverse job requirements and what Antarctica has to offer (auroras especially).
What do you like the least about your workday?
Brian: Vacuuming and slushy
How did you end up doing this job in Antarctica?
Brian: Always wanted to. I did it 31 years ago and thought ‘why not have another go?' and here I am.
Alex: I have wanted to come here for a long time. So I applied and got lucky I guess.
Give me one useless fact about your role as a diesel mechanic.
Brian: I’m also the station anaesthetist!
Alex: Some Turbocharges can spin in excess of 100,000 RPM (most cars go to 4000 RPM).
If someone wanted to be a diesel mechanic in Antarctica what would you suggest they do?
Brian: Get a good diverse range of experience and have a go!
Alex: Have a diverse mechanical background and give it a go!