When Vinay Muppala arrived in Australia as a young Chemical Engineer in 2012, he had no idea what was ahead. In eight years at Veolia, he’s forged a fantastic career, working his way up through our water division. With every new role, Vinay says he’s encountered new processes, technologies and opportunities for leadership - and he can’t wait for what’s around the corner.
Leaps and Bounds
Growing up captivated by science and maths, Vinay Muppala enrolled in a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in his home country, India. After graduating and gaining some foundational experience in the water industry, he moved to the UK to undertake his Masters. There, he worked in the dairy industry as a Process Production Engineer before jet-setting again. This time, his adventurous spirit would take him to sunny Queensland. Arriving on the Gold Coast in 2012, Vinay joined us as a Water Quality Process Engineer. Since then, he’s moved up through the ranks of our water division - upskilling in engineering processes, technology and people management every step of the way.
“Veolia has always challenged me - and this is what keeps me motivated today. I progressed from Water Quality Process Engineer to Site Process Engineer in Wandoan, before stepping up as Water Quality Lab Manager for Queensland in 2018. This year, I moved into my current position of Process & Water Quality Manager for the Gold Coast Desalination Plant (GCDP) and Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme (WCRWS).”
Like many engineers, Vinay values the chance to do interesting, varied work, and to progress his career. He says he’s found that here:
“My role is quite varied. I ensure our water quality is of a high standard, manage Process Engineers and Laboratory Technicians, and leads and assists with water engineering projects. There’s a lot of room to grow in this business; career progression is strong for a lot of people at Veolia.”
Key to his professional development with us, Vinay shares, has been getting involved in projects outside his remit - and feeling empowered to learn from mistakes.
“I’ve achieved progression by putting my hand up. I started working with the operations teams on various projects - so now I know what’s involved in that area. I’m particularly proud to have managed a site maintenance shut-down at Veolia. Site closures are a huge job and often involve coordinating 50 to 60 contractors. I’d executed one before, but it didn’t go well. I learned a lot from that. But a few months later, my manager was good enough to trust me to manage the maintenance shutdown at Northern Water Treatment Plant, which received great feedback. Veolia is a positive learning environment - one where it’s okay to make mistakes and grow.”
A bright future
It’s clear Vinay is hugely ambitious; he’s laying the groundwork today to carve out a future as a leader in his field.
"I’m definitely planning to step up again. I’ll start my MBA soon, and I’ve requested leadership training. My goal is to become a representative at the managerial level for a plant, or even the state. Ultimately, I’m looking to progress to the executive leadership level. It keeps me motivated to know that my employer supports me and understands what I want to achieve.”
When he considers our future as an organisation, Vinay smiles.
“Veolia is heading in a great direction; management is clear with its vision and its plan. People are driven to find solutions together, to update our processes, and to ensure information flows. As a business, we’re exploring more and more solutions to address significant environmental problems - and I’m motivated to be part of that. This is what drives me - it’s why I’m still with Veolia.”
Vinay offers three tips for fellow engineers considering a career in sustainable solutions:
“Be inclusive, be collaborative and get involved with a wide variety of projects - there are so many more opportunities at Veolia than meets the eye.”
Are you an engineer, curious about where a career at Veolia could take you? Explore our current opportunities today.