After studying Mechanical Engineering, Paul Sergeant started his oil and gas career with BP in the late 1980s before moving to Aberdeen to work with an asset management consultancy supporting energy majors in the North Sea.
This initial exposure to the industry led Paul down the tried and tested path of traversing the oil and gas centres around the globe including Norway, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
“My four-year stint working as VP for Invensys Process Systems gave me an opportunity to travel extensively across the Asia-Pacific region and during this time I completed my residency application for Australia.
Since returning to Perth Sergeant has worked in several engineering positions before settling into his current role at Nihar Associates.
The company is an Australian owned and operated engineering and consulting company that provides operations, maintenance, reliability, and integrity support to a variety of industries.
The industry veteran joined the company as General Manager - a new position developed to support the business as it looks to build upon a 15-year track record of delivering to clients in Perth.
“Our market – like many – has been tight in recent times but now the challenge is to ensure we continue our great work in Perth for our oil and gas and mining clients and investigate how we can grow our business,” said Paul.
Like many, Sergeant believes that networking is a fundamental tool needed to achieve this.
“In terms of benefits to me personally, it's the range of topics and quality of presenters that the Petroleum Club attracts for their monthly dinners. This in term ensures there's a good quantity and quality of interesting attendees with whom to network,” said Sergeant.
In addition to personal benefits, Paul also appreciates the Petroleum Club’s mission to reach out to schools through the Next Gen program - at which his colleague Matheesha Jayasekera is a Mentor - and the recent initiative to establish the Petroleum Club Young Professionals group.
“Getting younger people involved in the future of our business is vital, and I commend the Club for what they are doing."
Outside of the office, Paul is a father to a 12-year-old girl who just completed her first term in High School, which keeps him busy either leveraging her off technology or being a taxi service.
“I am on the Board of Directors for two non-profit organisations – one focused on education and training in the health sector and one centred around social reform and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sport in remote communities.
“Both organisations require time, are very rewarding as well as supporting my desire to continue my learning and development in business leadership,” said the five-year Petroleum Club member.
As a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Sergeant also provides mentoring to business leaders wanting to develop their managerial skills.
“I’m also the ‘old man’ and part-time player in the Nihar Associates five-a-side soccer team - much to the delight of my younger work colleagues and teammates.
“The mind is willing, the body less so nowadays," said the General Manager with a chuckle.