Pooja Haria – Reliability Engineer, Solomon, Fortescue Metals Group

Growing up in a low-income background in Kenya, as the daughter of non-English speaking Indian immigrants, Pooja Haria understood quickly that an academic focus would pave the way to a better life for her and her family.

That meant travelling overseas with the help of her community to study, initially in Malaysia and then in Melbourne, where she completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours, Mechanical Engineering) at Victoria University and was subsequently offered a PhD specialising in robotics.

Pooja’s career in mining started with an internship at Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations in far North Queensland, where she was quickly promoted to a graduate role as the only female mechanical engineer. Pooja’s leadership qualities were evidenced by her being entrusted with a $2 million capital project while still a graduate and eventually serving as Acting Railway Superintendent at Weipa.

Since moving to join FMG in April 2020 in a fly-in, fly-out role at the Solomon mine, Pooja has driven key improvements in the site’s lubrication systems, resulting in improved efficiencies and reduced downtime.

Pooja is a strong role model for FMG’s younger engineers and has previously taken on formal mentoring responsibilities and been involved in campaigning against domestic violence.