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Career Profile

Brandon Graf

Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
Brandon Graf au travail
Brandon Graf au travail
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Brandon Graf is an Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) for Keyera.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Red Deer, Alberta

I now live in: Drayton Valley, Alberta

I completed my training/education at: I completed my Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) certification at Red Deer College. I completed the Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP) designation at Fluid Life in Edmonton, AB.

What I do at work

I work in an industrial setting. As an Industrial Mechanic Millwright, I work on many different types of industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. I mainly engage in the mechanical troubleshooting of rotating equipment and assist in operational issues when needed. We work as groups to ensure our equipment is running as intended and designed within its limits. We use a variety of technologies to troubleshoot, install, and maintain equipment. These include laser alignment tools, vibration analysis, thermal imaging, & audiometric analysis. Thinking on your feet is a necessary ability. You use your knowledge and experience to make judgement calls for repair, scheduling and troubleshooting on equipment.

I help install new equipment and make sure it will do the job it needs to before it is brought online. I track and monitor how long a piece of equipment has been in operation. We make sure the equipment is serviced regularly to prevent breakdowns. I check with our operations staff to see if they have any issues of concern. When a problem does come up, I troubleshoot to find the cause of the issue. If a piece of equipment breaks down, I will lead the investigation to figure out what happened and why. If the equipment can be repaired, we will do that. Sometimes it means we have to contract an outside supplier. I manage the contract crews when they are on site. Every day brings something new!

All of the fields involved in STEM are associated in our day-to-day business within the oil and gas industry. I regularly work with teams in the engineering professions, as well as members of the management team. Each team has people with different backgrounds and knowledge. We work together to achieve our goal to continued improvements to our operations and maintenance. This improves our safety and the reliability of our facilities.

My career path is

When I was in school, I knew I wanted to work with people and be involved in the trades & technology. I never pictured being in the position I am in now.

I began my apprenticeship while I was in high school. This program counted towards my high school credits for hours worked. Today, I have my Millwright Red Seal certification.  My high school shop teacher was one of my biggest influences to go into the trades. This began with getting involved through Skills Alberta and spending way too much time in shop class!  I also completed the CMRP [certified maintenance & reliability professional] certification. This program provides advanced credentials for people working in maintenance and management.

There have been some unexpected turns and challenges in my career. If not for all those twists and challenges, I would not have ended up where I am today. I am thankful for them and gave me industry and life experience that cannot be taught.  There will always be challenges and failures in your live. It is how we approach them and deal with them that shape who we are as people. I take each challenge and failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Growth never happens without failure. Keep an open mind and resources through different people. You will never know what you are capable of until you go through these challenges.

I am motivated by

I look forward to coming into work to make an impact and see the positive outcomes of those impacts. These can include troubleshooting a bad acting piece of equipment. Or it can be in restoring/rebuilding equipment and making sure we are using the best practices possible.

Equipment upgrades and standards are continually evolving. Finding solutions that benefit the facility and the groups I work with is always interesting. I enjoy that each day brings something new or that a new challenge always seems to present itself.

This is the right career for me as it gives me the ability to engage with multiple groups while working to a common goal. I enjoy the challenges of an ever-changing work environments and initiatives. I enjoy working with my hands and seeing the work I complete make a difference.

How I affect peoples’ lives

We deliver Energy that people need to heat their homes, power their automobiles, and run the economy. The equipment I maintain ensures a safe operating environment. Our top priority is to ensure everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. It is personally fulfilling to know that I play a part in both of these!

Outside of work I

I enjoy camping and golfing in the summer. In the winter I play hockey, enjoy snowboarding and ice fishing. I volunteer on technical committee for Skills Alberta.

My advice to others

Maintain a good work ethic! Ask questions when you are unsure! Take as many opportunities you can and always keep an open mind.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Industrial Arts
  • Physical Education / Health
  • Photography
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Never wanted to be in the classroom
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked to take things apart to see how they worked
  • Liked to design or build things
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing
  • Learned best "by doing"

Related Topics


Skills Canada Alberta

Let's Talk Science would like to thank Skills Canada Alberta for connecting us with the individual profiled above.

Skills Canada Alberta is a provincial non-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to Alberta youth. Founded in 1992, Skills Canada Alberta’s goal is to equip young minds with the skills that will help Canada compete successfully in the rapidly changing world market. This is accomplished through experiential programs targeted at junior high, senior high and post-secondary students.


Skills Canada Alberta

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