Centurion, South Africa — Meet Eugene Collins, Process Engineer. Unofficial name: Eu-keen, “'cos I'm always keen for every adventure, no matter how mundane. On the rare occasion that I bring up an idea which is not totally intellectually bankrupt, some would refer to me as Eugenius.”



Gunnar Kläschen
Head of Value Proposition

Iron man conquers Tajikistan!


Besides the role stated in your job title, what do you actually get to do day-to-day? “ Practice my Tajik language skills with some colleagues. Play around with chemicals during test work. Pushing buttons to make some really big machinery move. Climbing up, down and crawling through all kinds of nooks and crannies for inspections.”

What didn't you get a chance to include in your résumé? Any hidden talents we should know about? “I am a chemical engineer with a bachelors degree from Stellenbosch University. Currently studying towards my MBA degree and attempting to register as a professional engineer. Hidden talents: I am a certified ocean life guard. And since one never retires from this profession, I can still help out when I'm on holiday at my local beach in South Africa.”



In which city are you based? “Centurion, South Africa.”

What's the best part of your day? What’s most challenging about it? “I am easily bored by repetitive tasks and therefore the best part of my day is waking up to new challenges. Every single day poses a different, interesting and unique set of obstacles.”

What inspired you to follow this career path? “My love of people, seeing new places, and an insatiable sense of adventure. I despise being tied to a desk and therefore knew that I had to do something that would allow me to venture out into the field.”

What do you do for fun? “Exploring this incredible planet of ours. Whether it be climbing a mountain with no clear path to the top, scuba diving in a new reef or just walking through an unfamiliar city. Every single moment is an opportunity to explore something new. I travel as often as possible, whether it be for private or professional reasons and therefore I never have trouble setting aside time for that.”

What was the best career advice you've ever gotten? “Contrary to popular belief, nobody owes you their attention or time. You need to pique their interest (through your knowledge, experience and fresh perspective on things) to earn it.”

If you could spend an hour or a lunchtime with someone in the industry to pick their brains, who would you choose and why? “Dr Francis Pitard. He is an absolute legend in the sampling industry which is a very interesting and dynamic field within mineral processing.”

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with a newcomer to this industry? “If you can find a way to combine your professional ambitions with your personal passions, you will be living life to the fullest. Living your passion and having a full time job does not have to be mutually exclusive.”

What do you like most about working at Stark? What makes you feel supported? “Every single person in the company is just a "lekker" person. You always feel at ease when dealing with anyone of them. They are always more than willing to help out, soundboard some challenges or have a full-on brainstorming session. No problem is ever so big that it cannot be solved after a constructive conversation with one of my smart colleagues.”

What surprised you about working at Stark? “How energetic and enthusiastic ambition can drive people and projects forward. We have a very high-performing team that gets things done. Everyone does their best every single day to ensure that high quality results are achieved.”

What would your closest colleagues say if I asked them to name the one characteristic that they totally dig about you, and the one that drives them insane? “Enthusiasm and also enthusiasm.”



Have you ever been given a Flop Award a Sputnik Award or an Iron Man Award? “I received the Iron Man award for persisting in a less than ideal accommodation situation in Tajikistan and volunteering to stay another 30 days on the other side of the world to help out.”

Do you have a mechanical engineering hack you can share? “When inspecting something on site: always assume that everything has been done incorrectly. If you start with the assumption that everything is as it should be, your confirmation bias will blind you.”

What are your travel essentials? “My drone, ThermoFlask, trail running shoes and GPS (watch). All other things can be replaced.”

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