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Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

22 June 2021
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Engineers are out there making a difference every day. There are lots of inspiring young women making progress in cutting-edge STEM projects. International Women in Engineering Day, held annually on 23 June, raises the profile of women in engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry.

This year’s theme is ‘Engineering Heroes’, focusing on the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering who support lives and livelihoods every day and recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution.

The Naval Shipbuilding College has been chatting to five female engineers from the naval shipbuilding industry to ask them “Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?” and learnt what makes them an Engineering Hero.

Celebrating women in engineering throughout the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise

Today we are celebrating International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) by profiling women in engineering, within naval shipbuilding.

This day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and STEM and that their participation should be strengthened.

This year’s theme was ‘Engineering Heroes’, focusing on the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who support lives and livelihoods every day and recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution.

Throughout June, we met five women from the industry and asked them, “Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?” and learnt what makes them an Engineering Hero.

Andreanna – Combat System Engineer, Saab Australia

Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?

“The Incas – for their amazing architecture and cities which are still standing today. Their breathtaking empire was built centuries ago and spans from modern-day Argentina to southern Columbia.”

What makes Andreanna an ‘Engineering Hero’?

Andreanna is an experienced engineer, but she is also a leader and role model among her peers. She develops complex combat capability for Saab and plays a critical role working with Saab’s graduate engineers and students, helping them build their knowledge and enabling their growth, whilst they contribute to successful projects.

Virginia – Systems Engineering Manager, Hunter Class Frigate Program

Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?

“I don’t have just one particular hero. Throughout my career, I have worked with many brilliant engineers and mentors who were all keen to share their knowledge and in doing so have helped me grow.”

What makes Virginia an ‘Engineering Hero’?

In her role as a Systems Engineer Manager on the Hunter Class Frigate Program Virginia has not only gained experience in working on a large scale acquisition project but has also learnt the importance of flexible working arrangements, after returning to work following maternity leave.

Terri – Engineering Manager, Huntington Ingalls Industries

Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?

“Bruce Barton, an Electrical Engineering Project Manager, who came into my life at the perfect moment as a great inspiration. While working together on a project to certify a newly designed electric desk, Bruce saw something in me and encouraged me to leave my job and get my degree in engineering, forever changing the trajectory of my career.”

Why is Terri an Engineering Hero?

Throughout her shipbuilding career Terri has continuously chosen a path where she could learn and develop the most. She serves as an official mentor in the engineering mentoring program, and unofficial mentor for numerous employees across the company. When you think of a hero, fearlessness and tenacity are characteristics that comes to mind and Terri meets any challenge with enthusiasm and determination and doesn’t give up until she gets results!

Anna – Naval Architect, Naval Group Australia

Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?

“For me, there is more than one! My mentor and my first manager, two people who believed in a young girl’s engineering ability. Their inspiration has led to a journey across the world, working on various naval defence programs.”

Why is Anna an Engineering Hero?

Anna has worked alongside the most experienced submarine design and construction engineers at Naval Group in France. Since returning, she has been transferring her expertise to the team in Adelaide to instil sovereign capability into the Attack Class Submarine Program.

Sonia – Senior Systems Engineer, BAE Systems Maritime Australia

Who is your ‘Engineering Hero’?

“My father – he introduced me to the amazing world of engineering. I did not know exactly what engineering was back then but his hands-on way of teaching me things kept my young brain intrigued and the fascination continues to this day!”

Why is Sonia an Engineering Hero?

Sonia is a positive and dedicated systems engineer who is always ready to roll up her sleeves to achieve the outcome! During 2020, alongside the challenges presented by COVID-19, Sonia managed the baseline establishment of the engineering business management system for BAE Systems Maritime Australia while also coordinating a number of group activities that review safety-critical aspects of the business.

Engineering Careers in Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry

With more than $180 billion invested by the Australian Government, and 15,000 people needed at the peak of work, Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry is going to need people with lots of different skills to work in a wide range of roles – including hundreds of roles in engineering.

NSC can help you start your engineering career! Have a chat with one of our consultants who will work through your skills and interests to create your career pathway.

Jump on our website to set up a FREE chat with one of our career consultants who will provide guidance and advice on the different options available to gain a job in the industry.

Get on board and set sail for your dream career and have a chat with one of our consultants today!

Interested but still not sure? Take a look at our Shipbuilding Taster Course to get an overview of the industry and the types of roles that are available for you.


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