NDY Women in Engineering

Get to know NDY’s women engineers and see what inspired them to chose their career and what drives them to achieve great things.

Aslaug Blitzner
Mechanical Engineer, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

My favourite subject in school was physics. I was drawn to engineering because can apply scientific theory and logical problem solving to real world problems.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I joined NDY as a graduate in late 2016 and have been working on the mechanical services for 1 Denison Street, North Sydney.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer for me means to achieve high quality work and contribute to the team. I would like to inspire more females to join the engineering profession.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Liam Brady, my fellow graduate buddy.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Do it! Engineering offers so much diversity, both in the types of jobs and the different roles you can acquire. It is a profession where you come across people who love their job so much that they don’t want to retire!
Also, it is constantly evolving profession that offers new challenges every day, you will never be bored.

Aviva Gunzburg
Lighting Designer, Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I fell into an engineering ‘type’ of world. At high school I wanted to study fine art at University. After encouragement from my parents, I turned to industrial design which incorporated my interests both in art and science based problem-solving. My knowledge of AutoCAD along with keen enthusiasm landed me a role within the building services industry where I was exposed to lighting design – I did not look back.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

When I look at career achievements, I consider the projects I have been part of, and designs I have been responsible for. I am happy to say that I am proud of many of my projects. They are designs which have effectively and cleverly solved the design brief and have been designed in a way which is sensitive to both the needs of people and the environment.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

When I was doing my final years of high school I had a physics teacher who views on gender were such that he was rendered incapable of teaching a class filled only with girls. Instead of teaching, he showed our class off to the other teachers as though it was a novel event! Being successful in my career has shown me two things: firstly, one’s own desire, strength and motivation can move mountains especially when there is significant bias. Secondly, there are people in the industry who are willing to open the door and support others who show keenness and skill, no matter their gender.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

It is difficult to isolate a single name from the NDY staff as a career helper. I tended to go to people on a needs basis, and have received valuable assistance in particular areas.

I personally think it has been wonderful to have had this ability as I can easily seek expertise from a well informed person regarding a range of subjects. “Men as Allies” within NDY is certainly applicable for me.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

You are highly likely to be outnumbered by men, both at university and within the workplace. You are also likely to feel pressure to be “one of the boys”, and at times, this is appropriate, so don’t shy away from it! Mostly though, it is valuable to be yourself – a competent, capable, female.

Benita Husband
Strategy And Planning Director – Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

When I was in school I always loved maths and science. I heard about engineering from an uncle, and I liked the idea of being part of a profession that had some designated career paths – this became my focus.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of some of the iconic buildings I’ve helped design – including the Australian embassy in Jakarta, King Hamad General Hospital in Bahrain and TEDA soccer stadium in China.
I’m also proud of the people I’ve mentored and managed over the years, and have loved seeing them grow & succeed.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer means that you get to take part in projects that shape our communities and people’s daily lives – I love the tangible outcomes, there’s nothing more exciting then being on the train and hearing people talk about one of your projects.

Being a female in a male dominated profession has meant that I’ve had the opportunity to educate young girls (and their teachers!) on the amazing career opportunities open to them. I’ve been invited to mentor a number of younger female engineers which has been such a privilege.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I joined NDY 8 months ago, and I’ve been excited by the passion our CEO Stuart Fowler has shown toward getting gender on the agenda! He has reignited my enthusiasm to make an impact and be bold for change.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

I would recommend engineering as a really rewarding career, one which allows you to have a direct impact on the world around us. Consulting engineering gives you the opportunity to work on projects that vary in size, complexity, scale. For example, I’ve worked on projects that ranged from a lighting installation to highlight a work of art – to lighting the MCG (sports stadium) for TV broadcasts – there’s never a dull moment. Whilst women are a minority in the engineering field, there are a number of fantastic networks in which to get involved.

I’d recommend finding mentors. For me it was never about having one mentor, I’ve always had a couple of people I’d speak to about technical matters, then others about career or balancing work/life (especially since I’ve had children). As I have moved into more senior roles, I found having a mentor outside of my own company beneficial, and I now have mentors from outside the field of engineering.

Cecilia Cesarini
Graduate Engineer

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I will be honest, I liked everything. As an Environmental Engineer, this career was more challenging and gives me the opportunity to engage in works that improve the environment.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

As a graduate engineer, I do not have a lot of experience in the industry, however, completing my master degree with a final research study and publication made me proud of myself.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

One more reason to be proud of myself!

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

My whole team has largely helped me, particularly my manager Kim Featherston.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

I believe that women can be as successful as men, or even better!

Claudia Burbidge
Sustainability Intern, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

A love of maths and science, and the reward of working in a team to find innovative solutions! Going through high school, I had a fantastic Engineering Studies teacher who mentored me across the years; challenging me and encouraging me to never stop asking questions.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Working for the university as an ambassador and being able to talk to high school students considering a career in engineering. Being able to share personal experiences is invaluable and I believe the younger students get a lot out of their time spent chatting to us!

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Success as a female engineer means that you are confident in your abilities and can communicate effectively in a team. It means finding solutions, but also being able to communicate the benefits to others in a way that they understand.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Challenge yourself! A career in engineering is action-packed; there are endless opportunities and it’s incredibly rewarding!

Elizabeth Williams
Undergraduate, Melbourne

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Having only recently concluded my studies, I am proud to have gained a permanent position in the ESD team as I have always had a keen interest in sustainable design and the built environment. During my time as an undergraduate, I was pleased to assist in closing out two Green Star Submissions which achieved their nominated ratings after Round 1.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

To me, a successful engineer will be well respected amongst peers and clients alike and will have a suite of skills to allow for further development. Some attributes I believe are crucial to becoming a successful engineer include; strong communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to negotiate as well as problem- solving and being willing to learn new things.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

All of the men in the ESD team are extremely supportive, though I would like to thank Tim Bush in particular for his encouragement and giving me the opportunity to further my skills as a consultant.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Don’t be put off by the prospect of embarking on a career in a male-dominated profession. Follow your passion whatever that may be.

Emma Pickering
Modelling Team Lead, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

My Dad was an engineer, and I was really interested in what he did. I went to a ‘Technology’ School and thoroughly enjoyed all the design based subjects (which my parents encouraged). This then led me to study Product Design at University. I had a ‘year in industry’ where I did drafting for a mechanical ductwork manufacturer, and upon completing my degree, I took up further drafting and modelling positions in a couple of different industries.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Becoming the Lead Mechanical modeller on the Perth Children’s Hospital – I am glad to have worked on this amazing project. Transferring to the Sydney office as a Lead Modeller and co-ordinator, then progressing to become the Modelling Team Lead is something that I am also proud of achieving.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

It means being taken seriously by my colleagues, and being seen as an equal. I want to work on interesting projects that are worthwhile to the community, and be proud of the work myself and my team has done.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I would like to nominate Alex Rodger – he was always encouraging and supportive to me while I was in Perth and helped me with my transfer to Sydney. Even though I no longer work with him directly, I feel I could turn to him if I needed help or support.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

I would suggest that if you’re not 100% sure what sort of engineering you’d like to pursue, study a degree that really interests you, even if it may not seem directly associated with a specific engineering discipline. For example, I studied Product Design, however still found a path to a career in engineering modelling. I believe as long as the basics are covered, you can add more at a later date by completing additional training and courses.

Hannah George
Senior Associate – ICT & Security, Perth

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I had a strong interest in maths and science.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud of working on the tools in some challenging environments including prisons, early in my career. Particularly notable projects I have worked on are the JP Morgan building in Canary Wharf, London (which sadly, was not built), the Westfield Stratford City converged network and security design and the New Children’s Hospital, Perth.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Solving problems and finding creative solutions to problems is what really excites me about what I do. The more I can push the envelope and improve the built environment we live and work in, the more I feel I’m being successful.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Richard Morrison, who no longer works with NDY, has been the most supportive during my time at NDY both in London and Perth. He always encouraged and challenged me in every aspect of my work.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Be authentic! Woman or man, be true to yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses, be self aware and work to improve yourself. Do not try to be the person you think you should be, do not model yourself on those around you but learn from them and let them learn from you.

Jane Lai
Sustainability Consultant, Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I have always been interested in mathematics and science since high school. The prospect of solving real world problems and contributing to society was appealing. I was inspired by my brother, who studied civil engineering. Subsequent research into various disciplines of engineering added to my growing interest in the field. To this day, I am pleased with the choice that I have made, as I believe that I am making real societal impacts with the projects in which I am involved.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I’ve been a part of design teams in developing commercial, residential, defence, healthcare and retail assets. As a Sustainability Consultant, I am proud when buildings I work on achieve important environmental ratings such as Green Star, or NABERS. This means the projects accomplished environmental outcomes which may include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced water consumption, high energy efficiency systems, etc. I am also proud to be one of Australia’s first WELL Accredited Professional as this provided me with the credibility to encourage and promote the importance of health and wellbeing of occupants in buildings.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Engineering is a traditionally male-dominated profession. Throughout my education and career, I have seen an increase in the number of females becoming interested in pursuing a career in engineering. I regularly take part in NDY’s Engineering Students At Work program, where senior high school students are invited into the NDY office and to complete tasks which help them understand the engineering profession. As part of my presentations in introducing sustainability concepts to them, inspiring students especially girls to study engineering is important to me. I strive to demonstrate to girls that engineering is a viable career.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I am thankful to Mr. Tony Arnel, NDY’s Global Director Sustainability, who has extensive experience in different areas of sustainability. He has provided me with invaluable advice, guidance and encouragement throughout my years at NDY.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

An engineering career is rewarding and meaningful. Being an engineer also means that you are likely to acquire skills that would be applicable to other areas of your life. It’s also a lot of fun as I often have the opportunity to make acquaintances with people from different walks of life. My knowledge is broadened everyday from interactions with architects, builders, and engineers from other disciplines. I thoroughly enjoy my career as an engineer!

Jennifer Broadmeadow
Senior Project Engineer – Electrical, Brisbane

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

The normal things most engineers will tell you – maths and sciences came naturally and I always had a general interest in how things work. I’m also a very logical person and will always call a spade a spade.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I’m mostly proud of being the Lead Electrical Engineer for MMC, and being one of the two lead automation engineers on the Westconnex project and my appointment to Senior Engineer (2016).

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Exceeding my own expectations, pushing myself technically to learn outside the bounds of my remit, making a difference, and being a role model for my younger peers.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Andrew Phoenix , my Electrical Engineering peer, second set of eyes and ears, senior electrical engineer, similar career experience (circa 5 years).

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there – the more practical experience you can gain before entering the consulting engineering profession the better. Having a broad appreciation for how things are physically constructed and installed is truly invaluable once it comes time to put pen to paper.

Joanna O’Kane
Project Engineer – Tenancy Services, Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

The fact that engineering is a speciality where you get to understand how things work. It is a very logical field that isn’t filled with ideologies/agendas that seem to be infesting most careers these days. I am attracted to the fact that engineering is black and white and not subjective.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that the work I do contributes to society in a positive and tangible manner. Society spends most of their adult life in a work setting and if I can make these workspaces work then I feel that in a small way, I am making the world a better place.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

It means having my ideas heard and being recognized as a valuable member of a team. It means being respected by clients and changing the attitudes of certain clients who still seem to underestimate and question the contribution of female engineers.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I would like to nominate Frank Cattafi who was a great mentor and really encouraged me to be confident.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Don’t underestimate how valuable your femininity is in contributing to the engineering field. Women think differently than men and this is a good thing. On many an occasion, I have seen first-hand how a female’s insight has enhanced team spirit and project delivery for the client.

Jocelyn Foo
Project Engineer, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

It is definitely in the genes. I was first attracted to engineering because my father, an electrical engineer has always been my role model. Growing up, my father will always come back with stories from work, sharing his passion for engineering.

Primary and secondary education math classes, particularly calculus, intrigued me while I learned the value of hard work in solving problems. I love numbers and have always been good at Mathematics. Naturally, engineering was the way to go in university. My engineering career started during my second year of university where I was fortunate enough to be presented the opportunity to work with NDY as an intern. I have never looked back since; it has been an exciting and rewarding journey.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

The achievement I am most proud of is completing a multi disciplinary design of one of the largest commercial tower in North Sydney with my role being the lead electrical engineer. It is a 37-floor premium grade commercial tower with 5 floors of basement located at 1 Denison Street. Not only did we NDY as a team complete the project on time, we also managed and met our client expectations really well. The client was very impressed with our work and even brought us out for drinks to celebrate our success. The building is currently in construction and I can’t wait for the building to be completed.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

To me, a successful female engineer involve being able to influence and encourage young women to join the engineering industry. With that, it includes being a role model to the young female engineers, providing them with support and opportunities that can help them flourish in their engineering career.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

The person that has helped me throughout my career at NDY is my mentor, Gabriel Cheung. He has given me lot of wise advice and has helped me grow as an engineer, both technically as well as in terms of work ethics. Our monthly catch up is the best way I bounce ideas off him.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Go for it! It has been an amazing journey for me so far and it will be for you as well. Do not be afraid of the male dominated industry, there is a huge network of support with the number of female engineers growing from year to year. Get a mentor that you are comfortable with to guide you through your career. You will not regret a career in engineering which is very rewarding.

Jojololami Sadipe
Project Engineer, London

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I think it is an innate attraction – I come from a family of engineers (my dad and siblings are all engineers). I also preferred the technical subjects at school and took more easily to methodical and formulas. The erratic power supply in my home country (Nigeria) attracted me to electrical engineering because I thought maybe one day I would find a solution to the problem.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am most proud of Wedge House project – a 110,000 sq ft hotel and office development in the city of London. Having come from a fit-out/refurbishment background, being the lead electrical engineer on a new build of this size was significant. It had a bit of everything in it and was a very steep learning curve. It is currently being constructed and I can’t wait to see the end product.

I am also proud of the Girlguiding London HQ refurbishment project which I was the lead electrical engineer on. It one of the larger CAT B refurbishments I have worked and involved the conversion of the existing Girlguiding London office to mixed office and hotel development. This was my first major mixed used development project which I was involved in from inception to completion.

I am also proud to have designed a state of the art HQ in London. With a very technically-inclined client, I was kept on my toes, designing different kinds of unconventional spaces all in one building. I also experienced life on the other side when I was novated to the contractor and spent a few months working on-site.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

The best part of engineering for me is the ability to create something that solves a problem. So being a successful engineer means being able to engineer solutions to everyday problems wherever I find myself – not just at work. By so doing I am able to bring ideas to life and solve problems anywhere and anytime.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Eric Cillie – A very knowledge engineer with a wealth experience who always makes out time to explain or give me a helping hand.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Being an engineer is like any other profession – if you have a passion for it pursue it. Even though it is a male dominated industry, there is plenty of opportunity to make your mark in engineering as a woman.

Julia Thompson
Project Engineer Graduate, Wellington

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I was attracted to the practical o-site work and the chance to come up with functional solutions to improve sustainable building operation.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

To date, I’m most proud of co-ordinating with architects and the NDY team to produce some distinctive lighting fit outs and presenting research to NDY in London.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer, regardless of gender, means being efficient, and productive; producing quality work that demands respect. It also means providing creative, practical, and functional solutions to difficult problems.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Crispin Jones and Andrew Linney, both hugely supportive and excellent teachers!

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Volunteer for as much practical onsite experiences as possible.

Kate Conway
Senior Lighting Designer, Auckland

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I actually found this profession by accident! I stumbled into theatre lighting design, however after enduring an injury, I moved into lighting the build environment.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud of receiving recognition from my peers by achieving MIES status with the Illuminating Engineering Society. Currently I am the only lighting designer in New Zealand registered with the International Association of Lighting Designers. I’m just proud of being part of work that can be seen in the public domain.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

It means contributing to a team and having pride in what I do.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Steve Brown (based in Melbourne) – Steve is Design Director of NDYLIGHT and gave me my first job in lighting design and has continued to be a mentor throughout my career.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

If you have a passion and love what you do, then go ahead and do it – you are your own destiny!

Kathryn Mawdsley
Senior Lighting Designer, London

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

Throughout school I always enjoyed maths and art; I wanted a career that combined creative design with technical problem-solving. I chose to study a Masters degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of Leeds which fused these passions together well. As part of my degree, I went abroad for a year to study at The Pennsylvania State University and it was here I discovered my passion for lighting design. Architectural lighting design combines architecture, creative thinking and technical skills to enhance a space and the people within it.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I was awarded Runner-up for Outstanding student of the Year 2016 after completing the LIA certificate course in lighting which I was very proud of receiving. I am also very proud of becoming Senior Lighting Designer at my previous company – I worked very hard and challenged myself to achieve it.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer means coming to work every day enjoying what you are doing. As we spend such a large portion of our lives at work, I think it important to love what you are doing and leave at the end of the day feeling like you have made a difference. We have a large impact on how spaces function and feel, it is a huge responsibility and a privilege which we must use to our advantage.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Aaron Versace has always been around to help and support me during my career at NDY; he is easy to talk to and always constructively guides me in the right direction.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

I would encourage women to do what they love and what makes them happy – if this is a career in engineering, then grab the opportunity with both hands! There are so many different elements to engineering and it is such an interesting and diverse career. It’s also very exciting to know the work you do positively impacts the people and the world around you.

Kimberley Whynn
CAD Operator | Undergraduate Engineer, New Zealand

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I started out as a CAD Draughtsperson and noticed that I would like to be a part of the design engineering stage as well so started training from there.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Going back to university to finish my bachelor’s degree.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

I am unsure of what it means to be a successful engineer as I haven’t quite finished my degree, however, there are a few female engineers in the Auckland office, and thus far, I can say that they are quite successful.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I would like to nominate Ben Bentley and Ross Legh as they are always there when I need a helpful hand.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Go for it, you have nothing to lose!

Lauren Lever
NDYLIGHT Studio Manager / Lighting Designer, London

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I was inspired by design and the architecture of buildings from a young age, so I was labelled as the creative one within the family. Throughout school I thoroughly enjoyed Design Technology and excelled in the subject, I was enthused that we can create something that could potentially help others, provide entertainment or be purely functional. I was the only female in the design class, however this never put me off as it was the subject that I was passionate about. Following my heart, I jumped into a design degree at university and this is when I first really started to notice the gender split within design and engineering, with only around 25% of students being female. I feel this split has remained consistent throughout my career in design, specifically Lighting Design, however this has always pushed me to stand out and prove that gender doesn’t mean you cannot excel within this industry.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am incredibly proud that my team NDYLIGHT recently won UK & Architectural Lighting Team of the Year for The Best Commercial Interior Design Group 2016. My other career achievements are for designing numerous award-winning schemes, to name a few:

  • Joy (Hull812) Yacht, Amsterdam
    – Winner for The Showboats Design Awards 2017
    – Finalist for The World Superyacht Awards 2017
  • ACE Shoreditch, London
    – Won FX Awards 2014 for Best Hotel Project
    – Won European Hotel Design Awards 2014 for Best Architecture Renovation
  • Beau Rivage Palace, Lausanne
    – Won Sleep Hotel Design Awards 2012 for the Cafe, Bar & All-Day Dining category

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

To be happy within your career is a key element.  To demonstrate that you can deliver innovative lighting schemes for each project that complements the building’s form and function; to create a unique atmosphere and identity to the space.  To be awarded on your own merit and work, regardless of gender.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Since I joined NDY in 2015, my manager Aaron Versace has always been helpful with assisting me progress my career within the company, mentoring and guiding me within the engineering world.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

I would encourage you to follow your heart and passion for the subject, and to disregard the stereotypical attitude that engineering and design jobs are only for males. Women excel within this industry and this proves that a career you are truly passionate about doesn’t discriminate against gender – push for diversity.

Leigh Gibb
Senior Project Consultant, Perth

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I fell into it! I was PA to the Director here in Perth and was given the opportunity to undertake training to use Green Star tools and start consulting. I completed my Bachelor of Sustainability and haven’t looked back.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Winning the NAWIC WA award for Triple Bottom Line in Sustainability as well as the NDY Excellence Award for best project under $20M in 2013.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Showcasing what is possible and achievable to all young engineers coming through the doors. Also being a role model to my son and showing how hard work and perseverance pays off.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Darrel Williams.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Go for it! It is a varied and fulfilling profession and there can be a great mix of desk work, research and development and hands-on experience that exposes you to so many different elements of the building and construction industry. I think being a female engineer on site gives you an advantage as my experience has generally been that I’m treated with respect, and perhaps even given special treatment. Work hard and try not to be aggressive in your approach so that you can gain allies in your career. Make sure that you build a network of support to help your career flourish. Try to get involved in extra office activities that excite you, for example, at a social club, charitable trust, etc. so that you can interact with other offices and further extend your network.

Liana Paolino
Electrical Project Engineer, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

During school, I enjoyed science and maths subjects and was looking for a career where I could apply these skills in a practical way. I was excited to learn about the broad and diverse ways engineering contributes to so many fields and industries. I wanted a career that would provide continuous challenges and learning opportunities and would enable me to contribute to the development of technologies and infrastructure of benefit to society.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I find satisfaction in the daily challenges I face in my role and the continuous learning involved. From a project perspective, I consider my involvement in the Barangaroo Lendlease fitout to be a memorable achievement – my first big project and the biggest technical and professional learning curve in my career so far. I find it really rewarding now when I attend meetings in the Lendlease office and witness people using a space I contributed to.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

I believe a successful [female] engineer, above all, is true to her own unique skills and perspectives and confidently contributes these qualities in her assigned tasks. She is passionate and committed to positive outcomes, encourages effective team collaboration; both contributing and listening to the ideas of others and is a positive role model for other female and male engineers in the industry.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I have had support from so many of my male colleagues at NDY but Shannon Hanly-Jones, Ron Green and Luke Dibden have had particularly significant roles in my career to date.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

If you are the kind of person who enjoys problem-solving, learning how things work and creating things, engineering is a career worth considering. An engineering career will equip you with a broad skill set that is highly sought after in a range of industries. I would recommend getting involved in career events, work experience and speaking to some professional engineers to get a better understanding of what engineering is all about.

Lisa Kelly
Senior Project Consultant, Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

To be honest, I fell into engineering at university by simply following the subjects that I enjoyed. I had no idea what a career in engineering really meant. During my studies however, I worked for a year in the automotive industry which showed me the practical and exciting area that a career in engineering can be. What I liked most was that there was something tangible at the end of the day that you helped create.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am most proud of working within great teams, and working on great projects with great mentors.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer means working hard, always learning and having fun!

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Sam Aloi – my first manager and mentor who showed me the way in NDY and Fire Engineering and provided me with amazing opportunities. James Henshaw – office manager in Sydney who pushed me into Project Coordinator roles and gave me great opportunities to step up my career.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Engineering is such a broad industry that encompasses so many businesses and opportunities. It’s exciting, rewarding and constantly changing. Find an area that interests you and give it a go!

Lynette Williams
Senior Project Engineer, Melbourne

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

For me, achievement comes on understanding client needs, being able to discuss options and items they may not have thought of, and producing solutions that meet their needs.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

A successful engineer is one who is respected for their opinions, and provide advice and design as part of the wider design team.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I have been with NDY for 6 months, compared to my over 20 years in industry so I don’t have someone to nominate yet.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Be strong, consider yourself as an engineer not as a female engineer. Look outside the box for your options.

Madeline Homewood
Mechanical Consultant, Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of a nerd! As a kid I enjoyed playing with puzzles and in school my favourite classes were maths and science. Nothing motivates me more than being posed with a challenging tasks, and nothing satisfies me more than coming up with a solution. I would say my love of maths is what drew me into a career in engineering, and my thirst for new challenges is what has kept me here.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

My career as an engineer has given me the opportunity to work on some of the most exciting construction projects in Melbourne. As a services engineer, I have a chance to shape the way spaces are used and enjoyed by people. I’ve had a role in designing a wide range of buildings; from premium office towers to bustling sports stadiums to luxurious shopping centres. I’m really proud of the contribution I have been able to make to these buildings and I look forward to working on more of these types projects in the future.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

As a woman in the construction industry, I would consider it a great success if I were to play a part in reshaping our industry so that female engineers are the norm. Inspiring young women to pursue careers that are traditionally male dominated is something that I’m very passionate about. I would consider myself a success if through my work, I could inspire more women to enter into a career in engineering and help shift the mindset of our industry.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Eugene Wong has been a great friend and mentor to me during my time at NDY. Eugene makes a real effort to understand what I want to achieve in my career, and he puts in the time to help me work out how I’ll get there. Whether I’m learning the technicalities of mechanical services or the ins and outs of the construction industry, I know I can count on Eugene for advice. I am really thankful for his support throughout my career thus far.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Be bold. Be confident. We don’t realise our potential unless we are brave enough to get outside our comfort zone and test ourselves. Having the confidence to take on a new challenge is often the first step to achieving great things.

Melanie Finch
Undergraduate, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

Engineering was quite a late decision for me, mostly because I had never been exposed to the field! When I was finishing school I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved Maths and Science. By chance, I went along to a panel session where there were a few Engineers speaking – I became interested in the work they talked, which influenced my decision to enrol. I think it was particularly attractive to me because Engineering is so applied, and allows you to design and implement something tangible – you can actually see the results of the work you do.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

As a final year undergraduate, my career has just started! So far, the highlight of my experience in Engineering would have to be my trip to India with Engineers Without Borders. I was able to learn a lot about Humanitarian Engineering while spending time in a small rural village. The experience gave me a new perspective, not only in the humanitarian and development sectors but also on how to implement better design practice back home.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer to me means being innovative, reliable and relatable. I believe that while we need to be technically strong, we also need to be able to effectively connect and communicate with many other parties in order to achieve the best results on a project, and to instil confidence in our clients. I would one day love to be known for executing projects reliably, efficiently and with integrity.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

This is a tough question as there are so many male colleagues who have made my first year at NDY such a great one. If I have to mention one name, I’d like to extend my respect and thanks to Graeme Oakley. I have spent lots of time working with him, during which has given me many opportunities to challenge myself and been continually generous in sharing his huge wealth of knowledge.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

This is such a great time to be entering the field of engineering, especially as a female. So many firms are actively working to increase the number of women in their teams, so there are lots of great opportunities on offer! If you are interested in how the world works, and how to make it work better – the experiences available through engineering are so diverse and varied, you will definitely find something for you!

Millie Wan
Fire Engineer & Section Manager, Melbourne

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

In my career as a fire safety engineer, I deal with downside risk to life safety so my long term goal is to have no fatalities due to fire in a building. I have done my best to achieve the fire life safety goals of the building to a reasonable level whilst delivering the project in a cost effective manner. The projects that I am most proud of tend to be the ones that I have learned from, and those where I have formulated interesting solutions.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

On technical terms, being a successful female engineer means that my peers and colleagues treat me as an equal and respected stakeholder in a project. On a human societal level, being a female successful engineer is more difficult to achieve due to the many inherent societal expectations and role limitations that society imposes on women. I have felt that in order to be a successful female engineer, one has to have a village behind her. As a female, there are other roles (particularly familial and domestic roles) that need to be fulfilled at the same time. In my experience, a female engineer probably does not have a singular focus on career as compared to a male engineer, however, has multiple focal points. This understanding has assisted me in multi-tasking and gaining confidence when in dealing with different types of people.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I would nominate Sam Aloi as a long term supporter who has given me the opportunity to develop skills in fire safety in correctional centres. In the last two years, Maisam Mirbagheri (my manager) has been a good mentor and given me an opportunity to develop people management skills. This has greatly assisted me in being able to step up into a new role as Section Manager.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

For young women, apart from developing technical skills, develop your confidence and resilience by taking part in extracurricular activities. Be prepared to re-adjust your goals as you progress through your career and be flexible. Choose a life partner (if you choose to have one) that will support your goals and will be an equal partner in all things.

Mun Ng
Electrical Engineer, Adelaide

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I have special interests in building, fixing and making things work even when I was a child. I recall I would attempt to repair a calculator, create my own toys with building blocks and I was always fascinated with the science projects my older brother brought home from school. I was later exposed to various science subjects in school, including working on experiments involving electricity. I was amazed and eventually decided to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I have been with the NDY Adelaide team for more than 8 years and just being able to work on and successfully deliver various types of projects in Adelaide and various parts of Australia during this time is what I’m really proud of. It is a great feeling thinking what I have designed would benefit the community and make a difference. Another highlight of my engineering career would be obtaining a PhD in Engineering.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful female engineer means being able to maintain work-life balance and achieve goals and aspirations without barrier in an engineering world that is commonly perceived as male dominated.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Many male colleagues have helped me directly or indirectly throughout my career at NDY. Being part of a tightly knit team and also the only female member in the NDY Adelaide office, we work very closely together and the male colleagues have always been very supportive with the things I do. I would also like to mention Dean Eislers (who was the NDY Adelaide Office Manager / Electrical Section Manager and now based in the NDY Sydney office) for sharing his experiences with me and helping me grow in my career in the past years.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Go for it and achieve your dream.

Nadine McLennan
Project Engineer, Wellington

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I decided on becoming an engineer very late in my schooling, I was going to be an accountant. What attracted me to engineering was the fact that I would not be stuck in an office all day and the variety of work on offer, be it in the consulting sector or construction sector.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Managing the site phase of a major factory upgrade within budget and on time and running large-scale projects with a dedicated project team.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

I believe a successful engineer, being either male or female, is defined by the work they do and the impact they make on their clients and colleagues.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Stuart Bagley (Wellington Office Director), Peter Affleck (Section Head) and Crispin Jones (Line Manager) have all been instrumental in allowing me to achieve a work-life balance. I have the ability to work from home when required, and work flexible hours to allow me to attend my children’s various activities.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Go for it! You get to work on interesting projects; you have skills that are transferable from country to country and from project to project.

Peta Earley
Associate, Perth

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I enjoyed and excelled in all Maths and Science subjects at school so was encouraged to look into Engineering as a career option by my secondary school’s career adviser and my year 12 Physics teacher. I enrolled in a combined Science and Engineering degree as at the time was really interested in the field of Biomedical Engineering and was excited at the opportunity to mix Physiology with Electrical engineering.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

To date, I’m proud of working on some of Australia’s most prominent buildings that line our CBD skylines. Also working on one of the first Green Star rated buildings in Docklands in Melbourne, and being part of achieving the First Green Star rated secondary school in Canberra. I have also relocated and worked in many of NDY’s Australian offices – including Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

Finally, I am proud to be a working mum. It is not easy, a constant juggle, and there are days I consider throwing it all in (work that is!). But, I do get a lot of satisfaction from meeting a deadline and achieving a goal. I know that I am lucky that to work part time employment as there are employers and industries that do not allow part time employment, which I urge them to reconsider.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful female engineer is no different to being a successful engineer. Yes, we do work in an industry where there is no gender balance, but this should not be a barrier to being successful. A successful engineer – male or female – is someone who works hard, takes pride in their work and is respected by others in the industry. We all need to be bold and not afraid to speak up!

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Darrel Williams was assigned to me as a mentor when I was a graduate in our Melbourne office almost 15 years ago. Since then we have both worked in different NDY offices, but find ourselves working together again in the Perth office. Darrel has been a huge support and sounding board for me over the year and is a big advocate of mine. He was extremely accommodating when I was in coming back from my first in lot of maternity leave and continues to assist me as I venture through this part of my career as a working mum. I thank him for all the support and encouragement over the years.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

There are so many facets to being an Engineer and it is not all about site work and getting dirty. If you are a good problem solver, report writer and communicator, you should be considering Engineering as these are some of the critical skills required. I would recommend speaking to a few working engineers beforehand to understand what it is we actually do, day to day.

Surja Maharjan
Project Engineer, Sydney

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

The things that attracted me mostly to my career in engineering are; working on challenging projects, constantly learning new things and the contribution engineering makes to society as a whole.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud to be involved in a wide range of projects that make a difference to the community as a whole.  I am also thrilled to contribute my work and vision to make the world a better place in which we live and enjoy.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer to me means that I succeed in my role, and that I am seen to be an inspiration to younger people.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

My whole team have been very helpful to me during my career at NDY.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Engineering is a constant challenging career for curious minds.

Theresa Clarke
Fire Engineer, Auckland

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

My background was originally in Architectural Technology. As part of my studies, I had to learn some aspects of Fire Engineering. This inspired me to go onto studying Fire Engineering.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud of the exposure and opportunities working on exciting and varied projects. This has greatly expanded my professional experience and knowledge base. Two main project examples I am mostly proud of are: the Hobson Street Hotel(Auckland) and the NZICC.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

I would like to think it means the same as a successful male engineer.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Simon Widjaja (Melbourne Office).

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

I would actively encourage it. Every profession has its challenges – hopefully, the more women are encouraged to follow into the engineering field, the more the gender gap narrows.

Trudi Fajri
Associate / CAD Technical Manager, Canberra

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

Having achieved the 2nd highest score in Queensland for technical drawing I have always enjoyed drawing and designing really anything and have always wanted to “play” with buildings. Being accepted into James Cook University for Architecture at 16, unfortunately I was far too young to leave home to undertake this course. So I started working for an Engineering Company in Brisbane as a Drafter, starting in Hydraulics with Steve Paul and Partners, then moving into a multidisciplinary company Crooks Michel Peacock Stewart working on projects like the Blair Athol Coal Mine and Mt Isa Mines. After this going to work for Delmarco Marco doing the railway electricification of QLD Railways on signaling and stations.

At PR Scott and Associates, I really developed a taste for building services and learned so much from the directors. Two days after I commenced at the NDY Canberra office, I started working on Parliament House which was honestly mind-blowing for someone so young to be involved in Australia’s biggest project at the time (and probably still is).

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Everything I have done at NDY! Going from drawing on the board, to AutoCad, to AMEP to Revit. Being a big part of the company’s move into the future with these packages. But achievements are in various formats, being part of the design of a building from the proverbial hole in the ground to seeing it fully tenanted to going around the country and seeing these buildings highlighted in various television documentaries to having the “inside knowledge” of how the building was designed.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Construction is a man’s world – there is no denying that! But to be equal in knowledge and equally respected by not only the senior members of NDY, but also by architects to sub-contractors does make me feel very proud. Success comes with growing as a person, and being involved with projects.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

So many to choose from – every director that I have been privileged to work with Jan Suchovsky, Ashak Nathwani, Patrick Fogarty, Ben White, Jeff Marchant, Alan Edler, Bruce Penglis, Daniel Trevarthen – but if I had to chose one, it would be Jeff Marchant who allowed me to explore the engineering side of drafting to the extent that I can now let an engineer be aware of the build ability of a project and redesign it to make it work with space constraints.

I must also pay my respect to David Norman – for 30 years he has been the one person I always think of and I always will make him proud of this company. My hero!

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Tricky question – but go for it! Be the best you can, don’t take “no you can’t” for an answer. Women have seriously great minds and the industry has been a bit slow on the pick-up. I know there are a lot of extremely great female engineers out there.

Victoria Rastelli
Acoustic Engineer, Auckland

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

Engineering attracted me mainly because the objective of this profession is to solve any kind of problem, leading to a better live quality for the people. Secondly, it is a universal career that no matter the language, is applicable and in high demand all over the world. Thirdly, I was attracted to engineering because in order to successful in the role, I challenged myself to develop flexibility, lateral thinking skills and the ability to think “out of the box”, because there is no recipe to follow!

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud to be able to work as an engineer in both Spanish and English. I’m proud of all the projects that I have participated in over the years. I feel proud to be able to help in the legal aspects of applying Acoustics to the built environment, and to have been involved in several research projects regarding noise control and using efficient or sustainable acoustic materials.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

I think being a successful engineer (it does not matter the gender) means a professional with ethics and enthusiasm that uses knowledge and experience in order to properly diagnose and help people solve their problems using creative options, plus incorporating new ideas that are capable of leading the world in exciting directions.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Tim Beresford.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

The advice that I would give to anyone considering a career in engineering (men or women) is to go for it, be open-minded and willing to work hard and be flexible, holistic and multidisciplinary, because it is a wonderful career full of challenges!

Victoria Sita
Project Engineer, Perth

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I wanted to use my career to make a positive impact in the world. Engineering is so versatile that it covers any number of careers, giving you the freedom to contribute in any way you want.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

My first job after graduating from university was at a composites company and I was the first female engineer they had employed. It was challenging, but proving to the company that I was just as capable as my male co-workers has been my greatest achievement so far.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful female engineer is being a successful engineer. It means being recognised for your achievements in your field irrespective of your gender.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

There is not one particular male in the office that I would nominate; they have all been so supportive.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Don’t be intimated, engineering is a challenging career but it is also incredibly rewarding.

Claire Dabnor
CAD Designer, London

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I went to an all girls’ school where girls were given dolls and the neighbouring boy’s school were given construction toys. Girls were encouraged into more vocational careers. I didn’t want that for myself so campaigned to be allowed into the technical drawing classes at the boy’s school which made me decide a career as a Draughtswoman.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Transferring my skills with the evolution of the software from the drawing board, 3D Acropolis, AutoCAD & now Revit. My first projects in CAD using the 3D Acropolis system. The Falkland Islands & the Channel Tunnel Terminal site as the new technology was inspiring.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

It means recognition for value added in the work space and the wider Industry.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

Dave Eady as a supportive CAD Manager.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

The value of communication – problems are not solved by one person.

Chi Ping Luk
Managing Director, NDYLTK Rail

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I was not attracted to a career in engineering, it just happened. I was good at science in school; I graduated as a computer scientist and started working as a control systems engineer in a railway environment in Hong Kong. From that point onward, my career as an honorary “engineer” took off and I have not looked back since.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Seeing the engineers I trained up doing well, becoming self-sufficient and establishing their own high quality personal brand.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

To be an Inspiration to other engineers, male and female alike.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

We all need allies and being a female engineer is no different. The person I would like to nominate is Dominic DiBrito. He supported me and believed in what I could achieve. He was and still is my ally. Dom and I think alike and we enjoy bouncing ideas off each other.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Believe in yourself, go forward at full steam with all your passion and enjoy the journey.

Lucy Stevenson
Sustainability Consultant, Melbourne

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

I’ve always had wide-ranging interests, but as I got closer to university, the problem-solving nature of maths and science, and their versatility, really appealed to me. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after university, so the multitude of career paths that an engineering degree offered was attractive. I also have two older brothers, so I was not intimidated by the prospect of a career in a male-dominated field.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

Working in the area of sustainability in the construction industry, I’m in a position to positively influence the built environment, while educating clients and other consultants on the value of better design. I’m proud that I help to deliver projects with enhanced environmental credentials that provide more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable places for people to live and work.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

To me, a successful engineer is knowledgeable, adaptable, willing to learn from their experiences, and well-respected by clients and colleagues. A successful engineer should also inspire others to follow in their footsteps, particularly people who will bring diversity to the profession, thereby ensuring continual progress and innovation.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

A career in engineering can be varied and engaging, and there’s a place for all different types of people, whether you’re strongly technical and enjoy constructing detailed simulations, or highly social and like forming relationships with clients and collaborating with people across different disciplines. Gender bias comes in many different forms, including unconscious bias. There are a lot of progressive, supportive companies and networks within the industry, so you don’t need to put up with people who are unwilling to acknowledge or address the issue of gender bias and discrimination.

Renee van Zyl
Manager – Electrical Engineering, Perth

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

After doing a degree in Biomedical Technology and working in a laboratory, I soon realised a couple of things about myself that I did not know when I finished school. I LOVE working with people and being creative, while still applying science. My next journey of self discovery started, and four years later, I began studying Electrical Engineering in Australia (while working full time). The benefit of this was being able to see what would be doing on a day-to-day basis while still gaining experience. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges and rewards that engineering presents.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of having the opportunity to study and work in Australia, and gaining valuable experience which helped me progress in my career. This placed me, as a female, in a very fortunate position to move into a leadership role with NDY.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being a successful engineer to me is the ability to communicate well and to listen even better! By understanding the requirements and passions of our clients, and communicating this well to the broader team, is key in getting designs right and making spaces work.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

I would like to take this opportunity to nominate Alan Edler as my ally. Alan has been a tremendous inspiration to me. Working alongside Alan over the last six months has taught me how to work within challenging environments and how to keep focussed on the end goal. His positive attitude, problem solving and communication skills have truly inspired me to become a better communicator and leader.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

Don’t sit around and wait for something amazing to happen – take your career path in your own hands and something amazing will happen!

Maryam Zoughi
Project Consultant – Energy & Mechanical, Vancouver

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

When I was a kid, I was very good at math; our career consultant at school suggested I consider engineering. The only thing I was thinking about as a career was being engineer and nothing else, so she assured me to become one.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

I have obtained three master’s degrees in the engineering field and gained lots of experience in different areas of engineering. I have travelled to many countries including Europe and South America for my job, allowing me better insight of development and standards in engineering in different countries. I believe I found the career I really like, which has been the best thing that could happen in my career life.

I think engineering as my career has had impacts in my personal life as well. I analyse my life outcomes and try to fix them logically.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

Being very good/the best in my career, working in a positive and professional environment in a successful international company which provides more challenges at work.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

My colleagues are helpful and assist me when I need their help.  Trevor Templeton has been the one I have learned more from about engineering in the beginning of my career at NDY.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

If they love what they do, nothing else matters. In a positive atmosphere, there are always people, male or female colleagues, to assist them to grow.

Haley Miller
Project Consultant, Vancouver

What attracted you to a career in engineering?

As a high school student, I my favourite courses were physics and math, so I knew going into Uni that I would gravitate towards the sciences. Engineering was totally foreign to me, I didn’t even know any engineers, and I just associated the word ‘engineer’ with ‘super-smart-nerdy-dude.’ I chose engineering over sciences in the end because I was curious about it, and didn’t want to be afraid of the challenge.

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?

This is my first engineering job, so to date, I am most proud of my academic standing, and that I secured this position at NDY right out of Uni.

What does being a successful engineer mean to you?

To me, engineering is about problem solving through responsible design. A successful engineer is able to solve a complex problem in a way that is useful and appropriate for the application, that improves the quality of life for the users.

This year’s INWED theme is Men as Allies – would you like to nominate a male colleague that has helped you throughout your career at NDY?

While my experiences with my male colleagues with NDY have all been positive, at this stage in my career the man who deserves the most credit is my father. He has encouraged me from the beginning to work hard, and not shy away from a challenge.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in engineering?

To not be afraid of failing, and to not be embarrassed to ask for help. When I tell strangers I am an engineer, I usually get one of two responses: Man, that’s a tough field, or Oh wow, you must be really smart. To any young women considering engineering; Yes, this is a challenging field, but do not be afraid to be challenged, and do not be afraid to fail at first. And yes, I am smart, and you are too. To be an engineer doesn’t have to be synonymous with being a ‘geeky’ or ‘male’ or ‘likes trains’ (the only thing I thought engineers did before I became one).

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