Meet some of the talented women working hard to #TransformTheFuture through their important engineering careers this International Women in Engineering Day (INWED)


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Women in Engineering Day sees women #TransformtheFuture

Women in Engineering Day sees women #TransformtheFuture

Taking place annually on 23 June, International Women In Engineering Day (INWED) celebrates the achievements of outstanding women engineers, and aims to inspire a new generation of females to enter the profession.

There are still too few women who are considering an engineering career. INWED provides an important opportunity to raise the profile of women engineers, their work and achievements, and the organisations supporting them.

INWED's theme is #TransformTheFuture and Where Women Work celebrates some of the women engineers who are building the future and encouraging further girls to choose STEM careers.

Women engineers are shaping the future at AECOM

AECOM Bryony Martin Award

Bryony Martin is Director of Cost Management and Aviation Market Sector Leader for Buildings and Places in the UK & Ireland at AECOM. She is an impressive woman having won the Best Woman Quantity Surveyor category at the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards in 2018.

A true future transformer, Bryony’s first degree was in French and Italian - proving that it is possible to enter the construction industry from all sorts of directions.

Bryony is one of many women at AECOM helping to drive complex projects through to completion and having a huge impact on the company’s culture around the world.

A further impressive woman engineer is Lauren Woodward, Bid Manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa, who admits while at school she knew little about civil engineering. After studying for a degree in Interior Architecture, Lauren applied for a CAD Technician role at AECOM and went on to secure the position of Graduate Work Winning Consultant.

Meanwhile, Aisling Marlow is an Engineer at AECOM working in Flood Risk Management. Her exciting and important work sees her help safeguard communities from flood risk, bringing bold ideas to life that enhance our natural environment for future generations. She started at AECOM as a placement student during her Master of Engineering studies at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Karen changes her own future direction with Amazon

Karen Wickert Software Engineer Amazon

Karen Wickert started an Amazon working life as a Mechanical Engineer but decided to transform a future direction by moving into technology. With a strong background in mechanical engineering, they never imagined they’d end up building devices with cutting-edge voice technology like Alexa. Karen joined Sonos as a Software Test Engineer and now serves as a Software Test Manager.

“One day my boss asked if I could help test a software project, and right away that just clicked for me,” says Karen. “I immediately started my transition toward software testing, and I haven’t ever looked back.”

Karen’s journey demonstrates that engineering can open new options and various career paths.

Arcadis’ Elena encourages the future generation of engineers

Elena Vrabie Technical Director Arcadis

Elena Vrabie is Senior Technical Director, Highways, at Arcadis. Through her important work, she is helping transform the future by blazing a trail in conceptual development and design.

Elena became a civil engineer at a time when only 5-10 percent of students were women. She is now on a mission to attract other women into the sector.

“I am using my positive experience to attract other women into the industry and mentor my teams to succeed,” says Elena. “Perceptions of our industry can be very male, and construction based. However, engineering is not just construction, it involves conceptual development and design, planning and management; the key is finding the right job for the right person.”

Women at BD inspire young people to pursue future STEM careers

Jennier Looi BD engineer Ada Lovelace event

Jennifer Looi is a Senior Research and Development Engineer at BD. She is transforming the future by inspiring the next generation.

Jennifer shared her career journey to a group of young people in New Jersey as part of Governor’s STEM Scholar, a public-private partnership promoting STEM opportunities.

Describing herself as a "results driven product development engineer", she has a 10 year track record of cross-functional team work, the ability to characterize and optimize the performance of combination products, and influential involvement in the entire process of a new product's development cycle.

Jennifer has done important and valuable research in the medical field, with a primary focus being the development of pen injectors. An impressive woman using her skills to make a difference in her career!

Women at Diageo are flying the flag for engineering

Gillian McBride is a Process Capability Team Leader at Diageo and is proof that someone can transform their own future and forge an engineering career at any age.

Gillian says: “I don’t think I really knew what I wanted to do when I was growing up. I liked maths and physics and the technical subjects but I didn’t really know how I could use them in a career when I was older.

“Typically people would start an apprenticeship as soon as they left school at the age of 16 or 17 - and I was 24. It must have felt like it was a bit of a risk to bring not just a young woman into the mix, but a 24-year-old young woman - how would I relate to [the other apprentices]? I think that any job regardless of the trade benefits from having a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Letitia Miller is an Apprentice Electrical Engineer with Diageo in Leven, Scotland. In this role, she is able to learn from experienced engineers and pick up skills to put her in good stead for the future. She also has the opportunity to work with a famous part of Scotland’s heritage - Scotch whiskey.

“I’m really proud to be Scottish so am really proud of working with the whiskey and learning the process it has to go through,” says Letitia.

Diageo is constantly investing in the future by offering opportunities to young women like Letitia and Gillian. The company also demonstrated this commitment by recently funding two STEM scholarships at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Sustainability Analyst, Claire, is inspiring young leaders at Eaton

Clare Castleman Eaton Young Leaders

Claire Castleman is a young engineer with global power company, Eaton. She is transforming the future by connecting emerging talent with current issues.

Having been named as a GreenBiz ‘30 under 30’ and recipient of STEP Ahead emerging young leader for Women in Manufacturing, Claire actively supports Eaton’s Young Leaders community where she helps young people in the organisation to think about sustainability and the environment.

Claire comments: “Global manufacturing has a huge environmental and social footprint. I'm passionate about harnessing the enormous opportunity of the industry as a whole to move toward sustainable development. Manufacturers' capabilities to use advanced technology and drive toward a shared purpose can create a healthier, more just and sustainable world.”

Jonna shows her strengths and helps others at Exyte

Jonna Bournias Exyte engineer

Jonna Bournias is Director of Design Management and Coordination, Americas with Exyte.

Jonna works on projects in multiple countries and she has built a robust network of friends around the world.

"I have almost 29 years in the industrial facility design engineering and construction field across a variety of industries and have performed a variety of roles across five companies ranging from staff engineer to national director," says Jonna.

"I have never felt limited in what I can achieve and I have enjoyed the support of friends, family and colleagues along the way. Exyte has given me the opportunity to showcase my strengths while helping others to succeed as well.”

Honeywell has many trail-blazing women engineers

Honeywell Candy engineer advice

Honeywell is a company which is inspired by many female engineers blazing a trail for the future when it comes to designing aircraft, satellites, spacecraft and so much more.

Jenni Strabley is Engineering Director, Operational Excellence, Aerospace at Honeywell. Her advice for future engineers is: “You can be a good engineer by being a smart person. You can be a great engineer by making the people around you better.”

Heather Dopilka is Software Engineer, Process Solutions, at Honeywell. Her advice is: “In order to become an engineer, you need to get good grades and be disciplined in how you conduct your studies. Also, one should develop interests outside of school such as music, photography and application programming, with a desire to figure out how things work and what can be improved. Lastly, don’t be intimidated that you are not smart enough - hard work and attention to detail helps be a great engineer.”

Candy Chatawanich is Senior Director of Electric Power Engineering, Aerospace, at Honeywell. Her advice is: “If you have a passion for solving problems, go for it. Engineering is a rewarding career where you are continuously challenged with new problems to solve. An engineering mindset is applicable to a wide variety of opportunities – not only to the diverse fields of engineering; but also, medicine, law and finance.”

Medtronic supports STEM careers and inspires the next generation

Medtronic Alyse Engineering Program Manager

Alyse is Engineering Program Manager, Neuromodulation, Minneapolis, for Medtronic. Her work is important because she is making a difference in the important area of Neuromodulation across the globe - and, in turn, is playing a part in helping to save lives.

Alyse enjoys the collaborative, innovative culture at Medtronic and working with talented individuals in Neuromodulation. She is also highly impressed with the company’s efforts to invest in the future and encourage young people into STEM.

“I enjoy working at Medtronic because of the company's support of STEM careers,” she explains. “From partnering with local high schools and universities to offer internships to holding an annual innovation week with a poster session, technology village and family night, Medtronic is nurturing the current and next generation of engineers and scientists.”

Northrop Grumman's Stephanie Locks-Hartle awarded

Northrop Grumman Stephanie Locks-Hartle award

Stephanie Locks-Hartle is helping shape future leaders! She is a Mechanical and Systems Engineer in the Future Technical Leaders Program at Northrop Grumman in Baltimore.

Through her work, Stephanie has pioneered an effort within the company’s Corporate Technology Office to identify and advocate for transformational manufacturing technology across the enterprise.

Stephanie also established a cross-company team to design a framework and make recommendations for its implementation. This led to her developing a set of questions that can be used by the manufacturing community to critically assess their manufacturing technology migration maturity.

A truly impressive woman, Stephanie is one of just 14 engineers to have been recognized for their exceptional contributions and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry through the 2019 Barbara M. Fossum Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers accolade.

Nottingham Trent University brings STEM to schoolchildren

Nottingham Trent University Ada Lovelace event

Yvonne Barnett is Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor at Nottingham Trent University. She says: “I have been very fortunate to have received great support from others in progressing in my career in STEM and I am committed in doing the same for young women considering going into the field.”

NTU always has the future in mind. The University works hard to encourage young women into STEM careers and does so through hosting events and initiatives involving local schools.

For example, 45 female students from three Nottingham schools got involved in an Ada Lovelace Day event at leading life sciences incubator, BioCity Nottingham, to find out about the opportunities on offer through careers in STEM.

Rio Tinto employs many impressive women engineers

Hannah Golding is a Mechatronics Engineer at Rio Tinto. She is helping to transform the future by “working with technology and innovation” to bring project solutions into Rio Tinto’s mine sites.

Hannah, who tells her friends her work involves “playing with robots” describes the highlights of her job. She says: “I have a good salary. I work in Perth city. I have a public transport card to go to work. I have my phone paid for. It’s not all about work, I’ve also been able to make some great friends.”

Hanah is also helping inspire a future generation of engineers: “In engineering there aren’t enough women role models,” she says. “Rio Tinto’s given me the opportunity to connect with and mentor other women through the Girls in Engineering Program. I feel I can make a difference to young girls’ lives.”

Schneider Electric offers exciting opportunities for women engineers

Schneider Electric Caroline Anderton

Catherine Anderton is a Senior Engineer with Schneider Electric. She was encouraged into an engineering career by progressive parents. Now thriving in her career as a Project Manager,

Catherine’s important work helps customers to leverage energy savings wherever possible and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint.

Catherine truly is a future transformer as her work plays a part in helping the planet on a larger scale by tackling environmental issues.

Catherine advises women considering an engineering role to: “Go for it! There's no reason you're not as good as anyone else. If you have the aptitude and management skills then go for it. You get as much recognition as men these days whereas in some other industries you still may not.”

University of Sheffield faculty director Rachel, teaches a new generation

Rachel Horn is a Professor and Faculty of Engineering Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield. Rachel loves her job teaching STEM subjects to a new generation of hopeful engineers. She shares her story in the above video.

The University of Sheffield is renowned for its top quality engineering research. In fact, The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has released statistics that reveal the University of Sheffield is the number one university in the UK for income and investment in engineering research.

The institution encourages and supports women’s engineering careers, and some exciting recent news is that The University of Sheffield's Women in Engineering initiative has received a fantastic £100,000 contribution from engineering company AESSEAL.

Celebrate women in engineering via an IET Award entry

IET Young Woman Engineer awards

Are you feeling inspired by the women featured in this article? Or perhaps you’re already working in the field of engineering and want to get your name heard? Young women in engineering are honoured every year for their achievements via the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards. The awards celebrate the impressive young women in the industry who represent the very best of their profession - apply by 7 July and gain the recognition you deserve.

Could you transform the future as an engineer?

With exceptional global companies actively supporting women to enjoy thriving engineering careers, there has never been a better time to consider the wonderful world of STEM as a profession and start to #TransformTheFuture.

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