Five remarkable women engineers reflect on what International Women in Engineering Day means to them

Mariam Darestani

Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, Western Sydney University

Why is it important to recognize International Women in Engineering Day?

We need to highlight the need for more girls and women to enter engineering because we need them [in our field].

We also need to show and talk about women who are already in this profession, so girls can see what women in engineering do and decide if they want to go down that path.

How can women engineers be powerful role models for younger engineers?

As the saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see. Often, especially in engineering disciplines, we [tend to steer away from] public speaking and being visible, but I think women in engineering need to be more visible and talk to women, even younger girls at a primary school level. They can see if others are [in this line of work]it is our role to show that you can be a woman in this discipline.

What are some of the most inventive engineering innovations by women?

There have been many incredible inventions by women. One that I really like is the security cameras that we use on a daily basis. These were invented by Marie Brown with the assistance of her husband, who was an electrical technician.

The other invention [was created] by a chemist, Stephanie Kwolek, who was a first generation Polish immigrant in the United States… Kevler invented one of the strongest fibers today that has been invented.

Veena Sahajwalla HonFIEAust CPEng

Director of the Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Center, University of NSW

What is the significance of International Women in Engineering Day?

Women bring diversity of thinking and passion into engineering. They think holistically about solutions and about how we might be able to improve the lives of people on our planet. There are so many ways in which women have a great impact and the day is also about celebrating the impact that women have in engineering and made to continue into the future.

What would you say to young women about pursuing a career in engineering?

Engineering as a profession creates so many pathways to develop, not just a career for yourself in engineering, but it allows you to shape a whole new future. You can use your imagination to deliver a better planet and a better future for all people.

Why are you passionate about innovation?

For me, innovation is all about delivering impact, and improving people’s lives. It’s about collaborative partnerships that allow us to take that invention and deliver outcomes.

In my case, when I’m talking about developing environmentally friendly solutions, [I’ve developed] Polymer Injection Technology and green steel technology and that’s great. That’s me being an engineer and inventing, but there is more to it than just [creating] the invention.

The best part about inventing is that you get to innovate, and innovation is about taking the invention and working with industry and communities and showing that the invention can bring to life so that you can already improve the outcomes for our people, for our planet , for our environment.

Dharmica Mistry

Director Diagnostics Industry Engagement, MTPConnect

What is the significance of International Women in Engineering Day?

We know there the underrepresentation of women in certain sectors and engineering is one of those.

Role models [are so important]. It means [aspiring engineers] can see what people are doing in these amazing disciplines and what sort of impact they are having on the world. For young women and women who are mid-career, it also opens the doors of understanding career choices and where these types of educational disciplines can take you.

How do we attract more young women into STEM?

It’s all about awareness, support and nurturing. We need to encourage women to enter these disciplines. We should be building them up. We should be raising their profiles… and giving them opportunities. When you see something that you think you can do, you should really push and stretch them and encourage them to reach out and do something different.

What does the theme, Inventors and Innovators, mean to you?

For me, [it’s] about building the world you wish to see. That philosophy can sound fluffy, but it’s actually possible when you’re doing a STEM degree, to make the changes that you want to see in the world.

We have to remember that innovation and inventors are creative disciplines… They allow you to keep learning, keep evolving and most of all, keep trying. If you’re in these disciplines, you’re usually a fairly persistent, resilient person. And for that reason, you have the ability to do something really cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker