On Tuesday 6 March, 19 Years 9 and 10 girls participated in the QUT Power of Engineering event. This was made up of a variety of inspirational speeches, interesting activities, and an eye-opening site visit to Cook Medical. It was a very exciting experience that gave unbelievable insight into options after school and what a career in engineering could be like.
On arrival, we were addressed by several QUT engineering students. They spoke to us about the opportunities associated with studying engineering at QUT. We were then addressed by a guest speaker, Romy Mayer, from Red Bull Holden Racing. She works as a mechanical engineer, travelling around the country as part of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team. She shared her experiences as a female engineer in a male-dominated industry.
Hannah Schultz, Year 9
The second part of the day was a tour through Cook Medical. The focus of this tour was the research and engineering behind IVF and heart stents. This tour allowed me to see a work environment in which I could imagine working in the near future. Although my main interest is the engineering of planes and aerodynamics, I previously believed I could not enjoy a medical career as I don’t like seeing people suffer. This tour showed me that I could find medical careers where I could be creative, challenged and enjoy helping people without seeing them suffer. All in all, I highly recommend this experience for any girls who enjoy STEM.
Claudia Persal, Year 9
The QUT Power of Engineering excursion was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend to Years 9 and 10 girls interested in Maths, Science, Art or Engineering. Throughout the day, we were spoken to by university students, guest speakers and professionals who currently work in different fields of engineering. They all gave incredibly useful advice and it was inspirational to hear their background stories. We also participated in different workshops and visited Cook Medical. Here, we learnt about heart stents and saw them being produced in a sterilised environment. We also learnt about IVF, saw the machines used to store the eggs and the needles used for extracting them.
Overall, this was an opportunity not to be missed. Prior to this excursion, I had little knowledge of the various options for different careers involving engineering. I can now confidently say that I understand what engineering is all about and the career pathways available for me after school. This excursion gave me a better idea of the subjects I should study if I wish to study engineering at university.
Hannah Hammill, Year 10
My favourite part of the day was our site visit to Cook Medical. There we talked with a number of women who told us about their jobs in engineering. We had a tour around the place, beginning with a 3D printer that created parts of tools used in medical procedures. We were then shown the machines used to store and nurse embryos used in IVF. The part I found the most interesting was the manufacture of heart stents. We were shown how they were made, how they worked, and the process of designing, making and transporting them to patients in need. The subject of IVF was also very interesting as we learned how it was done, the success rate of the technique, and all the tools and machines needed to extract the eggs, nurse the embryo and place it back in the uterus.
Kate Fitzgerald, Year 9
I found it a helpful day because it taught me that you don’t have to be a man to succeed in a STEM field and that there are already many women who have achieved great things in this area. Before going, I was also a little bit unsure about what the term ‘engineering’ meant and thought it only involved working behind a computer. I have learnt that engineering involves a lot of creativity.
Julie Hellemons, Year 9
This excursion was a good insight to potential career paths for me. I found it was helpful to have guest speakers talk to us about their personal journey, to end up where they are today. I particularly thought the Mechanical Engineer’s (race car) journey was interesting, because she enjoyed the same subjects I currently enjoy. She also didn’t know what she wanted to do after school, like me. The trip to Cook Medical was also very insightful. I saw different career paths in a successful company. I would recommend this experience because it gave me some direction to subjects I would like to study and occupations I might enjoy in the future.
Kate Burger, Year 9
The Power of Engineering is an amazing event for any girl interested in pursuing an engineering career. I signed up, having no idea what to expect, and found it was an informative and exciting day. My favourite activity was Little Bits. There we learned about electric circuits and how they are used in day to day life (which I’m sure will help me with my current Science assignment). Then we finished off the session by playing around and building our own circuits from a wide range of parts. I enjoyed the opportunity to challenge myself alongside other girls from around Brisbane who share my passions. Working with others I didn’t know helped me realise how important teamwork and communication is in Science. The day proved how necessary engineers and innovators are to our society. I learned what subjects I needed to continue with at school to make the kind of difference I one day want to make in the community.
Charlotte Beavers, Year 9
There were guest speakers who told us about their experiences as a female in engineering. We learnt that engineering can be for everyone and that there are so many different types. Before going on this excursion, I didn’t even understand what engineering was about, but now I am very interested in it.
Ella McCauley, Year 9
I was greatly affected by how passionate the women were about their work. There were more fields of engineering than I had previously thought. One of the definitions for engineering that was given was: “Engineering is a mixture of art and STEM.” I had never thought of engineering like this before, only ever thinking of civil engineering, or maybe environmental engineering. Although this definition only applies to some fields of engineering, it still made me consider engineering differently. These amazing stories of engineers' lives have really inspired me and caused me to consider a future in engineering.
Rebecca Leonard, Year 9
This excursion was an amazing experience that allowed me to understand the different fields of engineering and the hard work, determination and creativity involved. Listening to the university students and guest speaker was very interesting as we learnt first-hand what being an engineering student and engineer is all about. Interacting with the other students from different schools was also a fun part of the experience.
Brooke Llewellyn, Year 9