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International Women in Engineering Day: Our engineering heroes in Australia

June 16, 2021

A few of our female engineers share their hero projects

International Women in Engineering Day is held annually on 23 June, and this year's theme is Engineering Heroes. To help celebrate, we asked some of our engineers to talk about how their projects are heroes in the community.

We're profiling women who recognise a problem and dare to be part of the solution, making huge impacts in our daily lives by providing essential public services and infrastructure. They help make our drinking water safe and our commute times bearable.

While they believe it's the project outcomes that support a community, it’s also the people that deliver those projects that make a difference. Here are some of the real heroes: Elle and Janelle.

Elle Hewett, Acoustics Project Engineer

Elle has been fortunate in her career. She’s currently working on one of her most meaningful projects to date—providing acoustic and fire engineering design to a new multi-generational living and health precinct on a university campus. Combining independent living accommodation arranged around a town centre, green heart open space, and a primary care health building will provide a theoretical basis for designs that support health and wellbeing rather than the traditional focus on treating pathogenic disease. This project is exciting to Elle because, as she sees it, students and older generations will live, learn, teach, and play together.

She’s proud to be part of an organisation that doesn't just support incredible projects that benefit our communities but is also a cheerleader for diversity and inclusion. Elle appreciates that at Stantec, we’re given growth opportunities, and she has found great value in unconscious bias training. Studies have concluded that including diverse work teams improves business sustainability—however, many organisations are still learning the value of the invisible earnings that feminine energy brings to organisations, which Elle brings to Stantec as one of our female engineering heroes.

Janelle Kho, Graduate Electrical Engineer

Janelle tends to catch people off guard when she tells them her profession because a female electrical engineer is rare, and she certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype. She's often asked what her job entails—surprisingly, not many people know what our engineering heroes do. “Just by having a conversation with people, especially the younger generation, I help to inform them about engineering, and more importantly, I might encourage others to think about engineering as a career choice.”

As a recent graduate, Janelle is still in the early stages of her career. The project she’s most proud of is at Rhodes Ridge Mine where she completed the electrical and communications design of a generator and cables that fed into a new building. “It was a terrifying experience, but I had lots of support and encouragement from my colleagues. It was the first time I felt like a ‘real’ engineer.”

Janelle looks forward to contributing to projects that help support our communities, and she's excited about upcoming green and sustainable energy solutions for the mining industry that will reduce emissions.

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