Girls and Engineering

In January 2014, I went to Sydney to attend the Women in Engineering Camp held at the University of New South Wales with 24 other girls. It aims to provide girls from all over Australia going into Year 11 or 12 an insight into the world of engineering. We all stayed on campus in the student accommodation and got to participate in heaps of site visits and activities as well as getting to know like-minded individuals.

Women in Engineering_Sydney Harbour

I think the highlight for most of us was climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We were lucky enough to do this at night and, as you can probably imagine, the view was incredible. I also really enjoyed visiting QANTAS and being taken on a tour of the Airbus A380 and the staff training centre.

Women in Engineering_Qantas

We also experienced: going on the roof of the Sydney Theatre Company to have a look at their array of solar panels; making (and eating!) ice cream made with liquid nitrogen; experiencing what it is like to have low vision; touring the ABC studios; riding segways; and, getting to experience what it is like to be an engineer in workshops who devise solutions to problems.

Women in Engineering_Sydney Theatre Company

Apart from participating in numerous fun activities, I learned new skills and techniques that will definitely come in useful. One of the main events was a networking evening where there were professionals in the field of engineering, including Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia. Before this event, we had a workshop on how to network and make lasting impressions on important people. We also had afternoon tea with Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AC CVO (the Governor of New South Wales) at Government House which felt very surreal but was incredible.

Women in Engineering_Government House

I have taken a lot out of participating in this program and made many new friends and this is saying something as I’m usually quite shy. I learned that if you put yourself out there you can have a way better time than you would if you just hide in your shell. I also learned that the only way you will know if you like something is to try it and while it might not be for you, at least you have given it a go.

To me, engineering seemed interesting but I didn’t quite know what it was. Going on this camp has definitely convinced me to look into engineering as a career. The world needs more engineers, especially girls. So if you are a girl in year 10 or 11, seriously consider applying for this camp because it is such an amazing experience and you will learn so much from it.

Eleanor Cook, Year 11