Marceline is a passionate mechanical engineer who has been lucky enough to do engineering in the UK and the Netherlands. She answered a few of our questions about her current role and insights she gained as an engineer abroad.
Can you explain a bit about how you decided to become an engineer?
Although I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I went into engineering after high school because I had an understanding and passion for maths and physics, and I knew these were some of my strengths. My dad is also an engineer, so being surrounded by tinkering and curiosity helped me choose engineering. There was also a healthy amount of searching on Google about the different types of engineering and what they all do, which helped me settle on mechanical engineering. I saw mechanical engineering as a ‘jack of all trades’ profession that could dabble in most things, which had a lot of appeal.
What are some of the best things about your job?
Undoubtedly the people. It is inspiring to be working with, and learn from, some fantastic minds in the engineering industry. On top of that, the work has been interesting and varied. I’ve been able to contribute to projects such as looking at the safety of autonomous systems, and the analytical modelling for meeting Net Zero targets. Engineering is truly a versatile and fulfilling career, with so many different areas to work in as a generalist or as a specialist.
You studied in the UK and worked in the Netherlands, did you notice any differences between Engineering in Australia and engineering in other countries?
There are subtle differences in the approaches to engineering between the different countries, what is consistent though is a shortage of engineers. The UK and the Netherlands had a stronger focus on inventing, manufacturing and implementing their own products, rather than buying commercially available products. I think this approach builds a robustness, not only in the preservation and application of engineering knowledge, but also in national independence and self-sufficiency. In the Netherlands I felt like my observations and opinions were valued the same as my colleagues right from the start and I am grateful that this sense of value has continued within Australia.
How has being a part of the Engineers Australia community been beneficial to your career?
It has opened the doors to meeting a diverse group of fellow engineers. The events organised by Engineers Australia have led to many interesting conversations with new and familiar faces. As a member of Engineers Australia, going to events, attending webinars and being a proactive member of the community has been incredibly rewarding.
What advice would you give other graduate engineers?
Be curious and shape your own journey. This is going to be your career. Understanding what you want to do will help those around you support those ambitions. Be realistic with your expectations though, especially the timelines. Patience pays off, it can lead to you discovering things that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you were racing to the top. As an old saying goes, ‘you go faster alone, but further together’.