Engineering: a path for gender equality and a future shipbuilding career – Naval Shipbuilding College

Engineering: a path for gender equality and a future shipbuilding career

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Since starting her studies at Queensland University of Technology in 2017, Sophie has been active in her support and encouragement of women studying engineering, through her leadership role with Girls in Engineering Making Statements (GEMS). GEMS is a student-run group, open to all genders, which aims to promote equity and equality in the engineering field, not only for gender diversity but cultural and racial diversity as well.


“I believe that one of the ways to achieve parity in the workforce is to create an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all genders,” Sophie said.


“I aspire to work in management in an engineering firm or technology company, in a position where I will be able to create an environment within my team that is inclusive, and in that way, I can contribute to achieving parity.”


As one of seven female students to receive a National Naval Shipbuilding Education Pipeline Pilot in 2020 – a pilot program that supports Engineering students to meet the future skilling needs of the Australian Naval Shipbuilding Industry, Sophie is helping the Queensland University of Technology lead the way in attracting more women to study Engineering.


Currently a student intern with Boeing Defence Australia, Sophie has gained experience working on several different projects focussing on databasing, large-scale simulation systems, test frameworks and platform integration, and aspires to work for a company that develops new technology and systems that are on the leading edge of the software field.


“The projects I have enjoyed most have had an Agile focus and utilised several different platforms for development. I also have a particular interest in the intersection between technology and human behaviour, as interactions between humans and machines are often difficult to predict and the research in this area is fascinating.”


An interest in autonomous systems and a love of Australian technology success story Atlassian – an Australian enterprise software multinational – sparked Sophie’s curiosity about possible Engineering opportunities in Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry.


“In my interview with the Naval Shipbuilding College, it was mentioned that part of the new submarine class will be autonomous underwater systems which I was intrigued by and I was excited to learn of Atlassian’s involvement.

“I’ve attended talks by Atlassian employees and thought it would be a dynamic and exciting environment to work in and have worked as a user with different Atlassian products through my work with Boeing on projects that followed the Agile development cycle,” Sophie said.


“The thesis project I am completing with Boeing has a strong web-development focus which aligns with the work Atlassian completes through their various web-based platforms, giving me valuable skills required to work effectively on their products.”


Sophie has a clear plan for her future that includes further study to enhance her already impressive skill set.


“Once I complete my degree, I plan to work full-time as a software engineer for five years and then study a Masters in either Software Engineering to further specialise, or Management to gain skills that will assist in any future leadership roles,” Sophie said.


Software Engineers are computer science professionals who have extensive knowledge of engineering principles and programming languages to build large-scale software systems, products and run network control systems. Core competencies include a knowledge of computer science and engineering principles combined with design, construction and testing.  A Software Engineer will use these skilled to develop and maintain high quality software for implementation onboard naval vessels.


To learn more about the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise or to register your interest in securing a rewarding career visit:

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