Lydia is married with 2 kids (1 and 4 currently!). She is very much in the cake decorating phase of child-rearing.
Lydia grew up in a small country town, and didn’t know what an engineer was. Her teacher recommended she apply for engineering as she was very good at math, and has never looked back.
She graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Diploma for PM & Master of Engineering Science
Lydia is working as the Engineering Manager at BHP where she adopts innovative and collaborative approaches to achieve technical engineering solutions. Her role is to over-see the capital portfolio, looking at anything that progresses operations.
Lydia’s first engineering role was with GHD, working with stockpile design at a mine. This role really threw her into the deep end, but she really enjoyed it.
Working at the Bristol Broadmeadow Development for 18 months was a very large learning curve for Lydia. As there was so much complexity – structural issues, cultural, heritage… you don’t get that in Australia. Every day she would walk past Sir Isambard Kingdom Brunel one of the best engineers in history.
CHALLENGE TIME – is there a statue of an Australian engineer on display anywhere in Australia??
Hot Topic discussion
For engineering to be successful, and to move forward during this 4th Industrial Revolution, “we need a diverse workforce”
It’s a serious concern to the industry to ensure engineers continue working in the industry, and developing their career.
There is focused effort in getting talent into university engineering courses, but effort is also required in getting those people to then progress into the engineering role.
Dom “It’s going to be a tough one to find a solution for”
Lydia “maybe we need more statues”
Dom also suggested engineers need a “Top Gun”-like movie!
Mel suggested an engineering play kit for kids!
Lydia suggests “We really need to target school aged children a lot more, cause they’re really the ones that are beginning to imagine their futures and we need to get them excited about engineering.”
BHP is sponsoring an event with the Queensland Resource Council in May which is solely targeted to teachers and career advisors so they can understand what engineers do so they can encourage their students. Lydia has done research and discovered the incredible power a single Career Guidance Counselor can have on students (male and female) uptake of STEM related subjects.
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
“You do your degree in engineering, you learn so much more than how to build a bridge or design a road. It’s really the things that you learn on how to solve a problem, learn how to think outside the box, I think it’s a completely different way of thinking when you’re an engineer.”
Lydia finds the current environment really interesting. “It’s exciting to know that there are so many ways to solve a problem”
The level of responsibility you receive as an engineer from the first day is really daunting and impressive.
There are so many different opportunities in engineering. A new engineer would need to find where their passion and curiosity lies, and then they would find themselves working in that space.
The future of engineering is so exciting. “It’s really a phenomenal time” Engineers are involved in so many different aspects of society.
An engineering item for discussion…Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world. And is completely unsupported and sways. Dom: “The engineering behind it is insane”. “Just shows what fetes we have been able to overcome and build”
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