June 23rd marks International Women in Engineering Day. Today we are recognizing the fantastic work of women in engineering including almost three-time EIT graduate, Renée Gaspar.
With a Bachelors of Applied Science in Materials Chemistry and a Bachelor of Engineering Honors Degree in Chemical Engineering from RMIT University, as a postgraduate, Renée applied herself to complete an impressive list of qualifications.
It includes a Graduate Certificate in Industrial Automation Engineering as well as a Professional Certificate of Competency in Safety Instrumentation Systems for Process Industries with EIT.
She’s currently set to complete a Professional Certificate of Competency in Sewage and Effluent Treatment Technologies with EIT as well as a Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy with Murdoch University.
So where does the drive come from?
She believes knowledge and skill transfers are crucial in life.
“Whether or not you took on a certificate or studied on your own, it matters more how you contribute in discussions at work, home, and your community.”
“With the education that I received, I hope I can look at any situation with a new perspective,” she says.
Her background in chemical engineering with a bit of software engineering in-between, translates to a well-rounded understanding of operations and processes.
“With my newfound know-how in basic instrumentation engineering, I am excited to dive deep into problems and become a valued team member,” she says.
It makes sense. She’s currently employed as a Process Engineer at South32, a global player in the mining industry where multi-skilled engineers can thrive.
At work, Renée starts her day attending an operations crew meeting where a post mortem is done on the previous day and essential information is shared like safety and production statistics.
“I tend to ask for clarification regarding production deviations or new tasks so I can find out not only what happened but also strategize for the next 24 hours. I work a 12-hr shift completing hands-on tasks and drafting project ideas at my desk,” she adds.
Here she strengthens her credentials with a few hours of studying. Her industry is a tough one, but after a full work week she does gets a week-long break, which is also dedicated to her studies as well as having a social life, or decompressing.
“Last year was difficult for everyone. Not only did we lose time with our loved ones, there are those who lost so much more, but I am happy I took on a Graduate Certificate at EIT. I gained new skills, which opened new ways of thinking and solving problems.”
That attitude is exactly why engineering is such a great field for a young student and engineer.
Something likely passed down to her from her father and godfather.
She’d even allow her dad to talk about electrical, rail and instrumentation engineering at length with his best friend (and her godfather) if she has to organize a public speaking event, opting for them rather than a well-known figure in the field because their discourse has so much value in her life.
As a student, she also doesn’t turn down new opportunities, especially those that aid growth.
Not so long-ago unassuming Renée pitched at a university IT Club annual general meeting. Figuring she might as well stay for skills development as well as interpersonal communication, she ended up being elected as the president of the club.
Education environments are also essential physical and digital spaces for her. Renée likes that she is able to reach out to experts in the field, like EIT lecturer Dr. Hadi Harb, to talk about work – something she says she does often.
“I am also grateful for the Internet because I can read academic journals through libraries, enrol in online classes to learn about Safety Instrumentation Systems in Process Industries, which is available through EIT.”
It’s that sort of tenacity that could see her change worlds. In the future, she has a keen interest in space mining, where resources are mined on other planets without harming them. And also, to provide effective housing solutions on still unexplored planets.
For now, however, it’s getting a broad engineering education that could just make that a reality.
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