We're celebrating International Women's Day 2021. The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge, so we're looking at some of the amazing women who work at the AMRC and AMRC Training Centre who #ChooseToChallenge engineering gender stereotypes every day.
Name: Daniela Sawyer
Job title: Project Engineer
Company: AMRC - Integrated Manufacturing Group
Describe your job?
My job involves working on projects mainly related to robotic machining, robotic accuracy and robotic dynamics. I spend a lot of time working with robots, programming them and trying to understand better how they work and what are their limitations in a variety of scenarios.
Tell us about a typical week at work?
A typical week at work for me would involve some experimental work but also most likely some desk based work such as writing reports or writing documentation for upcoming projects. Quite a few meetings as well, depending on the projects I am involved in, and a bit of time spent on making decisions on the direction of the projects I am on at that given time.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry or thinking of a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)?
As long as you keep your passion and curiosity on the subject, you have nothing to worry about! A career in STEM can be very, very rewarding and in my personal experience, I have never encountered one person that ever regretted going into a STEM career.
What is it like being a woman in engineering?
At times it can feel empowering, at times it can feel frustrating. It depends a lot on the environment I am in and who I am interacting with. In my experience, I found that generally speaking, the younger generations are getting better at ensuring a level playing field. Still a lot to work on though!
What is your greatest career achievement to date?
Most likely the greatest achievement to date when it comes to my career is getting my doctoral degree back in 2017. It is hard work to do a PhD but I can assure you that nothing compares to the feeling of achievement you get when 3/4 years later, you finally get called up on stage and are being awarded the title of 'Dr'.
Why did you choose a career in STEM?
I always had a passion for sciences. I loved mathematics and physics when I was younger. It was all about clear answers to questions and some kind of certainty that I never felt you can get from other subjects. At around 12 years old I fell in love with aircrafts and really wanted to know how they manage to fly. There was something completely liberating about flying and I wanted to know more and more about it. That led me to do a degree in aerospace engineering and the rest is history as they say!