Over the past week we have been sharing the stories of our female engineers & designers in anticipation of International Women in Engineering Day. Hailing from Colombia, Carolina Bernal is a talented structural engineer who is an integral part of Inertia Engineering’s Housing Team. She brings her enthusiasm, technical skills and expertise to each project she works on ranging from home renovations and new builds to townhouse developments and lightweight structures.
Why did you become an engineer?
I became an engineer because of the significant impact that we have on the world – there are some incredible job opportunities that allow you to really make your mark on our environment. Also, it helped that I was always a maths whiz.
What do you love about engineering?
I love that I am always learning new things to solve different problems and new challenges across all projects I have been involved in. No two projects are ever the same.
What are you working on at the moment?
I currently have a number of residential structural design projects that are keeping myself as well as the rest of the housing team very busy.
What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?
One of them was definitely completing my migration skills assessment with Engineers Australia when I moved here in 2008 to study English.
Finding Inertia is also up there. It’s a fantastic company where I have had great opportunity to continually develop my skills grow as a professional.
What’s the best project you have worked on?
I can’t pinpoint one, but some of the best have been the projects with our client Big House Little House. It is always a challenge working on these houses but the results are always spectacular. We do a lot of work for their team and it is always a pleasure!
What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
I have learned how important it is to work in a team, sharing knowledge and sharing experience to achieve better results more efficiently. I think we do this quite well at Inertia – communicating both within our own teams and across different disciplines to ensure we have considered all aspects of a project, and can find the best outcome.
What do you love about working at Inertia?
I love the friendly and inclusive culture, as well as the amazing people I have been able to work with and learn from over the last few years. I feel like the team are more like family than colleges.
What female leaders, engineers or not, inspire you?
I think Michelle Obama is incredible because of the way she has inspired so many women across the world to be confident and to stay focused on whatever it is that is important to you – whether that is their education, career goals or personal goals. She has worked extremely hard in her career and at the same time been a great mum and role model to her children.
What challenges have you had to face in your career?
Many! Becoming an engineer in another country where I also had to navigate a new language and a different culture has been a challenge, and still often is. I am just focusing on working hard to become a better engineer every day.
What do you hope to achieve in your career over the next decade?
I looking forward to improving my skills every day and to keep focused on get my RPEQ. I expect to face a few challenges on the way but this will only help me grow as an engineer.