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Women of Inertia – Jodie Egan

With International Women in Engineering Day just around the corner, we want to showcase our team of incredible female engineers & designers.

Inertia’s Marathon Machine Jodie Egan’s career spans 20 years of award-winning housing projects across regional and metropolitan New South Wales and Queensland. When Jodie isn’t ensuring the quality and standards of our housing projects, you will find her pounding the pavements of Brisbane or being Event Director of Queensland’s biggest parkrun at Southbank.

Why did you become a designer?

Growing up I wanted to be an architect and draw house plans. But as I got older and learnt the difference between architectural and structural design, I realised that my strength and interest lay in engineering design. I have always had a fascination with how things go together, so it was natural to change my focus.

What do you love about engineering?

Working out how things go together – it is that simple, I love working out how we can design a solution and putting together all the elements to make that happen is what I really enjoy.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working within the housing team on multiple large house renovations and large townhouse developments. We also have a number of great projects that are nearing completion, so I can’t wait to see more finished products soon.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

I was lucky enough to work on the Master Builders 2017 Brisbane House of the Year, Island Hideaway on Bribie Island. This project was challenging, with the property spread over two blocks of land and three levels with uninterrupted views of Pumicestone Passage and the Glass House Mountains. 

The engineering design was complex and had to make sure that it didn’t impact on the owners and architects’ vision for the aesthetic of the property.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?

To put yourself in the shoes of others when thinking about projects, clients and colleagues’ expectations. By understanding the needs of the people we work with we are far more effective at collaborating and creating the best possible design solution.

What outcome does the client want? What information does the builder need? How can we deliver for both?

While we may be working on 20 projects at any one time, we are working on each client’s dream home – potentially their biggest financial and emotional investment in their lives – so we really have to deliver on and if possible exceed their expectations.

What do you hope to achieve in your career over the next decade?

I want to continue to improve my skills in Revit and learn more about BIM (Building Information Modelling). BIM and 3D engineering is the future of Engineering where project consultants will be sharing and manipulating designs and information through virtual models.

What challenges have you had to face in your career?

When I first entered the industry 15-20 years ago, the construction industry didn’t have as many female designers as we do now. I was occasionally thought of as an admin staff member or not taken as seriously as some of my male colleagues.  However, attitudes have changed over the years and I am glad to say I don’t have these experiences anymore.

What would your last meal be?

Mexican food and a margarita followed by a chocolate dessert. I’m a massive chocaholic…so maybe something with dark chocolate and salted caramel…

Who’s the greatest engineer of all time and why?

Leonardo da Vinci, I knew of him as an artist but didn’t realise how many inventions he made concept sketches for in the 15th century until I visited his house / now museum in France. He visualised flying machines, helicopters, parachutes, machine guns, armoured cars, robotic knights, scuba gear and a revolving bridge.