Recognizing International Women in Engineering Day
June 23 is International Women in Engineering Day, a campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering. The percentage of women in engineering, though varied by country, is very low, typically in the teens. For example, in the UK 12 percent of all engineers are women[i] and in Canada 13 percent of practicing licensed engineers are women.[ii]
We sat down with three engineers to hear from them what their journey in engineering has been thus far and how they are working to create unprecedented outcomes for our clients and our communities.
Laura Twigge-Molecey, managing director, Engineering Delivery
Laura began her journey with Hatch as a co-op student. A lover of numbers, Laura had wanted to pursue a career in math but gave engineering a chance at the urging of her father, who was also an engineer, and she’s never looked back. Laura is a mechanical engineer and began her career with us in the mechanical group before moving into more multidisciplinary roles. After moving to Mississauga from Texas, Laura began focusing on engineering management, a function that she says she loved because it gave her the opportunity to work with all of the engineering disciplines and interface with the other project functions.
These days, Laura in our managing director of Engineering Delivery, accountable for Hatch’s successful outcomes on projects.
“What I love most about engineering is working in teams to achieve a common goal, and being able to use the theoretical knowledge to bring projects to life. Life as an engineer is different that I imagined; there’s lots of time spent meeting with clients and interacting with people, which makes every day unique. It’s what keeps me inspired.”
Lillian Santos, piping discipline lead, Brazil
Working for Hatch since 2006, Lillian began her career in Hatch’s Mississauga office on a one-year internship program to work on the Onça Puma project. At the end of the year, Lillian returned to Brazil and continued to work on the project, transitioning into the piping discipline.
“I went back to Brazil with the purpose of going to site. I wanted to see everything that we were looking at on paper and in the drawings in real life,” said Lillian. “I was then able to go to site as a field engineer for one year and that’s where I really began to love piping. It was such a great experience to be able to see everything being constructed. As a young engineer, it provided me with invaluable, practical experience and has been so important in the development of my career. Since then I have worked in many different clients sites experiencing different projects and environments.”
Lillian is now the piping discipline lead in our Belo Horizonte, Brazil office, working on the design of several concentrate, tailings, and water pipelines, developing a comprehensive hydraulic analysis to help the clients understand and operate their industrial facilities.
Sarisha Harrychund, structural engineer, Highways and Bridges
Sarisha is a professional engineer and a PMI-certified Project Management Professional who has made her mark in her relatively short career with Hatch.
A member of the Highways and Bridges team based in our Durban, South Africa office, Sarisha joined Hatch in 2010 and has since built a prestigious resume of work on bridge and road projects throughout South Africa.
One of Sarisha’s most notable assignments thus far was as the project manager for the Tugela River Pedestrian Bridge project. Due to her leadership and through the hard work of her and her teammates, the project was a resounding success, completed on time and within budget, and has won awards from the Construction World Awards, the Consulting Engineers South Africa, the South African Institution of Civil Engineers, and the Institute of Municipal Engineering in South Africa, as well as the Hatch Sustainability Award.
Sarisha is an advocate for continual professional development, both within the company and within the broader business community. She was named one of the Top 100 Brightest Young Minds in South Africa (Brightest Young Minds Foundation, 2011), is a member of the World Economic Forum Durban Global Shapers (2015 to current), an executive member/deputy secretariat of the World Economic Forum Durban Global Shapers (2016-2017), was recognized as a Consulting Engineers South Africa Young Engineer of the Year Finalist (2017), was an external examiner for the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2018), and a guest speaker at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Civil Engineering Prizegiving (2019). Most recently, Sarisha has been nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Accenture Rising Star Awards, a program to identify, recognize, and celebrate young talent across all industries in South Africa. Winners will be announced in August.
“By the nature of our work, engineers make a massive impact on our society. We should never forget to take a moment to celebrate the significant ways in which our projects change the world,” said Sarisha.