Shipbuilding scholarship highlights diversity of opportunity
A career as an engineer in the naval shipbuilding industry offers endless opportunity, variety and challenge. With 15,000 roles required over the next decade, the Naval Shipbuilding College is helping to pave the way for a future of young engineers to fulfil their career dreams, through the National Naval Shipbuilding Scholarship Pipeline Pilot Program.
Sama Alkamachy has always been interested in a career in engineering. During her third year of studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer and Software Systems) at QUT, she was awarded a scholarship through the National Naval Shipbuilding Scholarship Pipeline Pilot Program, which introduced her to the world of opportunity and diversity that the naval shipbuilding industry holds.
The idea of working in an innovative and technologically advanced industry was exciting, but also tempered with the perception of the industry as being male dominated.
However throughout the scholarship, Sama has not only met many other female engineers, but a welcoming engineering community of both men and women eager to learn off each other and share experiences.
“When I began studying engineering, I knew I liked the field but I wasn’t sure if I would fit in as a woman. But through this scholarship program, I’ve met other females working in the industry and I’ve been able to interact with my fellow engineers, both men and women, which has meant I’ve become more confident in my abilities,” Sama says.
One of the critical elements of the scholarship program is a 12-week work placement which provides students with relevant on-the-job experience. Sama has recently completed her placement with the Defence Science and Technology Group and says that being able to immerse herself in an engineering environment was invaluable.
“As a student with no experience of working in an engineering environment my biggest takeaway was being in said environment – being able to interact with many different engineers. Just being able to listen in to various meetings and discussions has taught me a lot.”
“One of the biggest things I noticed while completing my placement was that I enjoy the culture and how valued an employee’s opinion is in this industry. The staff were often asked about their plans and opinions before management made any major decisions.”
During her placement, Sama also gained the kind of technical experience that she wouldn’t have been able to get through study, using business analytics software and database management systems.
“I worked on modifying and optimising an MS Access Database, completing various roles such as designing a form which displays the data, managing relationships with different data sources, creating new queries and tables to display and calculate relevant data. I also worked on a PowerBi database which was linked to the MS Access Database to generate reports with the data on hand.”
Sama says that the scholarship has given her far-reaching benefits that has cemented her plans to continue pursuing a software engineering career in Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry.
“The scholarship has introduced me to a lot of new opportunities which I would not have known existed beforehand. Through my placement I was introduced to Defence Science and Technology, and worked remotely with a team in Sydney, which is not something I ever imagined pursuing.”
“What inspires me about the naval shipbuilding industry is how broad it is – all different majors of engineering come together for a project – and this is important because it me as an employee to experience all aspects of engineering and have a variety of different roles in my career.
“I am also interested in the hardware and technology that is used to operate big ships; it’s quite impressive how much work goes into keeping a single ship floating and operating and I’m really looking forward to playing a part in that.
If you or someone you know are interested in knowing more about the job opportunities in Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Industry – from trades to PhDs – join NSC’s National Shipbuilding Workforce Register, so we can connect your with one of our Candidate Engagement Consultants for your confidential career conversation and help you find your pathway to your future shipbuilding career.