2015 Women in Industry Awards Finalists:Excellence in Engineering

The short-list of finalists for this year’s Excellence in Engineering award have been announced.

Cara Ryan – Office Manager, Building Performance Centre, Schneider Electric

For her part in in establishing the Australian remote service performance centre for Schneider Electric, Cara Ryan has been nominated for the Excellence in Engineering Award.

Schneider Electric says Ryan was responsible for providing customers with remote facility management support and the deployment of one of the most advanced building analytics solutions on the market

Not only did she successfully start up this important new team and launch the analytics solution to the Australian market, she has taken it upon herself to understand the needs of Schneider’s customers and creatively solve problems.

An example of this creativity was when she began to leverage Schneider’s building HVAC analytics tools to provide predictive maintenance to marque customers like Melbourne Airport. She utilised the analytic findings to re-task preventive maintenance activities by focusing on equipment that showed early signs of failure. This has become a best practice shared across Schneider globally.

Director of Schneider’s global field services, Brandy Moore, says the remote performance centre is critical to the business as it is the foundation of a new portfolio of services Schneider Electric is launching globally to transform how it approaches maintenance in buildings.

Christine Charles – Head of Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion Division, The Australian National University

Prof, Christine Charles is a highly respected member of the Australian and international space industry. She is known for her technical excellence, her ability to translate research into innovative solutions for industry, and her dedication to mentoring students, in particular young women.

Prof. Charles is the Head of the Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion (SP3) Laboratory at the Australian National University. For the past twenty years, she has been working on experimental expanding plasmas (hot ionized gases) and their applications to electric propulsion, microelectronics and optoelectronics, astrophysical plasmas, and more.

Astrium, now part of Airbus Defence and Space, started its collaboration with Prof. Charles’ team back in 2006 following her successful early tests of the Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT). Such collaboration eventually culminated in the successful Australian Research Space Program project that resulted in the setup of the Wombat XL Space Simulation facility in the performance qualification test of the HDLT in its Gen III version. Across the years the HDLT proved to the in many aspects a source of inspiration for the whole international electric propulsion community, e.g. it introduced the novel concept of operating with different propellants. To put this into perspective for the non-specialist reader, such concept is now part of the technology road maps of most advanced spacefaring countries of our planet.

Claire Bianco – Engineering Supervisor, Cecil Park Plant, CSR Limited

In late 2014, the CSR Cecil Park site undertook a multi-million dollar upgrade of its facility to restore a previously mothballed section of its manufacturing plant. The implementation timeframe and budget was an aggressive target and Claire Bianco, who was a recently new employee for CSR, was given the opportunity to take on the project manager role which she enthusiastically accepted.

The project would require the co-ordination of multitudes of external contractors, in-house operators and site engineering teams to work together whilst not impacting the existing ongoing manufacturing processes of the plant. As Bianco was not based at the Cecil Park manufacturing plant previously, there were very few established relationships, so she would need to quickly develop these to succeed.

Her engaging, open and honest approach and strength of character allowed Bianco to develop effective working relationships in a very short timeframe, building teams that were willing to go above and beyond what would normally be expected of them. Her focused contractor management ensured that external personnel were well across all site WHSE matters and were safely delivering objectives. Her strong engineering skills were constantly demonstrated, with all problems encountered resulting in prompt and sound engineering decisions being made to develop solutions.

Through her professional attitude, engaging leadership approach coupled with her demonstrated engineering abilities, Bianco was able to empower her teams and deliver a successful project on time and under cost.

Hayley McIver – Senior Process Engineer, Ausenco

Hayley McIver is a core member of the Ausenco process engineering team and provides professional and competent support to the work Ausenco does in coal.

McIver manages studies, does detailed process engineering and then goes to site to provide commissioning services and operator training to ensure the facility designed can achieve its design goal, or better.

For six months McIver led a team of process engineers as part of Ausenco’s operational support and intervention for Vale Coal in Mozambique – the world’s largest Coal Handling and Preparation Plant, with a design capacity of 28 MT feed tonnes per annum.

McIver led the team to lift yields from 34.6 per cent to a peak of 42.4 per cent (May ‘14 to Feb ‘15). This has realised nominal revenue gains for the client in delivering both a better product split (+USD$6.9M) and a higher coking yield (+USD$43.0M).

These client benefits have been significant and substantially realised through McIver’s efforts. She is exceptionally well regarded by her colleagues and other contractors on the site. Her work has led the client, Vale’s Kevin Masterton, Director of Moatize Mine in Mozambique, to state that McIver is “one of Ausenco’s two key people for the project team”.

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