The women in engineering day was successfully held on 20th April 2022 at Engineers Australia Auditorium, Sydney with six successful female engineers.

Starting the event the topic “The Power of Networks” was addressed by Dr. Marlene Kanga. Dr. Marlene Kanga is the Immediate Past President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), with members from 100 engineering institutions and approximately 30 million engineers internationally. A chemical engineer, she was the 2013 National President of Engineers Australia. Marlene is a board member of some of the largest organizations in Australia in utilities, transport and innovation.

Dr. Geethani Nair then presented on how to encourage women to be in the engineering industry, career advancement & challenges. Dr. Geethani Nair currently works as ‘Director of Digital Skills and Concepts’ at Digital Skills Organisation (DSO). Before joining the DSO, Dr. Nair had over two decades of a varied and exciting professional career at TAFE NSW in leadership, Education, Technology & Training and managed a diverse and complex work program as Head of Technology & Business Services Skills Point.

The career experiences and challenges faced by female engineers was then discussed by Eng. Sepalee Mathmaluwe. Eng. Sapalee currently works at Sydney Water where she has been involved mainly on enhancing the resilience of the water and sewer network in the events of disasters. Since, graduating from Sri Lanka, she has worked for 22 years in Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka. mainly providing provide irrigation facilities far dry zone of Sri Lanka, generation of hydroelectric power, and constructing and developing the physical and social infrastructure required for human habitation in the developed areas.

Eng. Bandula Subasinghe presented on how engineers adjusted the designs to pursue innovative and sustainable solutions. Bandula has over 17 years of experience in the building services consultancy in design, design management, project management and technical review roles across multiple geographies on educational, art and culture, healthcare, pharmaceutical, industrial, residential and commercial projects. Bandula has gained broad exposure and expertise in building services design consultancy, multidisciplinary project management and sustainable design development in Australia, USA and Sri Lanka.

A useful insight on management and leadership beyond engineering was provided by Dr. Dilupa Nakandala. Dilupa is the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and an Associate Professor in Management at the School of Business, Western Sydney University. Her research on innovation, technology, and supply chain management has been published in top-tier journals and recognised by the Australian Research Council and DFAT funding. She was the lead author of the ‘South Asia’ chapter of the UNESCO Science Report: Towards 20-30. Dilupa held multiple roles in IBM Sri Lanka for over eight years before joining academia in 2011.

The end of the event was marked by Dr. Udeshini Pathirage sharing her experience as an early career researcher to an industry professional  by Dr. Udeshini Pathirage. Udeshini was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Wollongong researching on soft soil stabilization using native vegetation in rail corridors in Australia. Udeshini was awarded the ‘Young Professional Australia Award in Geotechnics’ in 2015 for her research contributions. Currently she is working as a Geo-environmental Engineer at Golder/WSP, widening her experience and knowledge in the areas of landfills, cutoff walls and containment systems.


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