Soaring global careers: RMIT women in STEMM

Soaring global careers: RMIT women in STEMM

Meet three RMIT women taking STEMM to new heights in Spain – an RMIT student who recently completed an internship in additive manufacturing and 3D printing, an RMIT alumnus in the automotive industry and an RMIT staff member driving innovation in the built environment.

RMIT student Julia Ogon

Julia Ogon, who is completing an RMIT Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours)/Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours), recently completed an internship in Spain at Leitat Technological Center.

The 12-month position was in additive manufacturing and 3D printing with a specialisation in metals and polymers.

It has seen experience in an international research and technology environment as well as the exciting opportunity to work in a new culture, according to Ogon.

"I’m taking back to Australia a set of skills that I was able to develop and progress here in Spain, drawing on my study at RMIT," she said.

"The opportunity also strengthened the many soft skills required in the workplace, such as organisational skills, time management and collaborating with people from different backgrounds.  

"I would definitely recommend an internship in Europe to other students – who wouldn’t want Europe on their doorstep?

"Not only was I able to work but I’ve been able to travel around Europe, integrate into a new culture and see it from a local’s perspective," Ogon said.

After working in Spain for a year, Ogon said she has increased confidence in her abilities and skills.

"I know if I can do it, any other woman can. And seeing other women in STEM is always really exciting," she said.

RMIT women in STEMM RMIT student Julia Ogon and her supervisor Òscar Alonso at Leitat Technological Center.

RMIT alumnus Corina Baini

Corina Baini began her career in Europe in a similar way to Ogon, heading off to Germany for a year-long internship at Audi in 1998 after graduating from an RMIT Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace Engineering) (Honours)/Bachelor of Business (Management).

Following the completion of her internship, Baini took up a role at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt in Germany to work on the Audi A4, bringing together design engineering, production, quality assurance and after sales.

But it was an 18-month job exchange to Barcelona to work at SEAT – a member of the Volkswagen group, like Audi – that marked the beginning of her eventual career in Spain.

Baini is currently Manager of the Steering Wheels, Axels & Fuel Systems Development Department within SEAT’s Chassis Development in Spain – ensuring technical solutions are found for parts to meet design, fabrication and quality as well as cost and timing requirements. 

She recalls her very first day at RMIT, where one of the things she was told was: 'we're not going to teach you anything here - we're going to teach you how to learn'.

"And that's been true - I've taken away so much over these years working in different cultures," she said.

"I always try to absorb what I learn, not just into my way of working, but my whole way of living.

"I remember years ago when I started at AUDI that females in technical roles were scarce, but over the years more and more women are taking on such roles as well as managerial roles, which is very positive.

"I've always considered a mixed gender work environment to be healthy." 

CorinaBaini RMIT alumnus Corina Baini at SEAT in Spain.

RMIT staff member Marta Fernández

Marta Fernández is the Executive Director at the European hub of RMIT University – RMIT Europe in Barcelona – where she leads the University’s work in research, international cooperation and student experiences in Europe.

A chemical engineer, Fernández’s career has spanned senior management roles in the UK, including Global Research Leader at international consultancy Arup. 

She was recently appointed Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology in the UK and is also the Chair of the European Construction Technology Platform’s Active Ageing and Design Committee.

Fernández is passionate about her work enabling active and healthy ageing through innovation in design and technology for the built environment.

"With the rise in ageing populations, we're seeing smart city agendas take on how the community can make a positive influence on individual wellbeing and how physical and social environments can promote independence," she said. 

"When it comes to how we combine technology and liveability, we must ensure technology isn’t used to define new behaviours.

"It must respond sensitively to existing needs and seamlessly support the human side of care and services."

Fernández’s interest in active and healthy ageing began in her teenage years.

"I started volunteering when I was fourteen – cleaning floors, washing bedding and conversing with older adults in a care home in the hills of Granada – my home town in Spain," she said.

"Now I contribute through my work driving innovation in the built environment for active and healthy ageing."

Marta Fernandez leads the European hub of Australian university RMIT RMIT Europe Executive Director Marta Fernández at RMIT Europe in Barcelona.

Story: Karen Matthews

06 March 2020

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06 March 2020

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  • Alumni
  • RMIT Europe
  • Engineering
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  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

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