Mar 08, 2020People & Industry

How curiosity led Shelby to a new world in engineering

Shelby Broad is a Vacation Student in Subsea Integrity Management with global engineering services company, Wood.

She is currently completing her Masters of Professional Engineering (Chemical), after graduating with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Shelby hails from Dampier, an area which she describes as a ‘hive of mining and oil and gas processing activity’.

“The oil and gas industry was so deeply ingrained in the community and felt ever-present. It allured and excited me the more I learnt about it,” said Shelby.

“In my gap year after school I was fortunate to work at the Karratha Gas Plant and it further cemented my intrigue and passion for the industry.”

Her role with Wood means she has been able to work with natural gas companies such as Woodside.

“I’ve only newly been adopted into the oil and gas industry as an engineer, but I’ve been fortunate to have many rewarding experiences already. Including in assisting in the mobilisation of equipment for offshore inspections. I hope to head offshore too one day soon.”

Shelby’s curiosity for how the world works led her to a career in engineering.

“I’ve always been fascinated by and driven to understand the way things work. I was an insanely curious kid and even now, I get a rush when being able to explain the world around me.

“I chose chemical engineering because it combined two subjects that I loved: chemistry – examining the building blocks of everything we observe; and maths – describing all physical phenomena by numbers and equations.”

It wasn’t until she was 15 years old, however, that she met a female engineer. This encounter inspired her to consider engineering as a future career option.

“As much as I knew women could become engineers, it wasn’t until I saw someone thriving in the industry that I believed I could too. If you can see it, you can be it!”

Her advice to young females considering a career in STEM is simple: know your worth.

“Be confident in your opinions and hold your own,” she said.

“Fight through the imposter syndrome that you may feel and know that nearly everyone feels it: females and males alike. Your experiences give you a unique perspective, and in turn, offer innovative solutions.”