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Aeronautical engineer

Sarah - aeronautical engineer

Discovering aerospace in Year 11 helped Air Force engineer Sarah launch a soaring career

Many people join the Defence Force for the promise of adventure – and Air Force aeronautical engineer Sarah has had her share! She has flown dignitaries around the world and been deployed on operations. And when Cyclone Yasa hit Fiji in 2020, causing massive amounts of destruction, Sarah was part of Operation Fiji Assist, flying over with less than 24 hours’ notice to survey the extensive damage.

Sarah didn’t always have an engineering career in mind – in fact, she originally wanted to be a journalist. “I have never been the classic type of engineer who liked to take things apart or build cool projects, so sometimes I don’t feel like a ‘real’ engineer.”

Staying power

Despite failing three subjects, Sarah finished her degree on time through sheer determination. “STEM is for everyone, even if you’re not immediately talented at it,” she says. “Hard work will get you where you want to be.” That hard work certainly paid off.

Sarah says that STEM is a great choice for anyone who loves to explore: “I think STEM is a worthwhile career path for anyone who feels joy at discovery and wants to challenge the boundaries of what we know. As the saying goes, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Sarah’s path to becoming an aeronautical engineer

  • Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering
  • Master of Logistics Management (Current)
  • Military training
  • Employment training
  • Aeronautical engineer, Air Force

This profile was originally published in the special edition of Careers with STEM: Defence. Find more STEM + Defence role models here!

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