Monique is hooked on space. She was always interested in how things work and at high school she was good at maths and physics, so decided to explore opportunities in science and engineering.
Now, as a space systems engineer, she works with two satellites – one that was launched in 2017 and one that is still being designed – as part of the Buccaneer program with Defence Science and Technology (DST).
These ‘CubeSats’ are mini-satellites that help scientists and engineers, like Monique, understand the space environment, how satellites orbit (to avoid collisions) and how to improve radar technology.
Monique and her team design daily mission plans, check the health and performance of the satellites and conduct maintenance on the ground stations, which are located in Canberra and Adelaide.
Students who aren’t sure about STEM careers because of stereotypes such as the idea you have to be a “genius” to work in the field, should think again, says Monique. “In reality, STEM fields require passion and hard work to gain proficiency more than anything,” she says.“Engineering is not just about building bridges!”
Monique says her job doesn’t really feel like a job to her because she enjoys it so much, which is pretty cool! – Claire Harris
Monique’s career pathway
>> Bachelor of Science (Physics) (Hons) / Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) (Honours), University of Western Australia
>> Master of Engineering Science (Satellite Systems), UNSW
>> Research and Innovation Graduate, DST
>> Space Systems engineer, DST
This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2019.
Author: STEM Contributor
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