By Clare Pain
Computer science has been Elwyn’s passport to success. It’s brought a string of interesting jobs and sent her overseas for almost a decade. It’s also funded the lifestyle she loves: plenty of travel and adventure!
“When I was growing up, I always enjoyed making things and understanding why they worked,” says the Perth native. She enjoyed the challenge of maths and science at school, going on to study electronic engineering and computer science at the University of Western Australia in a double degree.
She now specialises in ‘low-level programming’ – writing code that a broad number of machines understand – for the purpose of getting electronic gadgets to talk to each other.
She landed a job building a sonar GPS system for Nautronix, a marine technology solutions company in Fremantle, WA. Normal GPS doesn’t work underwater, but a navigation system is needed in the oil and gas industry to help guide remote operated vehicles during undersea construction.
She wrote the master control programs for sonar GPS, and after a few years became a team leader. The project involved testing components at sea off the WA coast, and later she was sent to Hawaii to test a similar product for the US Navy.
Elwyn then landed a position in the UK as a project manager at an aerospace company working on the Boeing 787 jet airliner. “I was working on the ‘common core’ – a sort of mini-ethernet for the plane.”
Before returning to Australia, Elwyn worked for several other UK companies in various roles. “I was working on some very cool systems, but unfortunately [because of company privacy rules] I can’t say anything about what they did!”
Working in a team and seeing people use the things she’s made gives her a real buzz.
“Study subjects that you enjoy and this will give you a career to relish for the rest of your life.”
Author: STEM Contributor
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