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Kathryn's one young exceptional woman

Kathryn Young was all set for a career in the health industry.

As an avid science and maths student, she was encouraged to pursue this pathway.

That was until Kathryn took part in the Australian Space Design Competition, an engineering design project simulation that she enrolled in a Bachelor of Engineering instead, and graduated in 2012 with honours.

Now a Geotechnical Engineer at BMA Peak Downs Mine, Kathryn has a long list of achievements in her career that really took off when she was accepted into the BHP graduate program in 2014, taking her from Brisbane to Blackwater.

Kathyrn has worked at Blackwater Mine, Caval Ridge, Norwich Park, South Walker Creek, Poitrel and Saraji, before her most recent position at Peak Downs Mine.

She recalls significant career highlights in 2018 - achieving Chartered Professional status in the area of Geotech with AusIMM, being registered as a Professional Engineer of Queensland, and then being named Practitioner of the Year by the Bowen Hunter Open Cut Geotechnical Society recognising her contributions to the industry.

Not one to shy away from volunteering and supporting local communities, Kathryn has volunteered for the past five years as a general committee member with the Space Design Competitions Australia, travelled to India as a technical team mentor, attended the Bowen Basin Geotech Society annual event to encourage students to pursue a career in the mining geotechnical field, and has actively volunteered as a mentor for the University of Newscastle Science and Engineering Challenge for students in Brisbane and Moranbah. 

Kathryn also promotes STEM careers, and mentors and encourages female students to pursue careers in the resources and engineering industry.

She said her role has supported her endeavours, and encouraged her to continue leading the way for young women, by drawing on her personal experience as a young, female engineer.

“I’ve had to learn how to coach and break down barriers and prejudices so that we can improve the way we do things rather than just do them the way they’ve also been done,” she said.

“I believe that attracting women to pursue careers in the resources industry should begin at school and university,”

Kathryn is a finalist in the 2020 Queensland Resources Awards for Women, in the Exceptional Young Woman in QLD Resources category.

The winners will be announced at the Women in Mining and Resources Queensland International Women’s Day breakfast, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in March.