10 June 2019
Lydia Gentle, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Engineering Manager, has been recognised for her service to engineering after being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and named on the Queen's Birthday 2019 Honour's List.
Lydia, who has worked in engineering for more than 15 years, was nominated because of her passion and drive to promote the work of engineers around the world, and her efforts towards encouraging the next generation to take up STEM careers.
"Engineering is one of the oldest professions in the world however, despite the economic importance of engineers, enrolment in engineering studies is declining and the uptake of women studying engineering has remained stagnant since 2001," Lydia said.
"The future of engineering is exciting, never before has there been this level of access to new technologies and the opportunity to turn imaginations into real-world innovative solutions."
Lydia grew up on the Atherton Tablelands in regional North Queensland, and was first encouraged to take up Engineering by her Grade 12 maths teacher, a career she had never previously considered.
"My parents had both migrated from Italy and had left school in Grade Five, so it was always so important to them that I continued with my education," Lydia said.
"While it's been amazing to work on some of the largest projects in the world, I'm most proud of the work I do to inspire and encourage others to take up engineering."
"I hope I have inspired others to join the profession as you cannot be what you cannot see, and the role of engineers often goes unnoticed. I aspire to bring grit and grace to all my undertakings and leave a mark upon the engineering profession."
"Engineers have the responsibilities of roads, dams, bridges, buildings and everything in between. They build what the dreamers dream and utilize the products the scientists and inventors have conceptualised."
Lydia currently oversees the BMA Capital Portfolio and delivers all the Earth Moving Equipment across BMA's sites in the Bowen Basin. She hopes that by bringing the work of engineers to light, it will encourage more talented and passionate people to join the profession.
"I’d like to use the award of the OAM to help raise awareness that Australia needs to focus on developing and investing in STEM skills and programs, and use it as a platform to continue to promote the importance of engineering in Australia."