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It’s International Women in Engineering Day

On a day when the achievements of women engineers are celebrated around the world, we recognise the outstanding achievements of Izzy Piet, project manager on North East Link’s Yarra East Main Sewer project.

With more than 20 years’ experience as a civil engineer specialising in underground construction, Izzy is overseeing the three mini tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that have started relocating a vital piece of sewer network in Bulleen – a critical step preparing for the North East Link.

In a career highlight, Izzy trained as a tunnel boring machine pilot, breaking ground as one of the first women in the world to hold this role. Even as recently as the early 2000s, she met some hesitance when wanting to train in a job that had historically been done by men – but proved herself in the role. The highly technical work required her to operate the hyperbaric compartment locks, including undertaking medical training to manage a team working underground in a pressurised environment.

Throughout her career, Izzy – a mother of three – has demonstrated that women can have a family and still pursue a career. She continues to be motivated to find ways to make it easier for women to work in the construction industry, whether through leading by example, or negotiating family-friendly part-time employment conditions.

After working on projects around the world, Izzy believes the construction industry in Australia is making good progress in developing programs and initiatives to attract and retain women.

Her advice to women considering a career in engineering or construction? “If you like construction and engineering, get out there and do it!”

Melbourne - north east North East Link Project