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Insights

Priscila Zimmermann: International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Jun 23, 2020

Insights

Priscila Zimmermann: International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Jun 23, 2020

 

 

How did you become interested in engineering?

When I was young, my father took me to see his company, where he worked as a mechanical engineer, and showed me his desk with many incredible drawings. The projects were parts for turbines at the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, the largest operational hydroelectric energy producer in the world. When I came back a few months later, I was able to personally look at the built part, a giant piece which made the floor sag because of its weight, and I just froze at that moment thinking: "Wow, I can make drawings in reality. Imagine building houses, designing something that can be built "! At that moment, I became an architect in my interior and decided to make the imagination that is only on paper a reality.

What excites you about engineering?

Every year, new technologies are discovered to improve the construction and become more efficient. I can see this in modeling software’s. When I started my degree, I used pencils and paper (lots of papers) to show my project. Now, with just one command, we can build a wall, see sections, 3D views and have the quantifiers at the same time. This is amazing. Every year we become increasingly efficient and bold with our projects.

What have you seen change for women in engineering throughout your career?

I always liked to go to the construction site and see the progress of the project. When I finished my graduation 11 years ago, women at the construction site were rare. And I often heard that it was not a place for women. It made me angry and I didn't understand why it wasn't my place, just because I'm a woman who loves my career and likes to see all the phases of a project. Nowadays it is different. You can see a woman working and running a building and showing "Yes, we can, and yes, we are women who love it".

What is the most fascinating part of your job or daily routine?

The versatility. I can work with different stages on each project on the same day. Sometimes I start the day making a proposal for a new building, and finish the day checking the progress of the construction of another building. This is what I love about my routine, always surprising me and always different.

Did you have any mentors as you were going through your career? How did they influence your decisions?

My greatest mentor is my grandfather, who has lived with me and my family all my life. He was my greatest motivator and my greatest example of overcoming. During my graduation, I spent many sleepless nights, stressed and almost giving up. My grandfather would knock on my bedroom door, bringing a piece of cake and fresh coffee with him, he would sit beside me and say: “Even the darkest night ends with the sunrise. Never give up trying to do what you really want. Where there is love, inspiration and a good piece of cake, nothing can go wrong.”

What advice would you like to share with future women engineers?

It is hard work and a long journey, but without effort, there is no gain. Fight and never give up on your dreams. We make a difference to this world, we make dreams come true. You were born with the ability to make a difference in someone's life. 
 

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